Experienced Principal Scientist Salary

Experienced Principal Scientists pull down an average of $125K annually. Including potential bonuses and profit sharing proceeds (more than $26K for each in exceptional cases) overall income bottoms out near $91K and hits $169K on the high end. Location is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by the specific employer. Male Experienced Principal Scientists are far more common among survey respondents than their female counterparts, who typically comprise less than one-third of the field. Medical benefits are awarded to nearly all, and almost all earn dental coverage. The majority of Experienced Principal Scientists claim high levels of job satisfaction. The information for this snapshot was generated by responses to the PayScale salary survey.

$88,723 - $152,189
MEDIAN: $125,283

Add this chart to your site: 640px    300px

Salary $88,723 - $152,189
Bonus $2,990 - $25,609
Profit Sharing $993 - $25,168
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).
$90,758 - $168,602
  • Country: United States
  • Currency: USD
  • Updated: 11 Jul 2017
  • Individuals Reporting: 372

Find Out Exactly What You Should Be Paid

United States (change)

Employers: Start Here »

Principal Scientist Job Listings

Popular Employer Salaries for Principal Scientist

The lowest salaries can be found at Pfizer, Inc. — median pay is $125K — and there is little variation in compensation, with paychecks starting at $81K and only reaching $136K.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $133,126

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

Experienced Principal Scientists will find that Washington offers an impressive pay rate, one which exceeds the national average by 30 percent. Experienced Principal Scientists can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Princeton (+17 percent), Chicago (+13 percent), Irvine (+9 percent), and Cambridge (+6 percent). With compensation 6 percent below the national average, Los Angeles is not known for hefty paychecks and actually represents the lowest-paying market. Not at the bottom but still paying below the median are employers in San Francisco and Houston (2 percent less).

Key Stats for Principal Scientist


24 %
76 %

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 45 votes.
10-19 years
20 years or more
Years in Fields/Career:
United States (change)

Skills That Affect Principal Scientist Salaries

Big Data Analytics

Chemical Process Engineering

National Average

Engineering Design

Molecular Biology

Project Management

Material Science

Data Analysis

Clinical Research

Research Analysis


Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 45 votes.


24 %
76 %

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 96%
dental benefits
Dental: 90%
vision benefits
Vision: 83%
no benefits
None: 3%