Different Pharmacovigilance Jobs and Salaries in the US and Canada

Pharmacovigilance jobs and salaries

Pharmacovigilance career varies from any other career. Not only does it need scientific knowledge, but it also requires analytical thinking and particular interpersonal skills. We agree that most people around us are worried about any changes in their careers. However, a small percentage of them are risk-takers; they are passionate about gaining new experiences and skills.

As soon as you’re eager to learn new skills, think differently, and gain enormous scientific knowledge, the pharmacovigilance career will fulfill your preferences.

Why Can We Consider Pharmacovigilance as a Broad Career?

Because pharmacovigilance system is massive, disparate opportunities are available at various companies, associations, and hospitals. According to your skills, experience, education, and degrees, you can occupy the appropriate position.

In this article, we’ll talk about different pharmacovigilance jobs/positions, besides revealing some pharmacovigilance jobs salaries in the US and Canada.

What are the Basic Qualifications of Pharmacovigilance Jobs?

Definitely, every position has its qualifications and requirements, which may also vary from one company to another. Nevertheless, our thorough research revealed that there are some general/basic qualifications for starting your career in pharmacovigilance: [1]

  1. Being graduated from the following faculties will increase the chance of starting your career in the pharmacovigilance: Pharmacy, Medicine, Veterinary Medicine, Nursing, and Allied Health Sciences.
    Also, the undergraduates may have an opportunity to occupy particular positions in pharmacovigilance.
  2. Dealing with the pharmacovigilance data in a proper manner is essential to collect, organize, process, and analyze the data efficiently.  
  3. Evaluating and assessing the adverse drug reactions, besides performing a causality assessment are crucial requirements to realize whether the drug is the real cause of the adverse drug event or not.
  4. Doing narrative research is essential to acquire sufficient background data for proper analysis and accurate decisions.
  5. Detecting signals (signal detection) and performing data mining are vital skills to reach the necessary information from the full data.
  6. Having appropriate knowledge about medication errors, medical dictionaries, database construction, and data management is crucial .

Although the above qualifications are necessary to start your career in pharmacovigilance, some positions may require further educational qualifications, like a Master’s Degree in Drug Saftey. [2] 

But, how to gain the above qualifications to start your career in pharmacovigilance?

Training in pharmacovigilance [1] and courses may help you gain the required knowledge and qualifications to start your career.

Read Also: Historical Overview of Pharmacovigilance

What are the Available Positions in Pharmacovigilance? And What About the Salaries in the US and Canada?

Various positions are available in pharmacovigilance; some of them require medical background while others don’t. As soon as you don’t have a medical background, you can work as an epidemiologist, statistician, computer expert, or IT expert.

On the other side, some positions require a medical background for proper reading and understanding of the hospitals’ and patients’ records, FDA reports, case reports, medical literature, etc. [3]

Drug Safety Associate, Narrative Report Writing, Drug Safety Scientist, Drug Safety Officer, Drug Safety Medical Writer, Drug Safety Manager are examples of pharmacovigilance positions/jobs.

Let’s clarify the required qualifications, roles, and the average salaries of these positions in the US and Canada. [2]

Drug Safety Associate

Drug Safety Associate is usually the starting level in a pharmacovigilance career. [2] To be a Drug Safety Associate, you should have a strong medical/biological science background, excellent research skills, and a thorough understanding of the FDA regulations. [4] The roles of the Drug Safety Associate include: 

  • Monitoring drug safety and prevent adverse drug reactions. [4]
  • Analyzing the clinical trials data. [4]
  • Entering the data of cases. [2]
  • Report writing. [4]

As a Drug Safety Associate, you can work with Clinical Research Organizations, Pharmaceutical Companies, Biotechnology Firms, and Governmental Agencies. [4]

Here are the average salaries of the Drug Safety Associate (Pharmacovigilance Associate Salary): [5]

Drug Safety AssociateAverage salary in the USAverage salary in Canada
The average salary per year$71,116 / yrCA$76K / yr

Narrative Report Writer or Drug Safety Medical Writer

Narrative writing is a part of Medical Writing services, you may need from 2 to 3 years of experience in pharmacovigilance to be a Narrative Report Writer. [2] 

Throughout clinical trials’ phases, adverse drug events occur in some patients. Writing a summary for the investigational drug’s adverse events is the Narrative Report Writer’s role—to determine the causal relationship between the adverse event and the investigational drug. 

Some clinical trials may require up to 1000 Narrative Report Writers during the clinical trial’s phases.

And for proper evaluation of the investigational drug safety, the narrative report is submitted to the regulatory authorities along with the clinical study report. [6]

After gaining sufficient experience in Narrative Report writing, your chance to be a Drug Safety Medical Writer will increase. [2]

The Pharmacovigilance Medical Writers’ roles are necessary in every step: either during the drug development or after the drug release in the market (post-marketing phase).

Analyzing the safety and efficacy of the drugs, besides submitting benefit-risk regulatory reports are critical roles for Pharmacovigilance Medical Writers. [7]

Here are the average salaries of the Medical Writers, including Narrative Report Writer and Drug Safety Medical Writer: [5]

Medical WriterAverage salary in the USAverage salary in Canada
The average salary per year$72,657 / yrCA$54K / yr

Drug Safety Office – Pharmacovigilance Officer

A Pharmacovigilance Officer should be in close contact with physicians and other healthcare providers, medical representatives, and patients—to realize and record drug effectiveness and any adverse drug events. In addition, they have several roles during the clinical trials.

Drug Safety Officers can work in Pharmaceutical Companies, Regulatory Authorities, Medical Device Companies, and Biotechnology Companies. [8]

The average salary of a Drug Safety Officer in the US is $26,520 / yr. [5]

Drug Safety Manager

Despite the disparities in the Drug Safety Manager roles among companies, some major criteria are essential for this position. Managing, developing, mentoring, and training of the clinical safety team are essential roles for the Drug Safety Manager.

Moreover, the Drug Safety Manager roles include following up the drugs’ reports, besides collecting, validating, and estimating the data. [9]

The average salary of the Drug Safety Manager (Pharmacovigilance Manager Salary) in the US is $69,800 / yr. [5]

Now, we’ve reached the end of our article; however, other pharmacovigilance positions are still present, like MedDRA coder/specialist/associate, Good PV Practices specialist/manager/director, and more. [3] Actually, it’s hard to cover all pharmacovigilance positions in one article or even several articles; there are plenty of positions and opportunities in pharmacovigilance. But once you decide to start your career in pharmacovigilance, carry out a thorough research to know the available opportunities, requirements, and qualifications. Then, try to deepen your knowledge with learning, trainings, and courses. In this way, you’re increasing your chances of getting accepted. Good luck!

As soon as you’re eager to learn more about pharmacovigilance and to gain new skills, join our pharmacovigilance course with Dr. Omar Aimer on RxCourse: https://www.innovigilance.com/

Written By: Sara Ahmed Zaki


  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3960789/ 4/10/2020
  2. https://ckclinical.co.uk/clinical-sector/pharmacovigilance-drug-safety/career-paths-in-pv-drug-safety/ 4/10/2020
  3. https://www.c3isolutions.com/blog/getting-started-pharmacovigilance-part-1/?cn-reloaded=1 4/10/2020
  4. https://www.ziprecruiter.com/e/What-Does-a-Drug-Safety-Associate-Do 4/10/2020
  5. https://www.glassdoor.com/Salaries/index.htm
  6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5384400/  4/10/2020
  7. https://www.jli.edu.in/blog/pharmacovigilance-medical-writing-a-new-career-trend/.
  8. https://targetjobs.co.uk/careers-advice/job-descriptions/454443-pharmacovigilance-officer-job-description 4/10/2020
  9. https://qtcrecruitment.com/drug-safety-manager 4/10/2020

Related Articles