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Hays Journal - Issue 11

Career advice

Delve Deeper - Regulatory Affairs


A career in regulatory affairs revolves around ensuring that all medical products and pharmaceuticals - as well as their licensing and marketing - are legally compliant and fulfil the requirements of all applicable regulations. It is the purpose of regulatory affairs to ensure the safety and efficacy of these products.


Regulatory affairs has traditionally been a job market with a shortage of qualified applicants. Recent downsizing due to economic pressures has relieved this talent shortage to some degree, but there are still many jobs available for candidates with the right credentials.

Hays Life Sciences, a leader in pharmaceutical recruitment, is dedicated to filling vacancies for regulatory affairs jobs worldwide. We offer specialist services designed specifically to fill the talent gap, such as global searches, in which we provide not just recruitment, but guidance in regards to visa applications and immigration issues.

About a career in regulatory affairs

A career in regulatory affairs generally requires a life sciences degree, with a Masters or PhD giving candidates a distinct advantage. Most applicants come from a research background, which ensures that they have a firm scientific knowledge.

Those looking to take the first step into a regulatory affairs career should consider a position in a clinical research organisation (CRO) or generics company, as these are more likely to hire entry-level individuals. Graduate programmes are another option, especially for those looking to break into regulatory affairs working for a large multinational pharmaceuticals company.

Positions are widely available for both permanent and contract jobs within regulatory affairs. And whatever organisation an individual works for, they will gain exposure to a variety of business and scientific aspects of the sector. This will give them the experience and knowledge to advance to more senior positions.

The UK is an extremely prominent location to find a job within regulatory affairs, as many companies base their European operations here.

The UK is an extremely prominent location to find a job within regulatory affairs, as many companies base their European operations here. For those looking for regulatory affairs vacancies abroad, Switzerland may also be an excellent choice because it is a hotbed of activity and most business is carried out in English.

Looking further afield, the US and Australia are both excellent options and Asia is quickly becoming an important area as well. Wherever an applicant may choose to go, skills can be generally expected to transfer easily, so language is the only barrier that might be encountered.

Positions in regulatory affairs are generally well paid and remuneration can vary depending on the responsibilities of the role, the applicant's previous experience, the employer and the location. Generally, a yearly salary can be anywhere from £27,000 to £60,000.

Typical jobs in regulatory affairs

Those looking for a role in regulatory affairs should have a strong understanding of the sciences and they should possess good business acumen. As with any job in the pharmaceuticals industry, a position in regulatory affairs requires a high level of written and oral communication and strict attention to detail.

Regulatory affairs consultants may work in various sectors, including pharmaceuticals, biotechnology and medical devices. Their tasks may include managing product licenses and labelling requirements, as well as developing relationships with distribution partners.

Regulatory affairs executives coordinate, facilitate and manage regulatory affairs activities of a company's products, ensuring compliance with all regulatory requirements.

Directors and VPs of regulatory affairs are responsible for the development and regulatory filing of new products, while maintaining existing licenses.

Regulatory affairs recruitment specialists: Hays Life Sciences

Hays Life Sciences is a global leader in pharmaceutical recruitment, working in around 25 countries and filling thousands of vacancies every year.

We have considerable experience in the recruitment of regulatory affairs staff for organisations including CROs, generic pharma and big pharmaceuticals companies and our innovative staffing solutions include managed hiring and global sourcing programmes.

Our highly skilled team of recruitment specialists has undergone substantial training to ensure a complete understanding of the specialist fields in which they operate. We have an extensive global database that is constantly updated with jobs and qualified applicants, allowing us to fill vacancies quickly in regulatory affairs with the most applicable candidates.

View all Regulatory Affairs jobs

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