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.

$96,385 - $204,445
MEDIAN: $146,275

Add this chart to your site: 640px    300px

National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
$96,385 - $204,445  
$2,400 - $46,500  
Profit Sharing
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
$96,575 - $207,933  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 28 Oct 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 84
United States (change)

Find Out Exactly What You Should Be Paid

United States (change)

Employers: Start Here »

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.


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

Search for more jobs:

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.

Related Job Salaries

United States (change)

Find Out Exactly What You Should Be Paid

United States (change)

Employers: Start Here »

Experience Affects Chief Scientist Salaries

up arrow 15%

up arrow 1%

National Average

up arrow 2%

up arrow 22%

Skills That Affect Chief Scientist Salaries

Big Data Analytics
up arrow 17%

Machine Learning
up arrow 12%

National Average

Project Management
up arrow 13%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 7 votes.


15 %
85 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
1-4 years
5-9 years
10-19 years
20 years or more

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 87%
dental benefits
Dental: 73%
medical benefits
Vision: 60%
dental benefits
None: 12%