On average, commissions constitute a fair portion (more than a third) of final income for Patent Agents. That final number averages out to $94K across the industry. Geographic location and career duration each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. Most Patent Agents report high levels of job satisfaction. Almost all enjoy medical while more than half get dental coverage. Vision coverage is also available to half. Generally, women make up less than a third of all Patent Agents who answered the questionnnaire. This report is based on answers to PayScale's salary questionnaire.
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$64,611 - $135,012
MEDIAN: $91,953

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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.
$64,611 - $135,012  
$976 - $19,000  
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).
$65,083 - $142,671  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 28 Oct 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 252

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Job Description for Patent Agent

Inventors looking to obtain protection for their innovations employ patent practitioners, otherwise known as patent agents, for assistance with the patent application process. Certified by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), patent agents help prospective inventors navigate the complex requirements of patent application.


Patent Agent Tasks

  • Respond to U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) actions.
  • Interview clients and conduct research to understand invention.
  • Draft and prosecute patent application for invention.
  • Aid inventors and invention owners in obtaining a patent for their invention.
  • Select jurors, argue motions, meet with judges and question witnesses during the course of a trial.

Patent Agent (Non-Attorney) Job Listings

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Pay by Experience Level for Patent Agent

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.

More years of relevant experience do not necessarily translate to higher paychecks. Relatively untried employees who have less than five years' experience make $86K, but folks with five to 10 years under their belts enjoy an appreciably larger median of $105K. Patent Agents bring in $124K after working for 10 to 20 years. Patent Agents with more than 20 years of experience report incomes that are only modestly higher; the median for these old hands hovers around $125K.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $93,736

Larger city markers indicate a job is popular in that location.

For Patent Agents, Palo Alto provides a pay rate that is 26 percent greater than the national average. Patent Agents will also find cushy salaries in New York (+25 percent), Seattle (+25 percent), San Francisco (+22 percent), and Austin (+16 percent). Patent Agents in Minneapolis take home the lowest salaries, earning a whopping 29 percent less than the national average. Not at the bottom but still paying below the median are employers in Los Angeles and Denver (13 percent lower and 9 percent lower, respectively).

Related Job Salaries

Years in Fields/Career:
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Experience Affects Patent Agent Salaries

up arrow 33%

up arrow 33%

up arrow 12%

National Average

Skills That Affect Patent Agent Salaries

Engineering Design
up arrow 8%

Technical Writing
up arrow 1%

Intellectual Property (IP)

National Average

up arrow 1%

Molecular Biology
up arrow 2%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 13 votes.


29 %
71 %

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: 91%
dental benefits
Dental: 67%
medical benefits
Vision: 49%
dental benefits
None: 9%