Working in the pharmaceutical industry not only makes for an incredibly exciting and varied career, but it can also be significantly financially rewarding. This is particularly the case if you choose to be a contractor in the sector and, by reading on, you can learn much more about the benefits that such professionals can realise. Indeed, research carried out by CWJobs indicates that while the typical salary for someone in the pharmaceutical industry is a respectable £52,500 ($79,360), contractors – on average – make £110,054 ($166,335) a year. With this mind, it’s easy to see why many professionals choose to take the contracting route with the specific intention of increasing their salary potential. It would, however, be a mistake to think that the financial remunerations are the only thing that makes contracting an attractive proposition. The very nature of such work means you get the opportunity to work on multiple projects over the course of a year, enabling you to constantly develop your skills. This can help to ensure you avoid being stuck in a comfort zone – something that can happen if you have held the same permanent position for many years. Another benefit of contracting is the fact it offers a far greater amount of flexibility than may be the case if you were employed by a company on a full-time basis. Contracting can be a good option if your family commitments mean you need be close to home, as opposed to commuting long distances into the office. Positions in medical writing are especially suitable for those wishing to work remotely and/or from home, as are contracts in field-based clinical research. If you are considering becoming a pharmaceutical industry contractor or are already working as one, however, you should remember that the responsibility of sorting out tax and other financial/administrative matters falls on your shoulders. While those who are employed on a full-time permanent basis by a company tend to have all payroll-related issues automatically taken care of them by a HR team, the fact you’re working as a contractor means you have to make the effort to sort these out yourself. This, however, can be difficult to manage when you’re busy working on multiple projects and attempting to secure future contracts. Even if you’re quite confident at doing your own paperwork, the time it takes to do things like filing claims for expenses and chasing clients for payments can often sidetrack you from giving full attention to your actual work. As such, it is a good idea to use the services of an expert umbrella company such as PayStream. This will see the liability of calculating and submitting your tax and national insurance contributions placed in the hands of a team of experts, thus freeing up more resources for you to devote to working on and sourcing contracts or just relaxing with friends and family. Enlisting such a company for help with administrative matters also means you can offset the tax attached to the expenses that you have incurred while working. You could also gain access to HR support and professional indemnity insurance, which may prove useful if you need assistance on something that isn’t directly related to your particular area of expertise. Are you a contractor working in the pharmaceutical sector or thinking of becoming one? If so, leave a comment below and share your experiences of working in the industry.