Research & Development (R&D) Director Salary
Salaries for Research & Development Directors in the United States are generous, with average pay above six figures ($131K) per year. In the world of Research & Development Directors, overall cash allowance can occasionally include more than $37K from bonuses and, in some exceptional cases, $28K from profit sharing, causing incomes to vary widely between $86K and $196K. Location is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by career duration. Medical benefits are awarded to nearly all, and most earn dental coverage. Making up 75 percent of those who took the survey, male Research & Development Directors greatly outnumber their female counterparts. The majority of workers are highly satisfied with their job. The information for this snapshot was generated by responses to the PayScale salary survey.
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.Read More...
R&D directors perform a number of specific, project-related duties as part of leading research and development efforts. They might lead efforts to develop a new line of products to meet consumer demand. After the development stage, they might assist in organizational planning efforts to scale up the production. Subsequently, they would likely be involved in planning how to modify company infrastructure to enable production of the new product, including acquisition of materials and altering capabilities of manufacturing plants. If necessary, this task extends to planning for a new manufacturing plant to be constructed.
Other tasks include monitoring market trends, devising methods of applying new technologies to their companies’ manufacturing and production, streamlining production and analyzing efficiency, and designing or planning manufacturing equipment necessary for new products.
Companies typically require both an advanced degree in a related engineering or managerial field, as well as experience in research and development. R&D directors typically work full time in an office environment, with periodic fieldwork and overtime required. R&D directors must be technically and scientifically minded, capable communicators, and excellent with organization, strategic planning, and management. They must have an thorough knowledge of relevant regulations and laws pertaining to the field, as well as related technologies and marketing.
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.
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Popular Skills for Research & Development (R&D) Director
Survey results suggest that Research & Development Directors use a fairly large toolkit of professional skills. Most notably, skills in Technical Analysis, Intellectual Property, People Management, and Product Development are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts between 5 percent and 8 percent. At the other end of the pay range are skills like Research Analysis, Medical Device, and Program Management. Most people experienced in Product Development also know 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.
For many Research & Development Directors, experience and pay levels seem to be correlated; more years in the business generally lead to more money. Relatively untried employees who have less than five years' experience make $102K, but folks with five to 10 years under their belts enjoy an appreciably larger median of $125K. Research & Development Directors see a median salary of $149K after reaching one to two decades on the job. More than 20 years of experience mean a somewhat bigger median paycheck of $161K, but it's not much more than what less experienced people make.
Pay Difference by Location
Home to some of the best pay for Research & Development Directors, Cambridge offers exceptional salaries, 33 percent above the national average. Research & Development Directors can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like San Francisco (+23 percent), San Jose (+12 percent), Chicago (+11 percent), and Boston (+11 percent). Compared to the national average, Atlanta Research & Development Directors have considerably lower salaries, 26 percent below the national average to be exact. Location appears to be a major driving force in pay for those in this profession. Two other places where employers offer below-median salaries are Denver (22 percent less) and New York (7 percent less).
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Key Stats for Research & Development (R&D) Director
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