Research & Development (R&D) Director Salary

Compensation for Research & Development Directors in the United States is generous, with average pay surpassing six figures annually ($133K). Overall cash earnings for Research & Development Directors stretch from $81K on the lower end to $199K near the top, and the heftiest packages can encompass around $38K from bonuses and $25K from profit sharing. Geography is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by career duration. Most Research & Development Directors survey respondents are men (70 percent). Work is enjoyable for Research & Development Directors, who typically claim high levels of job satisfaction. Nearly all report receiving medical coverage from their employers and most collect dental insurance. This report is based on answers to PayScale's salary questionnaire.

$79,374 - $176,509
$79K
$130K
$180K
MEDIAN: $132,519
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$70K$140K$210K
Salary
$79,374 - $176,509  
   
Bonus
$1,483 - $37,749  
Profit Sharing
$0.00 - $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).
)
$81,481 - $199,462  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 25 Mar 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 405
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Job Description for Research & Development (R&D) Director

Research and development (R&D) directors oversee their company's R&D department(s). As such, they are responsible for ensuring that companies meet their objectives for researching and developing new products or technologies and improve existing products. To accomplish these goals, R&D directors lead their company's research staff. They must ensure that their companies correctly understand and anticipate market demand, planning and developing products to meet consumer needs and remain competitive in the marketplace.

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Research & Development (R&D) Director Tasks

  • Direct the Research and Development (R&D) program, from new product proposal to commercialization.
  • Drive accountability, consistency, quality, and process standardization across all phases of research and development.
  • In accordance with company objectives develop and monitor research plans and budgets for R&D projects, ensuring projects are completed on time and within cost objectives.

Common Career Paths for Research & Development (R&D) Director


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A lot of Research & Development Directors move on to become VPs of Research & Development, that group gets paid a slightly higher $162K on average.

Research & Development (R&D) Director Job Listings

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Popular Skills for Research & Development (R&D) Director


Research & Development Directors seem to wield many skills on the job. Most notably, skills in People Management, Technical Analysis, Intellectual Property, and Product Development are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts between 5 percent and 7 percent. Skills that seem to negatively impact pay include Research Analysis, Program Management, and Biotechnology. For most people, competency in Product Development indicates knowledge of People Management.

Pay by Experience Level for Research & Development (R&D) Director

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


Research & Development Directors generally obtain higher compensation for more plentiful past experience. New workers enjoy hefty six-figure paychecks when they take on this position — $100K per year is the median for people who claim less than five years' experience. Research & Development Directors who work for 10 to 20 years in their occupation tend to earn about $150K. 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 $164K.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $142,580

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

For Research & Development Directors, Cambridge provides a pay rate that is 32 percent greater than the national average. Research & Development Directors can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like San Francisco (+25 percent), San Jose (+17 percent), New York (+16 percent), and Boston (+16 percent). The lowest-paying market is Atlanta, which sits 31 percent below the national average, proving that location is a significant contributor to overall pay. Below-median salaries also turn up in Salt Lake City and Denver (30 percent lower and 23 percent lower, respectively).

Related Job Salaries

Key Stats for Research & Development (R&D) Director

Gender

Female
30 %
Male
70 %

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 50 votes.
1-4 years
8%
5-9 years
18%
10-19 years
42%
20 years or more
32%
Location:
Years in Fields/Career:
United States (change)

Experience Affects Research & Development (R&D) Director Salaries

▲15%

▲5%

National Average
$143,000

▼13%

▼30%

Skills That Affect Research & Development (R&D) Director Salaries


Technical Analysis
▲6%

Intellectual Property (IP)
▲5%


National Average
$143,000


Clinical Research
▼3%

Medical Devices
▼4%

Medical Device
▼7%

Program Management
▼7%

Biotechnology
▼7%


Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 50 votes.

Gender

Female
30 %
Male
70 %

Years of Experience

1-4 years
8%
5-9 years
18%
10-19 years
42%
20 years or more
32%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 94%
dental benefits
Dental: 85%
vision benefits
Vision: 74%
dental benefits
None: 6%
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