Chief Scientist Salary
For Chief Scientists, yearly average wages total $146K annually. Career length is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by geography. Medical benefits are awarded to most, and a strong majority earn dental coverage. Most workers in this position report high levels of job satisfaction. Men account for the majority of Chief Scientists who responded to the questionnaire — 85 percent to be exact. The data for this snapshot was collected from individuals who took PayScale's salary survey.
Job Description for Chief Scientist
The chief scientist typically specializes in a field or discipline such as chemical, metallurgic, electronic, or even human-interface areas of science. The chief scientist helps initiate research projects, sets up experiments and other testing schematics, and then analyzes results and repeats that sequence.Read More...
For many chief scientists, time must be divided between theoretical research and development-based science that has more immediate practical application. While the theoretical research can have a substantial long-term impact on a company, it must be balanced with applicable science that provides an opportunity for more short-term results. In either case, the chief scientist identifies the areas for research and leads experiments involving his or her field of expertise.
As the chief scientist's research develops, he or she provides detailed analysis in an ongoing fashion for the use of development teams and engineers. These teams may also come back to the chief scientist for feasibility studies and measurement for their own initiatives as well. The chief scientist again creates a testing method that provides useful data for analysis and presents conclusions to the rest of the development and engineering teams.
To work as a chief scientist, a person typically must possess both a bachelor's degree in a scientific discipline, as well as post-baccalaureate work in an administrative or applied science field as well. Many chief scientists begin their careers working at lower levels in analytical teams in research and development or in academic settings that are more conducive to “pure” research. A chief scientist typically splits time between an office and laboratory environment, generally working fairly long hours during the business week.
Chief Scientist Tasks
- Complete, update, revise, and document budgets.
- Construct and direct prototyping and materials management for the research team.
- Lead research, set themes, and priorities and oversee objectives.
Chief Scientist Job Listings
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Pay by Experience Level for Chief Scientist
Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
Experience and pay tend to be weakly linked for Chief Scientists — those with more experience do not necessarily bring in higher earnings. Workers in their first five years can expect to earn $118K, but people who have been around for five to 10 years earn a noticeably bigger sum of $149K. The average pay reported by folks with 10 to 20 years of experience is around $154K. In the end, the overall pattern seems to be that more experience generally corresponds to higher pay; a Chief Scientist with more than 20 years of experience can earn $175K on average.