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Pharmacovigilance Officer: How do I become one?

Kathryn Taylor our consultant managing the role
Published on 20 February 2023

Are you wondering how to become a pharmacovigilance officer?

Pharmacovigilance jobs – or drug safety jobs – are becoming an increasingly popular option for life sciences graduates. A growing market readily embracing new technologies – its innovation unravels daily, offering excellent career progression and earning potential. 

Whilst Pharmacovigilance Officers are considered an entry-level position, they are a steadfast starting point for career growth and offer a generous starting salary. According to Talent, this can be anywhere from £34,000 in the UK. 

So, let’s get into how you can become a Pharmacovigilance Officer:

What is a Pharmacovigilance Officer?

Safety and efficacy are at the heart of what a Pharmacovigilance Officer does. They examine and report on the effectiveness of pharmaceutical drugs and any adverse side effects that may result. 

They monitor both drugs new to the market and those currently in circulation. It is a data-heavy role – so excellent documentation and analytical skills are necessary.

What do I need to become a Pharmacovigilance Officer?

A degree

A degree in education is a requirement number one for any pharmacovigilance job. Generally, any scientific, medical or pharmaceutical discipline is accepted. It is also possible for healthcare professionals such as nurses, pharmacists or doctors to move over into pharmacovigilance.

If you want to advance quickly in the field, consider looking into a postgraduate degree in Pharmacovigilance or related studies. 

The Pharmaceutical Institution and Pharmacovigilance Association (PIPA) have some excellent options for more vocational training courses.


Considered an entry-level position (grade one), most companies are happy to hire graduates for their pharmacovigilance officer position. 

So, as long as you have a relevant degree or qualification, prior experience isn’t always necessary. 

Over time, you will climb the grades and move into higher-level pharmacovigilance jobs – such as Senior Pharmacovigilance officer, Risk Management Specialist or Vigilance Manager.


A specific set of skills makes a great Pharmacovigilance Officer, much of which will be gathered and refined during your university studies. However, arguably more important is your ability to demonstrate mastery with a decent CV. 

This will mean building an easy-to-read CV that screams your suitability as a candidate.

Skills that the hiring manager will be looking for include:

  • Documentation writing
  • Attention to detail
  • Analytical problem-solving
  • Effective communication
  • Technical


The final part of landing your dream job as a Pharmacovigilance officer: apply! And we are here to help.

Quanta are skilled at placing talented professionals in pharmacovigilance roles around the world. Whether you're looking for contract or permanent work, we are a recruitment partner that puts our candidates first, finding them jobs that suit their requirements. 

So, put your best foot forward in your job search and:

Frequently Asked Questions

What does a pharmacovigilance officer do?

A pharmacovigilance officer is a guardian of drug safety. They monitor and assess the effects of medical drugs, ensuring their safety throughout their lifecycle. 

This includes collecting and analysing data on adverse drug reactions, implementing risk management strategies, and ensuring compliance with regulatory standards.

What is the role of pharmacovigilance?

Pharmacovigilance is all about safeguarding public health. It involves monitoring and evaluating the safety of pharmaceutical products, from development through post-marketing. 

This crucial field identifies and assesses adverse effects, manages risk, and ensures the ongoing safety of drugs on the market.

Does pharmacovigilance pay well?

Absolutely! Pharmacovigilance roles often come with competitive salaries. As the importance of drug safety grows globally, skilled professionals in pharmacovigilance are in high demand.