Salaries for Research & Development Directors in the United States are generous, with average pay above six figures ($133K) per year. Cash earnings for Research & Development Directors — which occasionally include more than $38K from bonuses and more than $30K from profit sharing — stretch from around $86K to approximately $198K. Location and career length each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. Most Research & Development Directors survey respondents are men (73 percent). Almost all report receiving medical coverage from their employers and a large number collect dental insurance. Most Research & Development Directors report high levels of job satisfaction. The information for this snapshot was generated by responses to the PayScale salary survey.

$82,820 - $175,301
$83K
$130K
$180K
MEDIAN: $132,804
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
$82,820 - $175,301  
   
Bonus
$2,424 - $38,265  
Profit Sharing
$592 - $29,696  
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).
)
$85,811 - $198,040  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jan 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 434

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United States (change)

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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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Research & Development Directors may enjoy increased earnings if they become VPs of Research & Development. This seems to be a popular career move, and VP of Research & Development earn a slightly higher median of $161K annually.

Research & Development (R&D) Director Job Listings

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


Research & Development Directors report using a diverse set of skills on the job. Most notably, skills in Technical Analysis, People Management, Intellectual Property, and Product Development are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts between 4 percent and 7 percent. Skills that pay less than market rate include Research Analysis, Program Management, and Biotechnology. It is often found that people who know Product Development are also skilled in 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 who reported more years of relevant experience also reported higher earnings. Workers in their first five years can expect to earn $100K, but people who have been around for five to 10 years earn a noticeably bigger sum of $125K. On average, Research & Development Directors make $151K following one to two decades on the job. Individuals who have achieved more than 20 years of experience don't seem to earn much more than people who have 10 to 20 years under their belts; the more senior group reports an average income of $162K.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $143,487

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

For Research & Development Directors, Cambridge provides a pay rate that is 31 percent greater than the national average. Research & Development Directors will also find cushy salaries in San Francisco (+22 percent), New York (+15 percent), San Diego (+13 percent), and San Jose (+12 percent). Research & Development Directors' salaries are heavily influenced by location — Research & Development Directors in Salt Lake City bring in salaries that are 31 percent lower than the national average. Atlanta and Denver are a couple other places where companies are known to pay below the median — salaries are 29 percent lower and 23 percent lower, respectively.

Related Job Salaries

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

Gender

Female
27 %
Male
73 %

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 55 votes.
1-4 years
8%
5-9 years
18%
10-19 years
41%
20 years or more
32%
Location:
Years in Fields/Career:
United States (change)

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



National Average
$143,000



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

Technical Analysis
up arrow 7%


Intellectual Property (IP)
up arrow 4%

Product Development
0%

National Average
$143,000


Clinical Research
up arrow 3%

Medical Device
up arrow 7%


Program Management
up arrow 8%

Biotechnology
up arrow 8%

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 55 votes.

Gender

Female
27 %
Male
73 %

Years of Experience

1-4 years
8%
5-9 years
18%
10-19 years
41%
20 years or more
32%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 94%
dental benefits
Dental: 86%
vision benefits
Vision: 74%
dental benefits
None: 5%
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