Uses biology and chemistry
Being a pharmacologist entails understanding how drugs interact with biological systems, vitro research, vivo research, and designing drugs to cure diseases. Pharmacologists, with their knowledge of medicine, can work to standardize medication dosages, discover side effects, and uses for new chemicals as drugs.
Career Paths and Specialization
- cardiovascular pharmacology
- in vivo pharmacology
- veterinary pharmacology
Earnings and Job Outlook
According to the BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics), the mean salary for a pharmacologists was about $90,106. The top paying employers for this career were companies and the federal government which paid an average $118,000.
The BLS projects that jobs in the field of pharmacology are inspected to increase by 13% as the need of pharmaceuticals will increase with the growing aging population.
School and Training
To begin on the path of pharmacology a person would begin with getting a bachelor's degree in a biological science. His coursework would include life sciences, physics, chemistry, math and humanities. After earning his bachelor's degree, he has have multiple paths to choose from.
Two options would be to earn a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) or a combined Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) and Ph.D. degree. A Ph.D. program in biological sciences takes about six years to complete. With the first option, he'll choose a field to specialize in, like pathology, bioinformatics or genetics. In an M.D.-Ph.D. program, he'd go to medical school for 7-8 years, learning both medical research and clinical skills through in-class, laboratory and clinical instruction.
A third option would be earning a medical degree instead of a Ph.D. and choosing to do research instead of going into practice as a physician.