Research Associate, Biotechnology Salary
Biotechnology Research Associates in the United States take home an average $52K annually. Earnings for this group are mostly affected by the specific employer, followed by geography and tenure. The majority of Biotechnology Research Associates claim high levels of job satisfaction. Women Biotechnology Research Associates who took the survey just slightly outnumber men. Most enjoy medical while a strong majority get dental coverage. Vision coverage is also available to more than half. This report is based on responses to the PayScale salary survey.
Job Description for Research Associate, Biotechnology
A research associate in biotechnology spends almost all of his or her time in a laboratory setting conducting experiments and analyzing data. This research associate (also called a “wet lab associate”) is in charge of testing potential biologic compounds' effectiveness on potential diseases. The testing requires the use of standard scientific tools such as pipettes and petri dishes to grow cultures. At the junior level, all of the associate's time is spent in the lab. However, at more senior research levels, the associate may oversee labs across multiple locations, so some travel may be required. Also, a substantial portion of the research associate's lab work is done in conjunction with other teams, so there is a lot of collaboration with other research associates working on other projects. Additionally, research associates in biotechnology generally work during regular business hours, although overtime and off-hours work may be required depending on the needs of the lab.Read More...
The job requires a minimum of a bachelor's degree in biology, biotechnology, or a related field; more advanced positions, such as senior research associates, require master's or doctoral degrees. The senior roles may also be supervisory in nature. The research associate must understand basic lab techniques and protocols. Also, many research associates are required to analyze the data they obtain through the experiments, so knowledge of statistical techniques such as inference testing and data analysis are critical.
Research Associate, Biotechnology Tasks
- Conduct laboratory work such as chromatography/LC/MS/assays on samples or in vitro systems.
- Critically analyze results, and collaborate with the research team to write up findings.
- Create and document laboratory protocols and equipment/substrate information.
Common Career Paths for Research Associate, Biotechnology
At the upper end, Biotechnology Research Associates who move into a Pharmaceutical Project Manager role can end up with a hefty increase in pay. The average income for Pharmaceutical Project Managers is a much higher $83K per year. A common career progression for a Biotechnology Research Associate is to become a Biotechnology Research Scientist or a Senior Research Associate. Compared to Biotechnology Research Associates, the first group earns $21K more on average, and the second group earns $18K more.
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Popular Employer Salaries for Research Associate, Biotechnology
The biggest paychecks can be found at Genentech, Inc. — the median salary there is $90K.
Popular Skills for Research Associate, Biotechnology
Biotechnology Research Associates seem to wield many skills on the job. Most notably, skills in Microbiology, Product Development, Immunology, and Flow Cytometry are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts between 10 percent and 12 percent. Skills that seem to negatively impact pay include cell culture, Protein Purification, and Microsoft Excel. Those proficient in Biotechnology are, more often than not, also skilled in PCR Analysis.
Pay by Experience Level for Research Associate, Biotechnology
Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
Biotechnology Research Associates with more experience do not necessarily bring home bigger paychecks. In fact, experience in this field tends to impact compensation minimally. Relatively untried employees who have less than five years' experience make $50K, but folks with five to 10 years under their belts enjoy an appreciably larger median of $59K. Biotechnology Research Associates bring in $65K after working for 10 to 20 years. Veterans who have surpassed the 20-year mark may make only slightly more than those who are navigating the mid-career stage; the more senior group reports median earnings of around $72K.
Pay Difference by Location
For Biotechnology Research Associates, South San Francisco provides a pay rate that is 32 percent greater than the national average. Biotechnology Research Associates can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like San Francisco (+21 percent), San Jose (+9 percent), Cambridge (+8 percent), and Boston (+3 percent). Biotechnology Research Associates in Cleveland earn salaries far below the national average by 28 percent, proving that geography overwhelmingly affects the pay scale for those in this field. Two other places where employers offer below-median salaries are Minneapolis (15 percent less) and Durham (13 percent less).
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