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The healthcare industry has been extremely resistant to the economic downturn brought about by the pandemic. While more and more global pharmaceutical, medical technology and bio manufacturing companies have called Hong Kong their home in APAC, there is a steadily growing number of startups with a focus on health tech and novel medicines. 

Randstad's latest report reveals the top seven in-demand jobs of the life sciences sector in Hong Kong and how much money they make per month. They are medical laboratory technologists, research scientists, clinical research associates/assistants, radiographers, medical device sales managers, product specialists, and medical writers.

Medical laboratory technologists 

The demand for medical laboratory technologists have surged dramatically as there are not enough labour to process the large volumes of Covid swab tests. In recent years, Hong Kong has also sought to boost its diagnostics capabilities and capacity, in response to the rising disease awareness of its citizens.

The day-to-day responsibilities of a medical laboratory technologist include: Performing molecular testing and conducting large volume sampling tests; working with lab technicians to ensure a high compliant work environment; maintaining critical records, documentation, reporting and paperwork; ensuring broad-scope compliance with a host of regulatory and health and safety requirements; prepare reagents and maintain equipment processes; and analyse and finalise lab-related compliance and legally-binding paperwork.

Base monthly salary: HK$15-25K (medical laboratory technologist)
HK$20-25K (experienced professionals)
HK$15-22K (medical laboratory technician)

Research scientists

Globally, there has been higher labour demand for research scientists in the field of oncology and pharmaceuticals. In Hong Kong, companies are investing in advancing cancer diagnosis.

The job responsibilities of a research scientist include developing standard operating procedures in the laboratory setting to ensure high compliance, leading and conducting R&D and experiences; collecting samples and monitoring environmental factors during research; gathering and analysing results and data; assisting in laboratory accreditation preparation; providing support to R&D and providing pipeline development; and actively participating in activities such as literature reviews and speaking opportunities within the scientific community.

Research scientists not only work in the laboratory but also require to persuade potential investors and top management. 

Base monthly salary: HK$20-35K (research scientist)

Clinical research associates/assistants

These specialists plan, organise and run clinical trials to support the development of new drugs or medically related products. 

To be a clinical research associate, soft skills such as cross-functional and multidisciplinary relationship management, experience in managing and reporting on projects, attentiveness to detail, strong written, verbal and presentation skills, and demonstrated analytical thinking and problem solving capabilities, are key in addition to technical research skills. 

Monthly salary: HK$30-40K (senior clinical research associate)
HK$20-30K (junior associate)

Radiographers

As radiographers' daily duties focus a lot on patient care and healthcare. The six key skills of a radiographers are: Attention to detail, technical knowledge, empathy and compassion, effective communication and teamwork, critical thinking, and the ability to cope under pressure.

Starting salary: HK$40K

Medical device sales managers

The average work day of a medical device sales manager is a busy one. On top of meeting sales targets, they need to network and build relationships with both surgeons and healthcare professionals and develop training sessions for them. They also need to take part in conferences and symposiums regularly to stay updated on industry trends. 

Median monthly salary (excluding travel allowance and sales commissions): HK$20-30K

Product specialists

The job duties of product specialists are very similar to the aforementioned medical device sales managers. One difference is that product specialists do not need to provide surgical support. They just need to keep up with the latest scientific research and share relevant literature review with healthcare professionals. 

Median monthly salary (excluding travel allowance and sales commissions): HK$20-30K

Medical writers

On recruitment job search platforms, medical writers are sometimes referred to as: Medical editors, freelance medical editors, senior medical writers, technical writers, and regulatory editors. 

This role usually has the flexibility to work remotely due to Covid-19. They carry out research support, report on clinical research, studies and trials, and produce copies in accordance with brand style guidelines. 

Monthly salary: HK$35-45K