Pharmacologist Job Description

Pharmacologist Job Description, Skills, and Salary

Are you searching for a pharmacologist job description? Get to know about the duties, responsibilities, qualifications, and skills requirements of a pharmacologist. Feel free to use our pharmacologist job description template to produce your own pharmacologist job description. We also provide you with information about the salary you can earn as a pharmacologist.


Who is a Pharmacologist?

The word pharmacology is derived from the Greek word “pharmakos” which means drug or medicine while the word logos means to study. A Drug can be defined as a substance that is used to cure, prevent or treat a physical illness.  A Pharmacologist is a medical scientist who is solely responsible for researching new medications in laboratories, consulting with medical experts or physicians, and assessing pharmacological studies. Most of their research is conducted or carried out to develop medications that treat uncommon diseases or discover cures. Once a pharmacologist has completed his or her studies, he becomes a certified medical scientist who can distribute medicine to the public.

Pharmacologists work in laboratories researching medicine or medications. The main goal of the research they conduct is to see how the medication work when administered to people, interact with humans and also discover from a molecular level how the human body responds in totality. These medical scientists can work for pharmaceutical companies to test a new drug the companies are developing, and study medications in a laboratory by studying the tissue and cell samples. They conduct extensive research to ascertain the appropriate dosage, benefits, safety measures, and side effects of drugs. Pharmacologists that found themselves in the toxicology field research advise drug companies on how to handle and safely label drug substances.

The between a Pharmacologist and a pharmacist is that; Pharmacology is a field that is studied by those in training while pharmacists are experts on medications. They have diverse roles they play and they are: administering medications, educating patients on the proper use of drugs, and assisting to monitor a patient’s health condition. The clear difference between a pharmacologist and a pharmacist is; that pharmacologists study drugs while pharmacists provide the final product to patients and also give them information on how to use the drug.


Branches of Pharmacology

To understand the complete responsibility of a pharmacologist, you also need to understand the branches and they are:


Pharmacodynamics is a branch of pharmacology that studies the physiological or biological effects that different kinds of concentrations have on the body. This typically studies the localization of a drug to a particular area of the body, for instance, the brain. This is necessary because most drugs have an effect on a particular area of the body more than other parts and also some drugs have unwanted side effects. A drug substance can have severe side effects on the body if the dosage is high. For instance, too much magnesium in the body can cause diarrhea.


Pharmacokinetics is a branch of pharmacology that studies how the body absorbs, metabolizes, and excretes drugs. A drug can be administered in different forms; it can be orally or by inserting (that is through an injection or into the bloodstream through an IV). The kidney is one of the primary organs of the body that filters out drugs from the body through urinalysis; the lungs and the sweat glands also have a minor role they play in filtering out drugs.


Other areas in pharmacology can accommodate the two primary branches of pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics and they are:

Clinical Pharmacology: this focuses on the therapeutic usage of drugs and other salient factors which may affect the effectiveness of a drug substance and such factors are pregnancy, age, and combining other drugs. It can also be concerned with bioavailability, which is the amount of drug dose that is absorbed into the body instead of passing through.

Toxicology: this focuses on the adverse effects of drug substances on the body. It also researches the side effects of the drugs administered not only therapeutically but also on the chemicals that a person can be exposed to in their environment, occupation, and household.


Pharmacologist Job Description

What is a pharmacologist job description? A pharmacologist job description is simply a list of duties and responsibilities of a pharmacologist in an organization. Below are the pharmacologist job description examples you can use to develop your resume or write a pharmacologist job description for your employee. Employers can also use it to sieve out job seekers when choosing candidates for interviews.

The following are the duties and responsibilities of a pharmacologist;

  • Research the effects of drugs, chemicals, and other substances on humans, animals, and plants
  • Examine the effects of new or modified medicines and record the reactions that  place
  • Recognize potential harmful and beneficial side effects, recommend proper dosages, and describe the circumstances in which they  should be administered
  • Specify hazardous substances in the environment by analyzing chemicals used in workplaces, pesticides, food preservatives, and household
  • Execute experiments using cultured cells, laboratory animals, plants, human tissue, precision electronic instruments, and computers
  • Assess complex scientific data
  • Monitor patient’s health condition
  • Advise patients about their overall health condition
  • Compose detailed reports and present findings to senior colleagues and scientific peers
  • Construct and carry out experiments
  • Review relevant literature
  • Employ specialists applications such and make recommendations on research findings
  • Cooperate and share expertise and research findings with associated staff
  • Attending meetings and conferences



To become a pharmacologist, you can acquire a bachelor’s degree in biology, biochemistry, microbiology, biomedical science, and chemistry. After acquiring the bachelor’s degree; the next step is to enroll for a doctorate in any relevant field to boost your career because it is a top-notch position. Postgraduate studies you to carry out relevant research and experiment that can lead to more career advancement in the profession. Conducting medical research also helps you to harness analytical skills to comprehend medical data better.

You also need to obtain a state license to administer drugs to humans; this field of profession deals with human lives and governments of various countries place it as a necessity for job candidates to have a license. The ability to also handle medical equipment and conduct research is also a requisite qualification for job candidates.


Essential Skills

The following are the skills and competencies a medical scientist must possess and they are:

  • Analytical Skills: a pharmacologist must possess a logical and inquisitive mind to make research on drugs and how to administer it to patients to have an effective result. This analytical mind makes a pharmacologist always formulate the solution to most medical problems. To possess this mindset; he must, first of all, ask intelligent questions, make observations, and concludes the research based on his or her findings.
  • Communication Skills: a pharmacologist must possess skills to be able to interpret the data of his or her research findings to avoid being misunderstood by people. He or she must be able to also communicate with patients clearly when administering drugs to them and give them vivid guidelines on how they can administer these drugs at home. Pharmacologists also work with a team of experts and so him or they know how to communicate with these medical professionals to have a successful medical experience.

Possessing good verbal communication skills is not enough, you need to also possess good writing skills to be able to write detailed reports of findings and share them with other colleagues at work.

  • Teamwork: A Pharmacologist does not work in isolation, especially when conducting research or scientific experiment. He or she works with another team of experts to ensure that they conduct successful research. In some scenarios, a pharmacologist may be saddled with the task of being the leader of the team; it is therefore highly paramount for the pharmacologists to encourage another team of experts and also adapt to working with a team.
  • Paying Attention to Details: You need to pay attention to details and maintain accuracy because the role of a pharmacologist does not give room for mistakes. After all, human life is involved. You should be much focused when administering drugs, conducting research,or experimenting to come up with the best result. Do not just conclude on your findings immediately you need to continue to test your research to prove the efficacy of that research to the populace.


How to Become a Pharmacologist

  • Acquire a Bachelor’s Degree

The first step to becoming a pharmacologist is to enroll for a bachelor’s degree in life sciences or a similar field. The most common requirement is a degree in pharmaceutical science and examples of life sciences courses are chemistry, physiology, chemistry, genetics, microbiology, and biology. The most important courses you should focus on to build you up are; math, physics, chemistry, and biology but students are motivated to take communication and language classes seriously for them to master the art of writing especially when publishing research. The duration of an undergraduate degree course in pharmaceutical science can take five years to complete although this solely depends on the institution. Enrolling in an undergraduate degree will help you to hone some salient skills that will build your career as a pharmacologist.

  • Get an Internship or Training

Pharmacologists must enroll in residency training during their undergraduate studies. This will help them to be exposed to the practical aspects of what being a pharmacologist is all about. They can enroll for this training in a hospital or medical research center; during this training, they are assigned to an expert pharmacologist who will groom them and oversee their activities during the medical residency. This enables them to acquire the requisite experience a pharmacologist is expected to have.

  • Enroll for an Advanced Degree

A pharmacologist is a top-notch medical position and enrolling in a doctorate program in pharmacology will broaden your horizon about the job and will help you to be more proficient in the role. Another benefit of a doctoral program in pharmacology is that it gives students the clinical and research experience they require to effectively carry out their responsibilities. There are some universities where students undergo dual MD/Ph.D. degrees to train them as prospective medical scientists. The duration of the undergraduate degree can take 4-5 years while a dual doctoral program can take 7-8 years.

There are also postdoctoral training or fellowship candidates who can enroll to gain extra knowledge and experience although this is optional. Universities offer different applications and it can be Ph.D., MD, or a combination of any of these students.

  • Get a MedicalLicense to Practice

You need to acquire a medical license to practice this profession legally and the medical license is a test on humans. The medical license varies across states and you need to discover your own country’s requirements and follow suit. For instance, In the United States, the ABCP which stands for the American Board of Clinical Pharmacology offers certification to pharmacologists and also non-physician. The certification requirements are:

  • Give proof of contribution to the field of clinical pharmacology
  • Finished a postdoctoral clinical pharmacology fellowship
  • Possess experience as a student as well as a teacher in clinical pharmacology continuing education


Where can a Pharmacologist Work?

Pharmacologist usually works in the health or educational sectors: Pharmacologist conducts research or teaches others in the field. They usually work in Universities, Pharmaceutical companies, The Medical Research Council, and Other Governmental and Non-governmental research institutions.


Pharmacologist Salary Scale

The Salary scale of a Pharmacologist varies from one country to another and it is very crucial to look at some country’s salaries they are:

  • In Canada, the average salary of a Pharmacologist is $50,000 per year and $25,000 per hour. Entry-level positions in their career with $38,025 per year while experienced pharmacologists up to $84,248 per year. The salary varies based on the geographical location of the pharmacologist. For instance in Canada, A Pharmacologists in Ontario earns $64,409 per year while a Pharmacologists in Quebec earns $38,025 per year.
  • In Nigeria, a pharmacologist earns a salary of 80,000 NGN to 350,000 NGN per month. The salary varies based on the geographical location and experience of the pharmacologist.
  • In the United States, a Pharmacologists earns $82,997 per year and $39.9 per hour. The salary of a pharmacologist depends on his or her area of specialization. For instance, A Clinical Pharmacologists earns $129,497 per year.
  • In the United Kingdom, the average pharmacologist salary is 40,000 pounds per year or 25.51 pounds per hour. Entry-level pharmacologists start their career by earning 37,500 pounds while most experienced workers make up to 61,015 pounds per year.
  • In South Africa, the average annual salary of a pharmacologist is R682, 634 or an equivalent hourly rate of R328. An entry-level  (1-3 years of experience) earns an average salary of R480, 498 while an experienced pharmacologist with 8 years or more experience earns an average salary of R855, 931

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