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.

$36,296 - $63,882
(Median)
$36K
$45K
$64K
MEDIAN: $44,853
10%
50%
90%

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$15.91 - $42.98
(Median)
$16
$21
$43
MEDIAN: $20
10%
50%
90%

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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.
)
$0$22K$44K$66K
Salary
$36,296 - $63,882  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $7,576  
Profit Sharing
$4,000  
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).
)
$36,444 - $64,813  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 28 Oct 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 1,830
National Hourly Rate 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.
)
$0$15$30$45
Hourly Rate
$15.91 - $42.98  
   
Overtime
$26.24  
National Annualized 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.
)
$0$30K$60K$90K
Bonus
$0.00 - $7,576  
   
Profit Sharing
$4,000  
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).
)
$36,444 - $64,813  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 28 Oct 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 34
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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.

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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


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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

National Average: $44,919

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

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Experience Affects Postdoctoral Research Associate Salaries



Late-Career
up arrow 2%

National Average
$45,000


Skills That Affect Postdoctoral Research Associate Salaries

Physics
up arrow 22%

Data Modeling
up arrow 13%


up arrow 5%

Bioinformatics
up arrow 4%

Material Science
up arrow 3%

Research Analysis
up arrow 1%

Data Analysis
0%

Neuroscience
0%

Biophysics
0%

Stem Cell
0%

National Average
$45,000

Biotechnology
up arrow 1%

Clinical Research
up arrow 1%

Molecular Biology
up arrow 4%

Chemistry
up arrow 4%

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 114 votes.

Gender

Female
36 %
Male
64 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
17%
1-4 years
54%
5-9 years
22%
10-19 years
6%
20 years or more
1%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 86%
dental benefits
Dental: 52%
medical benefits
Vision: 40%
dental benefits
None: 13%
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