Pharmacovigilance Scientist Career Profile

Do you want to work as a Pharmacovigilance Scientist?

READ: This page helps you to read about the career and the info you need to decide on whether this is indeed the career you want to follow.

RESEARCH: ​Learn about the skills required and minimum subjects to enter this career, as well as the places where you can study further after school.

PREPARE: If you want to plan and prepare for your career, then join the OZT Community! Members have access to tools while chatting with other students and experts from around the world. Prepare to be amazed!


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4 May 2024

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What is a Pharmacovigilance Scientist?

A Pharmacovigilance Scientist specialising in animals is a professional who oversees the safety of veterinary pharmaceutical products. Pharmacovigilance involves monitoring and assessing the safety of drugs and other medical products post-approval to ensure they continue to be safe for use.

Working with Big Cats

Alternative Names

Alternative names for a Pharmacovigilance Scientist specialising in animals may include:

  • Veterinary Pharmacovigilance Specialist
  • Veterinary Drug Safety Scientist
  • Animal Health Pharmacovigilance Expert
  • Veterinary Pharmacovigilance Officer
  • Animal Drug Safety Analyst
  • Veterinary Pharmacovigilance Consultant
  • Animal Health Safety Specialist
  • Veterinary Drug Surveillance Scientist
  • Veterinary Pharmacovigilance Investigator
  • Animal Health Pharmacovigilance Coordinator

The video discusses pharmacovigilance in general with human drug trials, but it can also be applied to veterinary pharmacovigilance.

Career Categories

The Pharmacovigilance Scientist career can be found within the following OZT career categories:

  • Health
  • Scientific

What does a Pharmacovigilance Scientist do?

Groups of animals a Pharmacovigilance Scientist works with

Cats List Icon
Dogs List Icon OZT
Critters List Icon OZT
Farm Animals Icon OZT
Farm Animals
Mammals List Icon OZT
Birds List Icon OZT
Fish List Icon OZT
Reptiles List Icon OZT
Amphibians List Icon OZT

What is the level of Interaction with the Animals?

With who does a Pharmacovigilance Scientist work with?

Besides working with all of the animals, Pharmacovigilance Scientists will need to interact with other people while doing their daily tasks. The people might include fellow staff members or the public.

Fellow staff might include:

  • Supervisors/Managers
  • Operational staff, such as Human Resources, Finance and Maintenance
  • Veterinary staff
  • Lab Technicians

What does a Pharmacovigilance Scientist focus on?

In the context of animals, this scientist would focus on monitoring the safety of veterinary drugs, vaccines, and other animal health products. They would collect and analyze data on adverse drug reactions, assess the risks and benefits of veterinary products, and make recommendations to regulatory agencies and pharmaceutical companies regarding the safety of these products. Their work helps ensure the well-being and safety of animals receiving medical treatment.

What are the daily tasks of a Pharmacovigilance Scientist?

  • Oversee the testing of a drug on research animals
  • Monitor the animal and observe any reactions to the drug
  • Record the reactions in a report
  • Present reports and findings
  • Add data to computerized system or database
  • Administrative duties

In which Environment does a Pharmacovigilance Scientist work in?

What are the environment and places of employment like?

Environment –

They work mainly indoors in laboratories doing various tests.

Places of Employment –

Most Pharmacovigilance Scientists may be employed or contracted by pharmaceutical companies, government agencies, educational institutions.

What is the Average Yearly Salary for a Pharmacovigilance Scientist?

The average salary per year will differ from country to country and also depend on the employer.

Specific Countries:

  • South Africa:  R500,000
  • Australia:  AU$95,000
  • UK:  £50,000
  • USA:  $80,000
  • India: ₹ 4.5 Lakhs

Can a Pharmacovigilance Scientist be promoted?

Promotion to senior levels are available in most careers. The levels of each promotion might differ from organization to organization, but generally are the following for Pharmacovigilance Scientists who work for an organization:

Junior Scientist > Senior Scientist > Head of Research > Department Manager or Director

What difficulties does a Zoo Veterinarian face?

Research Scientists in all fields need to work under extremely strict conditions and under pressure. They might also need to work long hours to complete tests within time limits.

​Future growth and Possibilities

Employment of Pharmacovigilance Scientists is projected to grow by 9% annually, one of the highest for an occupation, mainly due to the growth in veterinary sciences.

Availability of Jobs


Which Skills do Pharmacovigilance Scientists need?

The skills required for a career as a Pharmacovigilance Scientist can be divided into two very important groups. The first is the group containing life skills, which are the core skills that are necessary or desirable for full participation in everyday life. The second group is career skills, or the specific skills required to allow a person to enter and operate effectively within a specific career. Some or maybe even all of the life skills can assist in strengthening the career skills, and they might even be the same for specific careers.

Life Skills

  • Self-awareness
  • Empathy
  • Critical thinking
  • Creative thinking
  • Decision making
  • Problem Solving
  • Effective communication
  • Interpersonal relationship
Life Skills

Career Skills

  • Animal handling
  • Customer service
  • handle instruments
  • good ovverall health
  • computer literate
Career Skills

Which Subjects must I have at School to help me prepare for this career?

The subjects you choose at school are important as they lay the foundation for further studies at college or university. While still at school, it’s also important to learn more about the animals you will work with, as well as gain some experience.

OZT has a list of various tertiary institutions where you can study further, after school. Each of these institutions also have their own Group page on OZT where you will find the exact subjects they require of you to have passed in school. Keep these requirements in mind, and discuss it with your school, guidance counselor and parents to ensure that you are prepared!

What will I need to Study to become a Pharmacovigilance Scientist?

Minimum Requirements

To become a Pharmacovigilance Scientist you will need to study towards a Doctorate Degree.

Study Focus

Major –

Subjects in line with medicine, veterinary studies, or pharmacology.

Study Duration

The duration of a Bachelor’s Degrees can be up to 4 years, and another 4 years for a Doctorate. Short Courses are usually between a few weeks and a year.

FREE Career Path Plan

If this is your dream career that you want to pursue, then it’s important to plan the way forward.

Why is planning important?

​To ensure that you understand the requirements for your career, and that you are always prepared for the next step on the road towards your dream. A preparation path is like a road map to where you want to be.

Possible Paths:

Here’s a possible career preparation path for a high school student interested in becoming a pharmacovigilance scientist specialising in animals:

1. Attend Career Guidance Sessions:

Attend career guidance sessions at school or through external organisations to learn about various career options in the fields of veterinary medicine and pharmaceutical sciences.

2. Research all of the possible careers:

Conduct thorough research into different careers within veterinary medicine and pharmaceutical sciences, including pharmacovigilance scientists specialising in animals.

3. Explore Educational Paths:

Explore different educational paths such as veterinary medicine, pharmacology, toxicology, or biomedical sciences.

4. Align high school subjects with the educational path:

Take relevant high school courses in biology, chemistry, mathematics, and other sciences to prepare for higher education in veterinary medicine or pharmaceutical sciences.

5. Obtain a High School Diploma or Equivalent:

Successfully complete high school and obtain a diploma or equivalent qualification.

6. Learn about animals that will work with:

Gain knowledge about different animal species and their physiology, behaviour, and health needs through self-study, coursework, or extracurricular activities.

7. Align post-school path:

Decide whether to enter the workforce directly after high school, pursue further studies at a college or university, or start a business related to animal health or pharmaceuticals.

8. Gain experience:

Gain practical experience through volunteering at animal shelters, veterinary clinics, or research laboratories, participating in internships, or seeking mentorship from professionals in the field.

9. Pursue Extracurricular Activities:

Participate in extracurricular activities related to science, animal care, or healthcare, such as science clubs, animal welfare organisations, or research projects.

10. Join Professional Associations:

Join professional associations related to veterinary medicine, pharmacology, or pharmaceutical sciences to network with professionals and stay updated on industry developments.

11. Gain specialised Skills:

Develop specialised skills in pharmacovigilance, drug safety assessment, data analysis, and regulatory compliance through coursework, workshops, or certifications.

12. Network with Professionals:

Network with professionals in the field through informational interviews, industry events, or online networking platforms to gain insights and build connections.

13. Enter the job market, finish tertiary studies, or launch a business:

Depending on the chosen path, enter the job market directly, pursue tertiary studies at a college or university, or launch a business related to animal health or pharmaceutical sciences.

14. Stay Updated and Pursue Continuing Education:

Stay updated on advancements in veterinary medicine, pharmacology, and pharmacovigilance by attending conferences, workshops, and continuing education programmes throughout your career.

Possible Combined Career Paths

It is possible to sometimes combine two or more related careers. This normally happens when you study and practice a specific main career, but the knowledge and experience gained also help you to have a paying hobby or secondary income career.

Possible Alternatives (there are a lot more):

Training and Apprenticeship

Even though it is important to study to get into some of the animal careers, most of the skills you will need as a scientist will be acquired through practice. This means that you will learn how to perform some of the daily tasks by actually doing it a few times and learning the steps.

Join the Pharmacovigilance Scientists Group in the OZT Community to learn more and even interact with the educational institutions that will help you secure your dream career!

Average level of education of all the people who enter the career:

High School Certificate 0%
Diploma or Short Courses 0%
Degree or Higher Studies 0%

Licenses, Certificate, Registration and Professional Associations

Certain animal careers require some form of legal certification to prove that you can indeed do the work, and work with the necessary equipment.

Learn more about requirements by joining the OZT Community.

Where can I study further?

All of the above information will help you understand more about the Career, including the fact that there are different paths to take to reach it. But if you are almost done with High School (Grades 11 or 12), you also need to start thinking about further studies, and WHERE you will study.

See the List of Universities, Colleges and Online Training Academies who offer courses towards medicine.

How do I start to prepare for this Career?

If you do decide on following this career, then OZT can assist you in figuring out a path to prepare, as well as help you to gain further knowledge about the career and the animals you will be working with. We do this by offering you FREE career development tools. There are almost a dozen free tools, but these are the three primary ones:


Use the career path plan above on this profile as an example to follow, or to work out your own path.

COST; Free

ACCESS: Open to visitors and Members 


Access easy-to-use short courses to make your career preparation easier! The basic information in each course is free, but the rewards can only be unlocked as an OZT member!

COST; Free

ACCESS: Open to visitors and Members 


Get a supercharged study guide that fits into the career path plan! Now that's really upping your preparation game! Join us for free to gain access!

COST; Free

ACCESS: Members Only

But, if you are still uncertain about choosing this specific career, and even where to start, then have a look at our special series of WHAT NEXT courses (link below). They take you through all of the questions you might have on how to choose the right career, what to do while at and after school, and even how to start your own business.

Join the OZT community and career chat Group

Join us as a special member and learn more about becoming a Pharmacovigilance Scientist.

Members of the Platform have special access to:

  • Info on the best places where you can study (colleges, universities and online)
  • Expertly designed advice to prepare you for the career, and links to places where you can gain valuable experience. For some career experience is necessary, otherwise you wont get the job!
  • Top notch info on each of the different species you will work with
  • Make friends around the world and share knowledge
  • Compete and win points, badges, games, prizes and certificates. Be the best of the best, while you learn and prepare!

If you have decided on being a Pharmacovigilance Scientist, please click on the JOIN GROUP button. Members will be directed to the Group, while non-members will be assisted to register first.

If this career is NOT the career for you, then you may return to the MAIN CAREER menu, and search for something different.

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