Job Market

Pharmaceutical Industry Job Market Research

The Canadian pharmaceutical industry continues to grow and change with the rise of generic manufacturers, foreign competition and the opening of new markets. The rights to long-existing drugs are being uplifted. There are many opportunities to grow within the ranks and create an exciting career within this industry.


An Overview Of The Canadian Pharmaceutical Industry

As per the reference from the government of Canada (Innovation, Science and Economic Development in Canada), the pharmaceutical industry, at both the global and Canadian levels, has experienced an unprecedented amount of challenges and changes over the past several years. Developed markets of Europe and North America are expanding at rates below 3% while emerging markets are posting double-digit growth. This contrast in growth has forced many global multinational enterprises (MNEs) to focus their investment and efforts in the higher growth emerging countries, which in turn is making it more competitive for MNEs to increase or even maintain their investment in Canada.

Canadian Pharmaceutical Sales

Similar to this contrast in geographical performance are the large differences in the drivers of growth in therapeutic areas. Biologics continue to become increasingly dominant in market share and as an exceptional driver of market growth. The contrast to this innovation in biologics is patent expiry precipitating record levels of revenue losses for brand products and triggering the expansion of the generic sector, globally and in Canada.

Current situation of the Canadian Pharmaceutical Industry

Review of recent overall global and Canadian market performance

As the trend of the large primary care major drug draws close to the patent cliff, pharmaceutical companies are re-structuring and adopting strategies to reduce risk, and overcome external issues and their poor pipeline productivity. These strategies include adopting new business approaches built upon external networks and third-party affiliations focused on medical research and development. This trend towards a business model that relies on outsourcing of many business functions, including manufacturing, is providing contract service providers (CSPs) in Canada with growth opportunities.

While recent pharmaceutical industry trends in Canada have been challenged with poor market growth and pressures from global competition, there still remains a very viable industry which if aided by stronger industrial sector support can flourish and successfully compete in this new and to a great extent more globally competitive business environment. Canada also has an opportunity to be a global leader in certain new growth areas.

The pharmaceutical industry is concentrated in Quebec and Ontario, with 90% of the labor force. In the past ten years, however, Nova Scotia, British Columbia, and Saskatchewan have made significant headway. The market includes such leaders as Sanofi Pasteur, Apotex, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Merck Frosst, Novartis, Pharmaco, Pfizer, along with numerous SMEs in special niche markets.

Growth forecasts are optimistic, and rightly so, thanks to an ever-increasing demand—the result of the aging population, biotechnology (in 40% of drugs by 2010) and generics. However, strong competition from emerging countries and an increase in the number of expiring patents have forced the Canadian pharmaceutical industry to focus on profitability by cost and risk sharing; a collaboration between private companies, government and university research labs and hospitals; and finally, subcontracting for certain functions (manufacturing, packaging, labelling, regulatory affairs).

Job Opportunities in the Pharmaceutical Industry 

In 15 years, the global pharmaceutical industry has more than tripled its sales, which stood at $643 billion in 2006; Canada ranked 8th, with a 2.6% market share. The numbers in this sector are dizzying: it costs tens of millions of dollars and more than 10 years to bring a new product to market. It is therefore easy to imagine how long the drug chain must be, and consequently, how diversified the jobs are.

Required Education For Which Jobs


Graduates with a college diploma in laboratory technology work primarily as technicians in hospitals, where there is a shortage of labor, or in the biotechnology field in promising openings. If you have a bachelor’s  degree, you can work in a lab for a pharmaceutical company, in chemistry or biology or biotechnology or in the medical or environmental sectors as a research officer, analytical biochemist, quality control officer, or as a teacher or trainer. A bachelor’s or master’s degree in pharmacy is for clinical pharmacists who want to get into biopharmacy. These graduates will generally work in university research centers or the private sector as research assistants for around $50,000. Those who go on to do a PhD degree to become pharmacologists can earn between $100,000 and $150,000.

Salary range:  Pharmaceutical &  Related Jobs



 According to and Canadian Pharmaceutical Companies.

Job outlook rating in Canada

Job outlook ratings can tell you how future demand for this job is expected to compare with other jobs across Ontario.



National Occupational Classification (NOC) Codes


2221 – Biological Technicians/Technologists

2263 – Inspectors in public and environmental health and occupational health and safety

2243 – Industrial instrument technicians

9417 – Machining Tool Operators

2283 – Information systems testing technicians

0911 – Manufacturing managers

2233- Industrial engineering and manufacturing technologists and technicians

The above NOC codes denote either “Average” or “Above Average” in the Canadian Job Market.

Job Market for National Occupational Classification Codes

2221 – Biological Technicians/Technologists

2263 – Inspectors in Public and Environmental Health and Occupational Health and Safety

2243 – Industrial Instrument Technicians

9417 – Machining Tool Operators

2283 – Information Systems Testing Technicians

0911 – Manufacturing Managers

2233- Industrial Engineering and Manufacturing Technologists and Technicians

According to Ontario’s Labour Market between 2017 and 2021 the job market will be Average. “Average” labour market conditions indicate that jobs are easier to find; unemployment is less likely; and wages and salaries have recently increased at a faster pace than in those occupations rated “Below Average”.

“Above Average” labour market conditions usually mean that, relative to the employment situation overall, there is a better likelihood of finding stable work in this occupation, and employment prospects are attractive or improving.

Cannabis (Marijuana) Job Market In Canada

Recently pharmaceutical industry is also moving towards medical cannabis (marijuana) sector. Due to the new cannabis legalization, there will be a tremendous increase in job demands in the specific cannabis industries which will bring the job market to “above average”. Canada will be the leader in the specific cannabis market which will create many high demand job opportunities to Canadians.

NACPT Students Are Employed In Companies Like

Pharmaceutical Companies

Sample Job Opportunities

Pharmaceutical and related fields:

  • Technologists
  • QA Associates
  • Clinical Research Associates
  • Drug And Safetly Officers
  • Chemists
  • Micro Biologists
  • Scientists
  • Process/Validation Engineers
  • Formulators
  • Validation Specialists
  • Analysts
  • Sales Associates
  • Manufacturing Technicians
  • Auditors/Inspectors
  • Quality Person In Charge (QPIC)
  • Auditors
  • Regulatory Affairs Associates

Medical Cannabis Sectors:

  • Senior Person In Charge (SPIC)
  • Responsibility Persons In Charge (RPIC)
  • Quality Assurance Person (QAP)
  • Product Developers
  • Clinical Research Associates
  • Technical Writers
  • Cannabis Master Production Growers
  • Technicians
  • Cannabis Extractors
  • Sales And Marketing Associates
  • Cannabis Consultants/Educators

List of Companies 

1. A/F Potein Canada Inc., St. John’s, NL Web:
2. Abgenix Biopharma Inc., Burnaby, BC Web:
3. Acadian Seaplants Limited, Dartmouth, NS Web:
4. ACIC, Brantford, ON Web:
5. Active Pass Pharmaceuticals Inc., Vancouver, BC Web:
(See More…)

1. 4 EVER FIT, Kelowna, BC Web:
2. A & A Pharmachem Inc., Ottawa, ON Web:
3. A & E Fine Foods, Queensville, ON Web:
4. A.D.S. Enterprises, Mirabel, St. Janvier, QC Web:
5. Abundance Marketing, Stoney Creek, ON Web:
6. Acadian Seaplants Limited, Dartmouth, NS Web:

(See More…)


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