Principal Investigator, Laboratory Research Salary

Laboratory Research Principal Investigators in the United States can look forward to a sizeable six-figure salary — around $101K per year on average. Including potential for bonuses and profit sharing, each hitting highs of $19K, total cash payment to Laboratory Research Principal Investigators can bottom out at $66K or peak near $144K. Earnings for this group are mostly affected by geographic location, followed by career duration and the particular employer. Men account for the majority of Laboratory Research Principal Investigators who responded to the questionnaire — 65 percent to be exact. Almost all receive medical and dental insurance and a fair number get vision plans. The majority of Laboratory Research Principal Investigators claim high levels of job satisfaction. Respondents to the PayScale salary survey provided the data for this report.

$67,861 - $130,317
MEDIAN: $100,668

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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.
$67,861 - $130,317  
$1,495 - $19,153  
Profit Sharing
$201.34 - $19,872  
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).
$65,700 - $144,197  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 20 Sep 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 158
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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

Bringing up the rear, E.I. Du Pont De Nemours & Co (DuPont)'s median pay of $106K is the lowest in town; however, employee salaries widely range, with some making up to $148K.

Pay by Experience Level for

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

For Laboratory Research Principal Investigators, level of experience appears to be a somewhat less important part of the salary calculation — more experience does not correlate to noticeably higher pay. Relatively untried employees who have less than five years' experience make $101K, but folks with five to 10 years under their belts enjoy an appreciably larger median of $110K. Laboratory Research Principal Investigators who work for 10 to 20 years in their occupation tend to earn about $113K. Individuals who report more than two decades of experience seem to make only slightly more than folks in the 10-to-20 year range; the more senior group sees median earnings in the comparatively modest ballpark of $114K.

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Experience Affects Salaries

up arrow 6%

up arrow 5%

up arrow 2%

National Average

up arrow 7%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 24 votes.


35 %
65 %

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: 86%
vision benefits Vision: 76% employee benefits None: 6%