In Summary - Medicinal Chemist
Medicinal Chemists typically work in the following Career Sectors:
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The Work - Medicinal Chemist
A Medicinal Chemist is part of the lab-based early stage drug discovery process.
Their day-to-day working is in the laboratory, and is based in synthetic organic chemistry.
The laboratory carries out different chemical reaction tests and then tries to purify these by doing such things as filtration, or using different solvents and reagents.
The work of a Medicinal Chemist involves Data Handling and Research and requires Practical Lab Skills, and the use of IT and Technology. Communication skills, Team Working, Organisation skills, Problem Solving, and Time Management skills are also important.
Medicinal Chemists are employed by large pharmaceutical companies such as Glaxo Smith Kline.
Most commonly reported Work Tasks
- Analyze organic or inorganic compounds to determine chemical or physical properties, composition, structure, relationships, or reactions, using chromatography, spectroscopy, or spectrophotometry techniques.
- Conduct quality control tests.
- Maintain laboratory instruments to ensure proper working order and troubleshoot malfunctions when needed.
- Prepare test solutions, compounds, or reagents for laboratory personnel to conduct tests.
- Induce changes in composition of substances by introducing heat, light, energy, or chemical catalysts for quantitative or qualitative analysis.
- Evaluate laboratory safety procedures to ensure compliance with standards or to make improvements as needed.
- Compile and analyze test information to determine process or equipment operating efficiency or to diagnose malfunctions.
- Write technical papers or reports or prepare standards and specifications for processes, facilities, products, or tests.
- Confer with scientists or engineers to conduct analyses of research projects, interpret test results, or develop nonstandard tests.
- Develop, improve, or customize products, equipment, formulas, processes, or analytical methods.
Most commonly reported Work Activities
- Documenting/Recording Information Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
- Interacting With Computers Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Analyzing Data or Information Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
- Processing Information Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
- Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
- Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
- Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Making Decisions and Solving Problems Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Interests - Medicinal Chemist
This occupation is typically suited for people with the following Career Interests:
The Investigative person will usually find a particular area of science to be of interest. They are inclined toward intellectual and analytical activities and enjoy observation and theory. They may prefer thought to action, and enjoy the challenge of solving problems with sophiscticated technology. These types prefer mentally stimulating environments and often pay close attention to developments in their chosen field.
Realists are usually interested in 'things' - such as buildings, mechanics, equipment, tools, electronics etc. Their primary focus is dealing with these - as in building, fixing, operating or designing them. Involvement in these areas leads to high manual skills, or a fine aptitude for practical design - as found in the various forms of engineering.
Realists like to find practical solutions to problems using tools, technology and skilled work. Realists usually prefer to be active in their work environment, often do most of their work alone, and enjoy taking decisive action with a minimum amount of discussion and paperwork.
Creative people are drawn to careers and activities that enable them to take responsibility for the design, layout or sensory impact of something (visual, auditory etc). They may be atrracted to the traditional artistic pursuits such as painting, sculpture, singing, or music. Or they may show more interest in design activities, such as architecture, animation, or craft areas, such as pottery and ceramics.
Creative people use their personal understanding of people and the world they live in to guide their work. Creative people like to work in unstructured workplaces, enjoy taking risks and prefer a minimum of routine.
Entry Requirements - Medicinal Chemist
A Bachelor of Science Degree (B.Sc.) in Chemistry will give entrants a grounding in the different types of chemistry with the option to specialise as the programme progresses.
Work experience with a pharmaceutical company is valued.
Last Updated: November, 2014
Pay & Salary - Medicinal Chemist
Labour Market Updates - Medicinal Chemist
While the supply of graduates appears to be sufficient to meet the annual recruitment requirement (5,500 graduates in 2017), the demand is arising for roles for those with a high level of experience and/or in niche areas. The demand is for a small number of people given the relatively small size of this occupation (approx. 1% of total employment) and in the areas associated with pharmaceuticals, biopharma and food development.
National Skills Bulletin 2018