BioPharm International's 5th Annual Empolyment Survey - How did biopharmaceutical professionals fare during a year of hiring freezes, high anxiety, and increased workload? Our survey finds out. - BioP


BioPharm International's 5th Annual Empolyment Survey
How did biopharmaceutical professionals fare during a year of hiring freezes, high anxiety, and increased workload? Our survey finds out.

BioPharm International


Despite the economic turmoil, our survey shows that the salaries of biopharmaceutical professionals increased in 2010. "Bonuses and benefits might have been cut based on revenues, but salaries haven't changed," says the QA professional from New Jersey. "The salaries for top talent remain competitive," she says.

Figure 4. Mean income by gender
As shown in Figure 4, the mean industry salary this year was $121,243 in the United States, significantly higher than the $96,742 figure for 2009. Interestingly, the mean income in Europe has gone down. In 2010, the average salary in Europe was €63,022, compared with €68,711 in 2009.

Like last year, our US and European responses reflect a salary gap between men and women. Earning a mean salary of $93,788 (€45,624 in Europe), women lag behind their male counterparts, who earn on average $133,855 (€69,103 in Europe).

Figure 5. Mean income by job function
This year's survey showed that the US biotech jobs with the highest salaries included corporate management, consulting, and process development (Figure 5).

Although pharmaceutical companies have been fairly conservative in hiring, the CMC professional from California, who is going to begin a new job in 2011, says finding a job was easier than he thought because he has a unique skill set. "Companies are still downsizing. It is easier for an associate level scientist to find a job than at a VP level."

According to ZRG Partners' 2010 Global Life Science Hiring Index, regulatory and quality roles were the most in demand globally for the second quarter of 2010. ZRG's index, which was launched in January 2010, uses confidential hiring numbers from selected benchmark companies in medical devices, pharmaceutical, and outsourcing/contract services.


One would imagine that the frustration stemming from work conditions would result in low job satisfaction, but our survey showed by and large, most biopharmaceutical professionals are satisfied in their jobs. The sense of security hasn't changed much compared with last year. In 2010, 70% of respondents said they feel "secure," "very secure," or "extremely secure" in their current jobs (Figure 6), a tad higher than last year's figure of 68%.

Figure 6. How secure do you feel in your current job?
Our survey shows that a lot of people are sitting tight. The majority of respondents (62%) said they are not likely to leave their jobs in the next 12 months, compared with 60% last year. For those who expect to change jobs, the reasons are split: About a third (27%) cited involuntary departure, but 28% said they would make a move for a better salary or more satisfying work (16%).

Figure 7. Please rate your overall job satisfaction
The job satisfaction levels of biopharmaceutical professionals are similar to those of last year. The vast majority of our respondents (88%) are extremely satisfied, very satisfied, or satisfied with their jobs; only 11% are not satisfied, as shown in Figure 7.

Job satisfaction seems to be relative and depends on the extent to which the individual is enjoying his/her work. "I have been in my job for 20 years and I have been part of an important program in the company so I haven't considered changing jobs whether the market was hot or cold," says Gronke.

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