Undoubtedly,  science has had a number of significant impacts on humanity compared to other branches of knowledge.

Specifically, the pharmaceutical industry occupies a central role in scientific discovery and advancements. The reason is that through the works of pharmacists, we have major life-saving inventions in the medical or health world today.

For instance, a large number of drugs and medicines used to cure debilitating illnesses are made through the knowledge of pharmacy and other related medical sciences.

To immortalize their name in history, many students have considered a career in pharmacy or chemistry as these two disciplines are interwoven.

Chemists are needed in almost every scientific sphere, and the role of pharmacists in the development of medicines and other health-related products cannot be overemphasized. To this end, we intend to look at the role and job description of these professionals and their contribution to scientific and medical advancement.

See where a chemistry graduate can work in Nigeria. 

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What is Pharmaceutical Chemistry?

Chromatography setup illustration
A lot of chemical processes are involved in the pharmaceutical manufacturing of drugs || Image Source: Unsplash

As the name suggests, it is a combination of two separate fields. In simple terms, pharmaceutical chemists are involved in drug production after a careful study of its substrates and properties.

The chemical part of the discipline deals with how typical chemical reactions can be applied to drugs. In contrast, the pharmacy part deals with combining hospital care and methods to improve human health.

Pharmacists in this field study molecules and do adequate research on novel compounds that can be used to produce new therapeutic regimens. You can think about it as combining biology with the knowledge of chemical reactions.

The role of a pharmacist in this field also extends to disciplines such as biochemistry and microbiology. The reason is that a thorough knowledge of the relationship between microbes and the chemical components that can be used to fight them is essential to a pharmacist who intends to join this specific discipline.

Other important and related disciplines include pharmacology and molecular biology. Pharmacology helps understand drugs and drug action, while molecular biology helps pharmacists know new things from our genetic makeup.

Apart from its closeness to other health-related fields, pharmaceutical chemistry deals with human and animal drug production. Animal care is as essential as human care when it comes to scientific advancement.

Many human medicines are obtained from animals and vice versa. The pharmacist must have specific information and adequate exposure in several fields to make something tangible.

Working in the field of research as a Nigerian chemistry graduate. 

Studying to Pursue a Career in Pharmaceutical Chemistry

Before talking about the requirements for becoming a pharmaceutical chemist, it is pertinent to note that a prospective professional needs the following skills:

Analytical thinking

Most of the works require intensive analysis of different substances and substrates to arrive at a discovery. As such, a prospective professional must develop this skill irrespective of their education or qualifications.

Emotional stability and patience

A professional chemist or pharmacist who intends to work in this field must be patient as many discoveries take a considerable amount of time. It would help if you also had some level of emotional stability, as this will help you have a fulfilling career.

Teamwork and management skills

Another vital skill for this job is to have a high sense of team spirit. You must understand that together, everybody achieves more. You also need to develop a good communication spirit with all team members regardless of education and qualifications.

chemicals in a test tube and conical flask
Pharmacy is the link between medical science and chemistry || Image Source: Unsplash

Apart from these skills, If you wish to work within this aspect of chemistry or pharmacy, the first step is to start intense preparations during your junior education.

In junior school, you will spend three years studying core subjects like integrated science and introductory technology. As soon as you cross over to senior school, you will spend another three years studying science-based subjects like physics, chemistry and biology.

After completing senior secondary school, you need to proceed to a university to study pharmacy, chemistry, or other related courses for 4-5 years. During your undergraduate programme, you will gather adequate knowledge and experience concerning the field and what it entails.

You must perform well during the undergraduate programme if you wish to be considered for pharmaceutical chemistry graduate jobs in Nigeria and on the international scene.

After your undergraduate programme, you can try your luck for an entry-level position or further your studies and enrol in postgraduate courses in a university.

Having a professional certificate in pharmacy or related courses in the discipline is an added advantage locally and on the international stage. You can also attend specific classes or practical-based sessions where you can learn the subject of research and enhance your portfolio within a year.

Joining these sets of pharmacists requires work, dedication, and practice. One of the best ways of standing apart from the teeming population of students is to gain more knowledge and experience. You can do that by getting a private tutor who can help you with the required information and practical-based sessions that will put you in an advantageous position.

An example of a platform that boasts of such tutors is Superprof. You can meet different experts with desirable qualifications and experience in chemistry and pharmacy. These tutors are available in every part of the country and can teach you some courses that you won't easily get from a university course curriculum.

Many graduates lack good research skills, which are among the most crucial requirements for a job in firms that deal with hospital products and medicines.

Besides, some students can't speak impeccable English even after their university education, which is one of the requirements for any entry job or position. You can also meet an English language tutor on Superprof if the language is not your forte.

National and international firms are looking for the best graduates, and as such, you must put in maximum effort to come out on top or with high scores when you graduate from the university. I

f you're skilled in the English language as a university student in Nigeria, your priority should be to acquire as much information as possible about your prospective discipline.

The Superprof platform involves some fees determined by the tutor's experience, teaching duration, and frequency. However, the benefits of getting mentorship on the platform outweigh the fees, which are not too high.

Other benefits include a convenient lesson schedule and flexible teaching methods. The first lesson with a Superprof tutor is free most of the time! 

Here are the roles of an analytical chemist in Nigeria. 

Available Job Opportunities for Pharmaceutical Chemists in Nigeria

Many students with a degree are oblivious of the number of pharmaceutical chemistry-related jobs available in Nigeria.  As a start, you must know that public and private pharmaceutical firms constantly need pharmacists or students with a degree in related courses to help them discover the next best therapeutic regimen.

You can apply to as many international drug companies and parastatals within the country. An example is NAFDAC. There are several new and entry-level positions at these national and international agencies where you can conduct research and learn the ropes of the game.

You can also explore international biotech firms after graduating from the university, where you can learn from several new projects. However, you might need a Masters degree as one of the requirements in such companies. You can also find other available jobs for pharmaceutical chemistry students in Nigeria in these places.

Other places where you can find available jobs for chemistry students in Nigeria are schools all over the country. You can choose to teach a course or subject at a secondary school or university.

Apart from teaching a course or subject, you can also choose to organize a year-long program for students. This will serve as practice for you and a door to other career options for chemist graduates. You can also choose to work in a hospital.

Lastly, private firms are a helpful place to check for career options for chemist graduates. You might see a vacancy once in a year or more for a chemist. However, you are required to have impeccable language skills and a few years of practice on your résumé.

read what it takes to work as a chemical engineer in Nigeria.

Job Description of a Pharmaceutical Chemist

Working in the lab
Pharmacists play a very vital role in the survival of mankind || Image Source: Unsplash

If you've chosen to work as a pharmaceutical chemist or pharmacist, certain tasks and responsibilities come with the position and other types of jobs available to chemistry graduates.

First and foremost, you must research raw materials and collect data to find out their chemical nature. It is also your task to record these data in a table for immediate and future use. Some task descriptions also require that you use old data and table contents to formulate a new hypothesis.

As a researcher, most types of jobs available to chemistry graduates require developing novel products and making a table of the relationship between old and latest inventions.

At the end of a quarter, you will provide a comprehensive report on the measures taken, progress, and recommendations for the task.

These tasks vary from client to client and company to company. However, most chemist careers in Nigeria will ensure that you oversee production, analysis, and recommendations.

To sum it up, the number of career opportunities for pharmaceutical chemistry graduates or pharmacists within the country and at the international level is quite high. Out of these chemist careers in Nigeria, joining these professionals stands out as one of the best, and the reasons are not far-fetched.

It is an avenue to create life-changing drugs that will forever help humanity to cure debilitating illnesses. Apart from this, out of the list of careers for chemistry graduates, pharmaceutical chemistry is the only one with the most direct impact on human life and development.

Find more as a chemistry graduates - what does the future hold for you on superprof.

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Emmanuel

Emmanuel Oyibo is a Content Writer and budding Python Developer. He's adept at many niches, but his expertise shines more in the medical sciences, tech, and blockchain niches. Emmanuel has a Bachelor's degree in Biochemistry, and he's currently a full-time freelance content writer. When he's not working, he's probably absorbed in some television adventure series or a good book.