Research Chemist Salary

Average Research Chemists in the United States make around $62K annually. Including potential bonuses and profit sharing proceeds (more than $10K for each in exceptional cases) overall income bottoms out near $40K and hits $102K on the high end. Residence is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by tenure. Men account for the majority of Research Chemists who responded to the questionnaire — 64 percent to be exact. Job satisfaction is reported as high by the vast majority of workers. Most report receiving medical coverage from their employers and a strong majority collect dental insurance. The figures in this overview were provided by individuals who took PayScale's salary questionnaire.
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$41,318 - $98,479
(Median)
$41K
$62K
$98K
MEDIAN: $62,166
10%
50%
90%

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$14.15 - $26.61
(Median)
$14
$21
$27
MEDIAN: $20
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$50K$100K$150K
Salary
$41,318 - $98,479  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $9,912  
Profit Sharing
$296.61 - $10,113  
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).
)
$39,704 - $102,456  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 12 Jan 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 746
National Hourly Rate 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$25$50$75
Hourly Rate
$14.15 - $26.61  
   
Overtime
$0.00 - $37.06  
National Annualized 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$50K$100K$150K
Bonus
$0.00 - $9,912  
   
Profit Sharing
$296.61 - $10,113  
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).
)
$39,704 - $102,456  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 12 Jan 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 98
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Job Description for Research Chemist

A research chemist uses their background of chemistry and research techniques to discover new knowledge or develop new technologies. Chemistry is the study of matter and energy, and, thus, the discipline is applicable to expand a wide variety of fields. For example, a research chemist may work for a pharmaceutical company trying to develop a new compound capable of treating a somatic condition, or they may try to develop a new way to manufacture a medicine that reduces impurities causing side effects. Research chemists might also may work for an energy company trying to develop a new additive that makes gasoline burn cleaner and more efficiently, or they may work for a semiconductor company trying to develop a new compound that better aids in the doping process that gives rise to transistor behavior.

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Research Chemist Tasks

  • Keep up to date on current research and technologies.
  • Observe, analyze, calculate and evaluate results from laboratory work to improve processes and communicate data.
  • Design, develop, and characterize novel synthetic products and processes.
  • Create and maintain product development strategies, documentation and progress reports.

Common Career Paths for Research Chemist


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Research Chemists do not often transition into Research & Development Manager roles. The role averages $97K per year. With an annual salary of $75K, Senior Chemist is the most common role for Research Chemists to subsequently assume on their way up the ladder. Transitioning into an Analytical Chemist role — which usually pays $50K — is also typical for Research Chemists, though less common by comparison.

Research Chemist Job Listings

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Popular Skills for Research Chemist


Research Chemists report using a wide range of professional skills. Most notably, facility with Chemistry, Chemical Process Engineering, and Material Science are correlated to pay that is significantly above average, leading to increases of 31 percent, 15 percent, and 4 percent, respectively. Skills that pay less than market rate include Data Analysis, HPLC, and Research Analysis. It is often found that people who know Product Development are also skilled in Material Science.

Pay by Experience Level for Research Chemist

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


Experience seems to be a major factor in determining the incomes of Research Chemists. The average inexperienced worker earns $53K, and someone who has worked for five to 10 years can expect a bigger median salary of $65K. Research Chemists see a median salary of $79K after reaching one to two decades on the job. Research Chemists who have acquired more than 20 years of relevant experience earn significantly more than folks with fewer years on their resumes; the average income in this veteran group is $100K.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $60,934

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

For those looking to make money, Research Chemists in Wilmington enjoy an exceptional pay rate, 132 percent above the national average. Research Chemists can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Philadelphia (+24 percent), Pittsburgh (+23 percent), San Francisco (+21 percent), and Cincinnati (+13 percent). Research Chemists in San Diego take home the lowest salaries, earning a whopping 27 percent less than the national average. Indianapolis and St. Louis are a couple other places where companies are known to pay below the median — salaries are 24 percent lower and 21 percent lower, respectively.

Research Chemist Reviews

What is it like working as a Research Chemist?

Research Chemist in San Diego:
"Flexible work schedule and casual work environment."
Pros: Little micromanagement, flexible schedule, active and fun work environment. Applicable and interesting projects. Small company.
Cons: Job offers low salaries. Management and upper level people are slow with bonus program. Can be busy and is difficult to schedule reviews.

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Experience Affects Research Chemist Salaries




National Average
$61,000


Skills That Affect Research Chemist Salaries

Chemistry
up arrow 31%

Chemical Process Engineering
up arrow 15%

Material Science
up arrow 4%

National Average
$61,000

Product Development
up arrow 3%


HPLC
up arrow 6%

Data Analysis
up arrow 11%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 139 votes.

Gender

Female
36 %
Male
64 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
7%
1-4 years
46%
5-9 years
22%
10-19 years
15%
20 years or more
11%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 89%
dental benefits
Dental: 76%
medical benefits
Vision: 62%
dental benefits
None: 10%
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