Regulatory affairs (RA) professionals are responsible for ensuring compliance with applicable global laws and regulations in development and commercialisation of new drugs and healthcare products. It is a young, multidimensional profession that is international in scope, given that it deals with local and international stakeholders in healthcare to ensure compliance and safety of pharmaceutical products.
This is an exciting career choice in healthcare for those who prefer non-clinical settings and want to combine their technical as well as business and management skills.
Here are top five reasons why this young profession of RA has become an attractive career choice recently:
1. Potential for growth and upward mobility
The growing influence and increased demand for RA professionals has resulted in promising career growth in RA. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, regulatory affairs field will continue to grow at an average rate of eight percent until 2026. The Regulatory Affairs Professional Society (RAPS) reports a growing need of people trained in regulatory affairs at all levels and for many types of employers. According to the 2016 Scope of Practice and Compensation survey by RAPS, the average base compensation for all US-based regulatory professionals at all levels was $122,711, and average total compensation was $150,422. Salaries for associate and coordinator levels increased at an annual rate of 6%, reflecting the growing demand of RA professionals at these levels.
2. Industry shortage of qualified talent
As demand for RA candidates increases, supply dwindles—leading to a tightened market.
The industry trade group Pharmaceutical Research and Manufactures of America (PhRMA) estimates 60% of US’s pharmaceutical industry jobs could be vacant by 2025 due to the skills and shortage gap. The lack of effective options for education and training is one of the many reasons of such a shortage. In 2016, there were only 568,000 STEM graduates in the US compared to 4.7 million in China—presenting the real danger that the country's pharmaceutical industry could fall behind its competitors.
3. Wide range of Career options and flexibility
Not only does the entry into this field offer wide options, the career path also offers wide range of flexibility and options. You could work for employers that include government agencies like the Food and Drug Administration, hospitals, medical research firms, universities, pharmaceuticals, biomedical or diagnostics companies. All of these organisations that are related to drug development require professionals with sound legal and regulatory knowledge and interpersonal skills to ensure the compliance and safety of pharmaceutical products.
In addition, within RA, you could choose to focus on an area depending on your interest, skills and aptitude. You could focus on quality assurance, regulatory compliance or clinical affairs. Since RA is typically the source of information on international regulatory issues, you could also be involved in monitoring and analysing global regulatory and compliance environment.
4. Wide range of transferrable skills
The RA profession blends knowledge from life science, regulation, law, and business as well as other subspecialties. The diversity of the scope of the profession, its pivotal role in the dynamic biomedical and healthcare sector, and the opportunity for professional growth makes regulatory affairs an attractive profession for new as well as established individuals. Typically, senior RA professionals have a combination of educational degrees in management, engineering, technical sciences, law, business and/or life sciences fields. Skills like strong communications, people management, and attention to detail are not only easily transferrable and applicable in RA, but also add a lot of value to your career growth as RA.
5. Ability to make an impact
RA professionals play an integral role in bringing essential healthcare products and drugs that save lives. RA professionals serve as a critical source to check the efficacy and safety in the drug development process. This ability to make a difference and a wider impact to the healthcare communities makes this profession challenging, rewarding and gratifying.
There is no better time to consider Regulatory Affairs than now. Our new Graduate Certificate in Regulatory Affairs program will equip you with the knowledge and skills required to succeed in this career. Contact us today.