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Postdoctoral Research Associate Salary

Postdoctoral Research Associates in the United States take home approximately $44K annually on average. Pay ranges from $36K on the low end to $62K per year on the high end. Career length is the main element affecting pay for this group — geography and the particular employer are driving factors as well. Most enjoy medical while the larger part get dental coverage. Vision coverage is also available to just over two-fifths. Work is enjoyable for Postdoctoral Research Associates, who typically claim high levels of job satisfaction. There are more male Postdoctoral Research Associates than female among those who completed the questionnaire, making up 67 percent. Participants in PayScale's salary questionnaire provided the particulars of this report.

$36,237 - $61,379
(Median)
$36K
$44K
$61K
MEDIAN: $43,653
10%
50%
90%

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$18.34 - $32.17
(Median)
$18
$22
$32
MEDIAN: $21.00
10%
50%
90%

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$21K$42K$63K
Salary
$36,237 - $61,379  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $3,106  
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).
)
$36,327 - $61,831  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 16 May 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 1,932
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$11$22$33
Hourly Rate
$18.34 - $32.17  
   
Overtime
$0.00 - $20.35  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$22K$44K$66K
Bonus
$0.00 - $3,106  
   
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).
)
$36,327 - $61,831  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 16 May 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 36
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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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At the upper end, Postdoctoral Research Associates who move into a Principal Scientist role can end up with a hefty increase in pay. The average income for Principal Scientists is a much higher $122K per year. Biotechnology Research Scientists or Assistant Professors are common next-step roles for Postdoctoral Research Associates moving up in their careers; annual pay for Biotechnology Research Scientists is $29K higher on average, and it's $13K higher for Assistant Professors.

Postdoctoral Research Associate Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Postdoctoral Research Associate


Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Stanford University, University of Washington (UW), University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), and National Institutes of Health (NIH) are some prominent firms with considerable interest in employing a large team of Postdoctoral Research Associates. National Institutes of Health (NIH) offers the largest salaries in town ($49K on average), but the considerable range in workers' salaries creates a rather varied pay scale that stretches from $42K to $78K. Also paying near the top of the field are Stanford University at $48K, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) at $47K, and University of California, San Diego (UCSD), where Postdoctoral Research Associates annually earn $47K.

The lowest salaries can be found at Ohio State University (OSU) — median pay is $41K — and there is little variation in compensation, with paychecks starting at $26K and only reaching $44K. Also sliding in at the lower end of the scale are University of Texas (UT) - Austin ($43K), University of Arizona ($43K), and University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) ($45K).

Popular Skills for Postdoctoral Research Associate


Survey respondents exploit a significant toolbox of skills in their work. Most notably, skills in Statistical Analysis, Physics, Technical Writing, and Matlab are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts between 12 percent and 16 percent. At the other end of the pay range are skills like biochemistry and Molecular Biology. Those educated in Data Analysis tend to be well versed in 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.


Experience and pay tend to be weakly linked for Postdoctoral Research Associates — those with more experience do not necessarily bring in higher earnings. The median compensation for relatively untried workers is $43K; in the five-to-10 year group, it's higher at around $46K. People with 10 to 20 years of experience make an average of about $47K in this role. Survey participants who have spent more than 20 years on the job report a predictably higher median income of $60K, demonstrating that compensation is roughly commensurate with experience in the end.

Pay Difference by Location


Home to some of the best pay for Postdoctoral Research Associates, Washington offers exceptional salaries, 28 percent above the national average. Postdoctoral Research Associates can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Cambridge (+12 percent), Los Angeles (+5 percent), New York (+5 percent), and San Francisco (+4 percent). With compensation 7 percent below the national average, Houston is not known for hefty paychecks and actually represents the lowest-paying market. Below-median salaries also turn up in Atlanta and San Diego (5 percent lower and 4 percent lower, respectively).

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Experience Affects Postdoctoral Research Associate Salaries

Late-Career
up arrow 38%



National Average
$44,000


Skills That Affect Postdoctoral Research Associate Salaries

Statistical Analysis
up arrow 16%

Physics
up arrow 15%

Technical Writing
up arrow 12%

Matlab
up arrow 4%

Material Science
up arrow 4%

Bioinformatics
up arrow 3%

Data Analysis
up arrow 2%

Research Analysis
up arrow 1%

Biophysics
up arrow 1%

National Average
$44,000

Stem Cell
up arrow 2%

Biotechnology
up arrow 3%

Neuroscience
up arrow 3%

Clinical Research
up arrow 3%

Molecular Biology
up arrow 4%

biochemistry
up arrow 6%

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 337 votes.

Gender

Female
33 %
Male
67 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
14%
1-4 years
56%
5-9 years
24%
10-19 years
6%
20 years or more
0%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 90% dental benefits Dental: 59%
vision benefits Vision: 45% employee benefits None: 9%
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