Pharma and MedTech Professionals are turning to Contracting!

In this blog piece, we look at one of the most exciting sectors in the Irish market. It is a market that is continuing to punch well above it's weight on the international stage, and with the percentage of Contractors representing the sector, it comes as no surprise to us. Industries that engage with Independent Professional contractors, continue to reap the benefits!

  • Contracting info

As more and more professionals identify contracting as a compelling opportunity to advance their career, Pharmaceutical, Life Sciences and MedTech professionals are leading the pack.

For us at Icon, this shift is not something that surprises us. Since our set up in 2008 we have helped over 10,000 contractors in the areas of IT, Engineering but also Pharma and Life Sciences and have witnessed the growth of this sector, first-hand.

Growth of MedTech in Ireland

Ireland has a compelling legacy of attracting multinational pharma organisations thanks to our educated workforce and favourable corporate tax, but our homegrown MedTech sector is also competitive at a global stage.
In a discussion with Silicon Republic, Paul Grand, CEO of MedTech Innovator, an accelerator and venture competition, he mentioned he sees Ireland “As one of the strongest performing countries in MedTech Innovator every year:

“The Irish MedTech ecosystem, particularly in Galway and Dublin, is amazing. Many MedTech Innovator companies that made it to the finals over the years have been from Ireland,” he said. “Almost every time, we have somebody up on the finals stage from Ireland.” Paul Grand, Silicon Republic.

In this piece, Alan Hobbs of Enterprise Ireland noted that “180 domestic life sciences companies in Ireland employ more than 25,000 people and generate sales above $6bn per year.”

The combination of increased funding opportunities for MedTech firms and the increasing demand for talent puts professionals in a strong position of leverage. Professionals no longer have to accept the traditional terms set by the market but use contracting as an opportunity to work in next generation start-ups in a way that works for them.

Why now?

The more fully fledged return to the office this year has forced pharma firms to define hybrid working options that try to balance the needs of staff and the desire for collaborative work, and these periods of change often bring an opportunity for professionals to re-evaluate what working environment best serves them. As compared to other sectors such as IT, we find that the pharmaceutical sector tends to operate with fewer firms with larger teams, and this can make the shift to contracting somewhat more daunting.

As a Contractor, you ‘provide services’ to a business rather than being in ‘the service’ of your employer. A daily or hourly rate of pay is offered for your work when contracting, while as an employee you are in receipt of a salary.

Many contractors can earn significantly more than their employee counterparts with the benefit of gaining valuable work experience.

Pharma professionals often choose to set up either a PAYE Umbrella Company, Director Umbrella or Personal Limited Company. This is an important decision and can implications across bank account setup, VAT collection, PRISE, Insurance, Income Tax, business expenses and employing a spouse.

Supported by Data

As part of our “The Big Independent Professional Survey” with participation from our clients, we had the opportunity to put some specific metrics to these trends.

When asked about their favourite aspects of working as an independent professional, the rate of pay was a clear leader, with 42.5% of respondents nothing this as the most compelling benefit of contracting. 26% outlined the general flexibility that comes alongside contracting whilst 15% outlined the work/life balance as the biggest attraction to their current contract.

If you’re a pharma, life sciences or MedTech professional looking to explore contracting, make sure to visit our ‘new to contracting’ page to learn more or alternatively get in touch with our team to schedule a call.

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Icon Accounting, Columba House, Airside,
Swords, Co. Dublin, Ireland, K67 R2Y9
+353 1 8077106