Research Chemist Salary

Salaries for Research Chemists in the United States average out at around $61K annually, but Wilmington employers pay the most, offering approximately $141K on average. Research Chemists can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Pittsburgh (+45 percent), Stamford (+38 percent), Philadelphia (+37 percent), and Houston (+17 percent). The data for this snapshot was collected from individuals who took PayScale's salary survey.
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$42,062 - $97,340
$42K
$61K
$97K
MEDIAN: $61,104
10%
50%
90%

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$15.78 - $30.41
$16
$22
$30
MEDIAN: $22.21
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$34K$68K$102K
Salary
$42,062 - $97,340  
   
Bonus
$-0.47 - $9,921  
Profit Sharing
$102.13 - $19,574  
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).
)
$41,288 - $99,049  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 4 May 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 419
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$17$34$51
Hourly Rate
$15.78 - $30.41  
   
Overtime
$0.00 - $39.05  
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
$-0.47 - $9,921  
   
Profit Sharing
$102.13 - $19,574  
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).
)
$41,288 - $99,049  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 4 May 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 50

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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

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

Common Career Paths for Research Chemist


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Research Chemists' salaries may rise greatly for those who assume a higher-end position such as a Chemical Research & Development Manager. The average Chemical Research & Development Manager brings home $105K per year. More often than not, a Senior Chemist role is the next step for Research Chemists moving up in the field. Senior Chemists usually make $75K per year. Many other Research Chemists choose to take on an Analytical Chemist role, where salaries are typically $50K.

Research Chemist Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Research Chemist


Research Chemists seeking a sizable paycheck can earn the most at BASF Corporation, where the median salary comes to $105K, though the large pay difference between employees at the top ($61K) and those starting out ($110K) creates a rather diverse pay scale.

The lowest pay by far can be found at PPG Industries, Inc. — this employer offers a median salary of $61K, 71 percent less than the top paying company.

Popular Skills for Research Chemist


Research Chemists report using a pretty varied skill set on the job. Most notably, facility with Chemistry, Chemical Process Engineering, and Material Science are correlated to pay that is significantly above average, leading to increases of 27 percent, 15 percent, and 4 percent, respectively. Data Analysis and HPLC as skills, however, tend to be associated with significantly smaller paychecks. Most people experienced in Product Development also know Material Science.

Pay by Experience Level for Research Chemist

Pay by Experience for a Research Chemist has a positive trend. An entry-level Research Chemist with less than 5 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $56,000 based on 319 salaries provided by anonymous users. Average total compensation includes tips, bonus, and overtime pay. A Research Chemist with mid-career experience which includes employees with 5 to 10 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $66,000 based on 123 salaries. An experienced Research Chemist which includes employees with 10 to 20 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $77,000 based on 55 salaries. A Research Chemist with late-career experience which includes employees with greater than 20 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $100,000 based on 33 salaries.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $60,643

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

Research Chemist Reviews

Q: 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.

Related Job Salaries

Key Stats for Research Chemist

Gender

Female
31 %
Male
69 %

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 57 votes.
Less than 1 year
7%
1-4 years
53%
5-9 years
23%
10-19 years
10%
20 years or more
7%
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Location:
Years in Fields/Career:
United States (change)

Experience Affects Research Chemist Salaries

▲65%

▲27%

▲9%

National Average
$61,000

▼8%

Skills That Affect Research Chemist Salaries

Chemistry
▲27%

Chemical Process Engineering
▲15%


National Average
$61,000

Product Development
▼1%


HPLC
▼5%

Data Analysis
▼27%

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 57 votes.

Gender

Female
31 %
Male
69 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
7%
1-4 years
53%
5-9 years
23%
10-19 years
10%
20 years or more
7%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 89%
dental benefits
Dental: 73%
vision benefits
Vision: 64%
no benefits
None: 10%
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