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Exclusive Job Market Report – an in-depth Analysis – Part 2

Welcome back!


Last week we shared the key information that job seekers need to know when they start considering their next career move as part one of a two part series Job Market Report.

We learned how many jobs will be available in the UK Pharma market, both right now and over the next six months. We also learnt who’s hiring and what types of roles are available.

For the second part of our report we’re going to share the different locations the jobs are in and what the split is between permanent and contract opportunities in the market place.

Once you’ve finished reading this then you can find out what the average salaries are for the different types of roles available by simply entering your contact details at the bottom of this page so we can send you this information in a confidential email.

Graham Hawthorn
Managing Director


Where are the jobs?

As the UK’s greatest population density is in London and the South East of England, it’s unsurprising that this is where the biggest proportion of pharma jobs on offer are situated, with 32% of vacancies being based here. This figure will also be impacted by the fact that most of UK Pharma’s head offices are based within this catchment area too.

Next up is the Midlands/ South West/ South Wales with 26% which again has major cities such as Birmingham, Bristol and Cardiff boosting the need for Pharma people to work in these areas, as well as a number of regional / remote areas such as in Devon and Cornwall regularly needing good Pharma people to work there. We then find the North West and Yorkshire with 13% of Pharma jobs. Just behind in fourth place with 11% of all Pharma jobs in the UK is Scotland, Northern Ireland and the North East of England..

Head Office roles accounted for 10% of all vacancies (e.g. Marketing, Market Access, Training, BUDs) and interestingly 8% of all roles in the past 6 months were National or Semi National in scope. This is a new and growing trend and one that we will keep our eyes on.

Job distribution across regions

Split of Contract and Permanent Jobs

Before we look at the split of contract and permanent Pharma jobs in the market, it’s worth noting the growing importance and popularity of contract sales and other Pharma job opportunities in the UK.

As UK Pharma has evolved over the last few years through a growing emphasis on things like pricing and market access, Pharma has steadily increased its reliance on flexible staffing solutions. For job seekers, contract sales and other opportunities in Pharma can offer a wide range of benefits over permanent jobs, such as;

  • Getting a foot in the door / making a name for yourself in companies who rarely hire staff from outside
  • Trying out new disciplines or fields of medicine to see if it’s right for you

This will assist you in building a wide base of knowledge in order to future proof your career by working in several fields of medicine over a shorter period of time than those who work in permanent roles.

When we look at the seven core areas that CHASE use to categorise Pharma job opportunities we can see the following splits between permanent and contract Pharma jobs;

The highest level of contract jobs is within Primary Care / GP / Hospital reps, where, looking at the last 6 months, we calculate that of the available roles 78% were permanent and 22% were contract opportunities.

The industry is also increasingly using the contract option for Specialist KAM jobs – there is currently a 90% permanent and 10% contract split here, however all the signs are that we will see more contract KAM roles over the next 12 months.

Marketing remains a stronghold for Contractors (both fixed term and interim) and of the available Pharma Marketing jobs in the past 6 months 91% were permanent and 9% were contract/ interim.

Contract / permanent job split across sectors

So, if you’ve read both of our recent blogs reporting on the UK Pharma Jobs market in the last two weeks, you’ll now know;

  • How many jobs will be available, both right now and over the next six months
  • Who’s hiring
  • What types of roles are going to be available
  • Where the jobs will be located, and
  • What the split is between permanent and contract opportunities

The only thing you need now to give you a robust baseline understanding of the UK Pharma jobs landscape and what your prospects might look like in 2017 is to find out what the average salaries are for the different types of roles that will be available.

You can get this information by simply entering your contact details at the bottom of this page and as mentioned in our previous blog we will send you this information in a confidential email.

Alternatively if you’re already clear on what you want and would like to speed up the job seeking process, simply get in touch by emailing over your CV to or calling 0131 553 6644 and speaking to a member of the recruitment team who will be happy to help.

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