Postdoctoral Research Associate Salary
Average Postdoctoral Research Associates in the United States make around $45K annually. Pay ranges from $36K on the low end to $65K per year on the high end. The specific employer is the main element affecting pay for this group — geography and experience level are driving factors as well. Job satisfaction is reported as high by the vast majority of workers. Medical benefits are awarded to most, and slightly more than half earn dental coverage. Male Postdoctoral Research Associates who responded to the survey are more common than women; more than half (64 percent) are men.
Job Description for Postdoctoral Research Associate
Postdoctoral research associates generally assist tenured professors and/or senior researchers and work in a university environment or laboratory, though they also work independently. They often assist principal investigators in performing experimental investigations; on behalf of principal investigators, they may provide guidance to laboratory technicians and/or support staff. They may need to utilize recording devices or use statistical procedures for research relevant to their assigned field, and are also required to review quality control of various laboratory techniques.Read More...
Postdoctoral research associates must know how to use various automated tools and computerized technology to conduct research. They must also be able to troubleshoot system/equipment issues and call relevant repairmen if necessary. They must always ensure that their work area and all instruments and supply materials are clean and sterile, and they are also responsible for writing reports on their research projects.
Those in this position must be proficient with Microsoft Office products, such as Word, Exel, PowerPoint and Outlook, as they may occasionally be required to conduct presentations; they should also be able to work well in team environments. Employers generally require that candidates have a master's degree or Ph.D.
These research associates may need to interact with clients, so effective oral and written communication skills are important in this position. They must be innovative and dedicated, and are often required to travel to attend conferences or workshops and read professional journals. Some may occasionally be required to work overtime in order to meet deadlines, and some may train and coach new and junior research associates.
Postdoctoral Research Associate Tasks
- Write up results in lab notebooks as well as for publication.
- Maintain, inspect, and use laboratory and equipment.
- Design, perform, and evaluate experiments and their results.
- Create presentations, diagrams, and graphs to convey results to funders, the public and other researchers.
Common Career Paths for Postdoctoral Research Associate
Though some Postdoctoral Research Associates move into positions like Principal Scientist (where the average salary is $123K), this progression is not the norm. It is quite typical for Postdoctoral Research Associates to transition into roles as Biotechnology Research Scientists or Assistant Professors, where reported median earnings are $29K and $13K higher per year.
Postdoctoral Research Associate Job Listings
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Popular Employer Salaries for Postdoctoral Research Associate
Postdoctoral Research Associates flock to Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), University of California, San Diego (UCSD), Ohio State University (OSU), Stanford University, and University of Texas (UT) - Austin, highly regarded companies that employ a generous number of people in this profession. Pay for Postdoctoral Research Associates is best at Stanford University, which offers a median salary of $51K. However, the highest reported salaries don't seem to be much higher than the lowest ones; the pay range here runs from $44K to $70K. Other leaders in compensation levels are Boston University at $50K, National Institutes of Health (NIH) at $49K, and University of Washington (UW), where Postdoctoral Research Associates annually earn $49K.
Not only do salaries lack room to grow — pay ranges from $36K to just $56K — but Indiana University (IU), Bloomington offers the lowest pay in town to boot, with a median paycheck of $39K. A few other companies with smaller-than-average paychecks include Ohio State University (OSU) ($41K), University of Arizona ($42K), and Emory University ($43K).
Popular Skills for Postdoctoral Research Associate
Postdoctoral Research Associates report using a large range of skills on the job. Most notably, facility with Physics, Data Modeling, and Matlab are correlated to pay that is significantly above average, leading to increases of 22 percent, 13 percent, and 5 percent, respectively. Skills that pay less than market rate include Chemistry and Molecular Biology. Those familiar with Data Analysis also tend to know Molecular Biology and Bioinformatics.
Pay by Experience Level for Postdoctoral Research Associate
Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
The average worker who claims fewer than five years of experience earns around $44K. In contrast, however, individuals who report five to 10 years in this occupation see a much larger median of $48K. Postdoctoral Research Associates see a median salary of $49K after reaching one to two decades on the job. For some reason, Postdoctoral Research Associates with more than two decades of experience report lower paychecks overall; the median sum in this group sits near $46K.
Pay Difference by Location
With a pay rate for Postdoctoral Research Associates that is 11 percent greater than the national average, San Francisco offers a comfortable salary for those in this profession. Postdoctoral Research Associates can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like New York (+11 percent), Washington (+10 percent), Los Angeles (+9 percent), and Seattle (+5 percent). In Houston, salaries are 4 percent below the national average and represent the lowest-paying market. Not at the bottom but still paying below the median are employers in Philadelphia and Chicago (4 percent lower and 3 percent lower, respectively).