Last week I discussed primary pharmaceutical, the first of the four main sub-sectors in the pharmaceutical sector; this week I will focus on the areas of secondary pharmaceutical and diagnostics and the career opportunities within it.
Secondary pharmaceutical (final dosage form and packaging) companies are engaged in formulating, producing and packaging a final product – i.e. tablets and creams.
The manufacturing technologies used in this area broadly involve a wide range of automated equipment involved in discrete activities such as blending and mixing, forming and filling and high-speed packing and distribution.
This sector offers a wide range of career prospects to trade, technician and graduate-level individuals.
Career opportunities include roles in validation, packaging, quality engineering/ assurance, analytical chemistry, logistics, regulatory affairs, production supervision, formulation scientist and equipment engineering.
Similar to the primary sector, the secondary manufacturing area has seen steady growth over the last 30 years with an ever-increasing number of companies investing in new facilities in Ireland.
Typically on joining these organisations, individuals with scientific qualifications will commence their careers in the quality control laboratories (stability, analytical development, microbiology) and progress from there into other departments such as validation, production, documentation/ QA, technical support to manufacturing, formulation and development.
Individuals with a trade or engineering background will typically start in a maintenance or equipment engineering role and then progress into one of the following areas: project engineering, automation and manufacturing, validation, production or maintenance management.
There are currently plenty of openings for graduates and experienced people in this sector in all functional areas.
Although small in comparison to the pharmaceutical sectors, the diagnostics sector has a number of successful companies that offer good career prospects particularly for graduates in biochemistry and microbiology. Opportunities include areas such as research and development, technical production, quality control/assurance, regulatory affairs and business development.
Next week I will look at the BioPharma sector and also provide a summary of the multinationals in this space within an hour of Kilkenny city.
Tanya Thomas is a recruitment manager with Morgan McKinley. She is based in Kilkenny and Waterford.
Readers can submit questions to her at JobDoctor@morganmckinley.ie