Principal Investigator, Laboratory Research Salary

Compensation for Laboratory Research Principal Investigators in the United States is generous, with average pay surpassing six figures annually ($101K). While career duration and the particular employer impact pay for this group, location is the most influential factor. Job satisfaction is high and work is enjoyable for most Laboratory Research Principal Investigators. The majority of Laboratory Research Principal Investigators (63 percent) who took the survey are men. In this profession, almost all enjoy medical and dental coverage, and a fair number have vision insurance, as well.

$67,858 - $129,980
MEDIAN: $100,536

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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.
$67,858 - $129,980  
$1,039 - $19,153  
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).
$65,472 - $143,952  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 12 Jan 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 156
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Job Description for Principal Investigator, Laboratory Research

Generally, principal investigators of laboratory research take the lead in conducting scientific investigations in controlled environments. They set the parameters of what questions or hypotheses will be explored, and then create the outlines of how the research and investigation will look. The latter, and the execution of experiments, data analysis, and documentation of findings, are typically conducted with input from research and laboratory associates, so some principal investigators also serve as supervisory employees.


Principal Investigator, Laboratory Research Tasks

  • Serve as point of contact for the laboratory and/or project.
  • Oversee and train research assistants on procedures and protocol specific to the project.
  • Write and present reports and papers.
  • Supervise, coordinate, direct and ensure research is completed on deadline.
  • Write and submit grant proposals and secure other funding.

Principal Investigator, Laboratory Research Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Principal Investigator, Laboratory Research

E.I. Du Pont De Nemours & Co (DuPont) offers the smallest salaries in town — $114K on average — but the considerable range in workers' salaries (stretching from $82K to $147K) creates a rather varied pay scale.

Pay by Experience Level for Principal Investigator, Laboratory Research

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

Laboratory Research Principal Investigators with more experience do not necessarily bring home bigger paychecks. In fact, experience in this field tends to impact compensation minimally. Large paychecks, which sit comfortably in the six-figure range, are handed out almost immediately; professionals who have less than five years' experience report earning a median of $102K per year. Laboratory Research Principal Investigators with one to two decades of relevant experience report an average salary of approximately $113K. Veterans who have surpassed the 20-year mark may make no more than those who are navigating the mid-career stage.

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Experience Affects Principal Investigator, Laboratory Research Salaries

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National Average

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Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 23 votes.


37 %
63 %

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: 90%
dental benefits
Dental: 87%
medical benefits
Vision: 79%
dental benefits
None: 7%