Pharmacologists are considered medical scientists, which means you’ll need a lot of schooling before you can start your career.
How to Become a Pharmacologist
To become a pharmacologist, you’ll:
- Get your high school diploma or GED
- Get your bachelor’s degree in biology, chemistry, or another related field
- Take toxicology, microbiology, chemistry, and other science courses
- Get hands-on training via clinicals and labs
- Gain acceptance to medical school
- Pass the licensing and medical exam requirements
- Continue your education with postdoctoral studies—lab work, gene splicing and other advanced level processes
- Obtain the proper licensing, registration, and certifications
- Start your career in medical residency or in postdoctoral research
Having articles published in related journals may help you find a permanent college or university teaching position, if that’s the direction you’re interested in heading.
What Does a Pharmacologist Do?
As a pharmacologist, you’ll be using clinical trials and other investigative means to come to conclusions on ways to improve human health.
A pharmacologist’s job description may include:
- Investigating diseases and preventative methods through studies
- Collecting, preparing, and analyzing samples you take to compile information on toxicity, pathogens, or chronic diseases
- Developing new drugs and testing them on humans or animals
- Creating clinical trials to experimentally test the drugs
- Spearheading the design and development of new medical devices
- Developing programs within communities that helps to improve the health of the population
- Developing and testing new drugs until the FDA approves
- Studying links between habits and diseases/conditions (diet to diabetes, etc.)
- Applying for funding through grants