Industry 4.0: Driving the Demand for Specialist Engineers in Life Sciences Across the US and Europe

Industry 4.0: Driving the Demand for Specialist Engineers in Life Sciences Across the US and Europe

Adam Chapman, Business Development Consultant and Specialist Recruitment Consultant at European Recruitment and its partner company, USA Tech Recruitment, shares how digital transformation in the Life Sciences industry is driving increasing demand for specialist engineers in the US and Europe. 


With a niche in finding candidates across “all layers of automation” within the Life Sciences industry, Adam has seen a steady increase in demand for roles spanning from specialist engineering functions like Manufacturing Execution System (MES), Integration and Automation engineers, to Lead Digital Transformation Consultants, Project Managers and Operations Managers in the US and Europe. 

“We have a good fifty to sixty roles active right now,” he says. He credits the resource of having a large pool of multilingual consultants at hand to source the right candidates across multiple locations with speed. 


A Virtual Backbench

“It’s a huge benefit that the team is so proactive in building their network of talent globally that we can place people within a fortnight,” he says. Part of the strategy involves maintaining a virtual backbench of contractor talent. 

“I have five or six really good candidates waiting to go and their rates already agreed at any given time,” he says. He keeps a close track of industry movement and can often pre-empt a client’s hiring needs before they’ve even written the job specification. 

“When I hear about new projects or new facilities or expansions, our team will go to market and pull suitable candidates, ready and qualified,” he says. With a team of 70 consultants, the team has the ability to source candidates quickly. 

“The fact is, their in-house recruitment consultants won't have the capacity to action what we do in the time we do it,” he says. 


Industry 4.0

There is a boom in life sciences manufacturers expanding and building new facilities covering everything from medical devices, vaccines, labs and research. Industry 4.0, the fourth generation of industry systems, is revolutionising the way companies manufacture, improve and distribute their products. 

“All the big life sciences players are digitalising their plants and facilities so they can run 24 hours a day, and from the other side of the world if needed,” he says. He originally developed the team’s footprint in this space across Europe, but since the last twelve months, they have strengthened their network in the US market, placing multiple roles within their top life sciences companies across the country. Automation engineers, MES engineers, and integration engineers are in high demand, reaching salaries of upward of $150K in the US. 

With much of the work able to be completed remotely on just a laptop, roles can often be, in part, conducted remotely, with only the occasional onsite required for critical parts in a project. In the US, all hires are completed in-country, with many opportunities based out of Maryland. 

“This kind of specialists don’t grow on trees, and clients will accept someone who will be predominately remote,” he says. 

In one instance, he has supported a leading life sciences company by fulfilling both their permanent and flexible engineer staffing requirements for global digital transformation function across every single facility they have across the US, UK and Europe. 


A Strong European Market

Europe too, offers multiple opportunities for talent, particularly out of Ireland, which is one of the major global hubs for life sciences. 

“Europe is such a buoyant market,” he says, “and because we have French, German, Spanish, Portuguese speakers, there is no issues finding great European talent from across multiple countries.” In Dublin, experienced engineers can expect salaries upward of 90,000 Euros, with junior engineers with less than three years' experience expecting starting salaries of 47-50,000 Euros. 

“Salaries have increased for sure, and we are educating clients on this to make sure they remain competitive in the market,” he says. 

For more information on how we can support your hiring needs in the US and Europe, Contact Adam Chapman at 

Visit, and for more information.

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