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Studies & Degrees in Pharmaceutical Technology

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Those pursuing education in pharmaceutical technology will learn the basics of pharmaceutical testing and development. The course covers how pharmaceuticals are manufactured, processed and dosed in accordance with safety laws and regulations. It also covers technological equipment and engineering practices in developing pharmaceuticals.
Universities, colleges and technical institutions (including institutions designed mainly for pharmaceutical studies) will offer courses in pharmaceutical technology, though not commonly at a bachelor’s or lower level. Often, candidates will earn a related bachelor degree (such as chemical engineering) and pursue pharmaceutical technology as a master’s program.
It is possible to be trained in pharmaceutical technology through an online program, though these are sometimes offered only to already-employed personnel. There are also a few opportunities to enter a pharmaceutical study program provided by a pharmaceuticals corporation, possibly in conjunction with a partner industry.
Skills, Qualifications, and Prerequisites for Studies in Pharmaceutical Technology
Universities, colleges and technical institutions will require applicants to a pharmaceutical studies program, to hold at least a secondary school completion certificate, and pass a standardized aptitude or admission test. Since many pharmaceutical study programs are offered at a master’s level, a candidate must often obtain a bachelor’s degree before pursing this course.
Online programs vary in their prerequisites. If the program is for current employees or graduates, then a degree is required for admission. Other programs may not have any admissions requirements, though that nature of the work may require a background or criminal history check.
An aptitude for math and science is highly preferred in this field, due to the work’s technical nature and knowledge requirements. Candidates must be adept at using a range of technology and able to pay extremely close attention to detail especially regarding doses, chemicals and compounds. High ethical conduct is essential, in order to avoid the production or illegal use of dangerous drugs, especially those still in development. There are certain ethical standards individuals should easily adhere to, and any background in drug abuse or criminal activity will damage your ability to study and work in this area.
Skills and Qualifications Acquired from Studies in Pharmaceutical Technology
Many courses offered in pharmaceutical studies are in graduate programs, so most candidates will already possess a high level of chemical, medical, engineering, biological, technological and anatomical knowledge. A basic course in pharmaceutical studies alone, however, will usually provide skills and understanding in the following areas:
  • Chemistry and advanced mathematics.
  • Laws and regulations regarding the pharmaceutical production industry.
  • Laws and regulations regarding medical practices.
  • Biotechnology and nanotechnology.
  • Drug and material types, uses and properties.
  • Formulation of various pharmaceuticals.
  • Pharmaceutics on the molecular level.
  • Fluid and solid processing, separation and blending.
  • Pharmaceutical machinery operation and development.
Careers for Studies in Pharmaceutical Technology
Students that successfully complete a study in pharmaceutical technologies will most often work in a related medical field. Drug research labs, both private and government-owned, are often ideal places of work for these graduates. Some graduates may also pursue careers as quality assurance workers or supervisors in pharmaceutical development. They can also find employment in material industries such as petroleum-producing companies. They may design technological equipment, maintain laboratory equipment, implement safety measures, market new technology or act as research consultants. Few graduates may become teachers, or go on to pursue a doctorate in pharmacy.