Research & Development (R&D) Director Salary

Average pay for Research & Development Directors in the United States is more than reasonable, with annual salaries pushing past the six-figure mark ($130K). Total cash compensation to Research & Development Directors approaches anywhere from $81K on the lower end to $199K on the higher end; in exceptional cases, this can include more than $37K from bonuses and upwards of $26K from profit sharing. Location and tenure each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. For the most part, Research & Development Directors enjoy their work and report high levels of job satisfaction. Male Research & Development Directors 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 almost all, and a large number earn dental coverage. Respondents to the PayScale salary survey provided the data for this report.

$77,662 - $177,490
$78K
$130K
$180K
MEDIAN: $129,959
10%
50%
90%

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$14.99 - $52.90
$45
MEDIAN: $45.00
50%

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$0$198K
Salary $77,662 - $177,490
Bonus $1,020 - $36,695
Profit Sharing $0.00 - $25,912
Commission $6,000
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).
)
$80,959 - $198,731
  • Country: United States
  • Currency: USD
  • Updated: 11 Jul 2017
  • Individuals Reporting: 415
Hourly Data $0$52
Hourly Rate $45.00
Overtime $0.00
Annual Data $0$198K
Bonus $1,020 - $36,695
Commission $6,000
Profit Sharing $0.00 - $25,912
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).
)
$80,959 - $198,731
  • Country: United States
  • Currency: USD
  • Updated: 11 Jul 2017
  • Individuals Reporting: 6

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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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Many Research & Development Directors move into VP of Research & Development roles, in which average pay is a slightly higher $162K per year.

Research & Development (R&D) Director Job Listings

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


Survey takers working as Research & Development Directors report using a large range of professional skills. Most notably, skills in People Management, Technical Analysis, Intellectual Property, and Product Development are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts between 7 percent and 10 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

Pay by Experience for a Research & Development (R&D) Director has a positive trend. An entry-level Research & Development (R&D) Director with less than 5 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $100,000 based on 53 salaries provided by anonymous users. Average total compensation includes tips, bonus, and overtime pay. A Research & Development (R&D) Director with mid-career experience which includes employees with 5 to 10 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $124,000 based on 108 salaries. An experienced Research & Development (R&D) Director which includes employees with 10 to 20 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $150,000 based on 217 salaries. A Research & Development (R&D) Director with late-career experience which includes employees with greater than 20 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $164,000 based on 131 salaries.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $138,865

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

Surpassing the national average by 35 percent, Research & Development Directors in Cambridge receive some of the highest pay in the country. Research & Development Directors will also find cushy salaries in San Francisco (+29 percent), San Jose (+20 percent), New York (+19 percent), and Boston (+19 percent). Location significantly influences compensation, with Atlanta Research & Development Directors earning much less — 29 percent less — than the national average. Workers in Salt Lake City and Denver earn salaries that trail the national average for those in this profession (28 percent less and 21 percent less, respectively).

Related Job Salaries

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

Gender

Female
29 %
Male
71 %

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 51 votes.
1-4 years
9%
5-9 years
17%
10-19 years
40%
20 years or more
33%
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Location:
Years in Fields/Career:
United States (change)

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

▲18%

▲8%

National Average
$139,000

▼10%

▼28%

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


Technical Analysis
▲9%

Intellectual Property (IP)
▲7%



Clinical Research
▼0%

National Average
$139,000

Medical Devices
▼1%

Medical Device
▼4%

Biotechnology
▼4%

Program Management
▼5%


Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 51 votes.

Gender

Female
29 %
Male
71 %

Years of Experience

1-4 years
9%
5-9 years
17%
10-19 years
40%
20 years or more
33%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 93%
dental benefits
Dental: 85%
vision benefits
Vision: 74%
no benefits
None: 6%
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