SINGAPORE (Nov 21): Despite Singapore’s slowing economy and volatile economic environment, the city state’s maturing life science industry continues to report a strong demand for talent, says Randstad Singapore.

According to the recruitment agency’s recent ‘Top 8 Most In-Demand Life Science Jobs’ report, these professionals will be particularly high in demand in 2017:

1. Front-end sales
Salary range: $36,000 to $60,000 per annum for entry level; $96,000 to $140,000 for managerial roles
Sales specialists with a solid knowledge of the market and competitor landscape are highly sought-after in the medical science space, says Randstad, as they are often the key point of contact for assigned regions and customer segments. There is also a strong demand for account managers to focus on customer retention and increase share of wallet for existing clients.

2. Distributor management
Salary range: $100,000 to $150,000 per annum depending on experience
In Randstad’s opinion, establishing a local supply chain which enlists the help of local distributors could be seen as a solution to bridge the gap between experience and opportunity for emerging markets in the industry. The agency sees a particularly high demand for this role in markets which are either untapped or at their infancy stage.

3. Regulatory affairs
Salary range: $50,000 per annum for entry level; Up to $300,000 per annum for directors
Jobs in regulatory affairs tend to offer “life-long career development opportunities”, says Randstad. Furthermore, there is a wide range of heavily-regulated products on the market including pharmaceuticals, medical devices, cosmetics and veterinary products.  Singapore’s status as a regional office hub for multinationals also offers opportunities for this role to assume local and regional, or even global, responsibilities in Singapore.

4. Application specialists
Salary range: $60,000 - $100,000 per annum depending on experience
These are the key points of contact when it comes to providing pre- and post-sales support, and an integral part of the sales support team for every biotechnology and diagnostic company. Randstad believes this role can be considered a “stepping stone” by candidates to assume a full-fledge commercial role while moving into a team leader role, which is likely to result in a subsequent promotion to either a technical manager or director position.  

5. Medical science liaison (MSLs)
Salary range: $60,000 - $100,000 per annum excluding bonuses
This role is very much in demand despite being a relatively new position within Singapore’s pharmaceutical industry, as it is seen to be vital to a company’s success. The main purpose of a MSL is to establish and maintain peer-to-peer relationships with Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs) at major academic institutions and clinics. Members of MSL teams come from various scientific backgrounds including nursing, clinical and sales.

6. Research and development (R&D)
Salary range: $80,000 - $120,000 per annum depending on experience
Randstad observes an increasing demand for scientists over the last five years, specifically analytical, process development, and method development scientists as well as research managers. Pharmaceutical, biotechnology and nutrition companies in particular are increasing their R&B footprint in Singapore, it notes.

7. Systems Applications and Products (SAP) consultants
Salary range: Starting from $60,000 per annum for support role; Up to $180,000 per annum for global project manager role
Due to its scalability and flexibility in integration with different types of business and in-house systems, SAP remains the predominant enterprise resource planning (ERP) used by many organisations. Randstad sees the most demand coming from organisations planning to set up new manufacturing sites or plants, as they tend to attract candidates who are currently doing maintenance/support work but looking to work on more projects.

8. Infrastructure engineers
Salary range: $72,000 to $120,000 per annum, depending on experience
Life science companies will almost always have in-house engineers handling their setup and maintenance of their internal IT infrastructure, due to the sensitivity of information being hosted. Engineers with knowledge of integrating and supporting IT systems with speciality systems meant for manufacturing lines or warehouse systems will be a differentiating factor, adds Randstad – especially in companies with their own manufacturing facility or warehouse.