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Research Chemist Salary

Pay for Research Chemists in the United States sits in the ballpark of $63K per year. Incomes of Research Chemists vary widely depending on performance components; bonuses and profit sharing that can occasionally exceed $10K cause paychecks to spread between $39K on the low end and $98K on the high end. Location and years of experience each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. Job satisfaction for Research Chemists is high. A large number report receiving medical coverage from their employers and a fair number collect dental insurance. There are more male Research Chemists than female among those who completed the questionnaire, making up 62 percent. This report is based on responses to the PayScale salary survey.
$41,385 - $95,684
(Median)
41K
63K
79K
96K
MEDIAN: $62,755
10%
50%
75%
90%

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$14.24 - $27.60
(Median)
14
20
24
28
MEDIAN: $19.00
10%
50%
75%
90%

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National Salary Data

 (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$33K$66K$99K
Salary
$41,385 - $95,684  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $9,621  
Profit Sharing
$302.01 - $9,933  
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).
)
$39,050 - $98,145  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 11 Dec 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 724
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$17$34$51
Hourly Rate
$14.24 - $27.60  
   
Overtime
$11.42 - $37.15  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$50K$100K$150K
Bonus
$0.00 - $9,621  
   
Profit Sharing
$302.01 - $9,933  
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).
)
$39,050 - $98,145  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 11 Dec 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 100
United States (change)

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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As Research Chemists transition into upper-level roles such as Research & Development Manager, they may see a strong upturn in salary. Research & Development Managers on average earn $97K per year. As Research Chemists progress in their field, many go on to become Senior Chemists. In fact, this transition is more common than anything else, and pay for the position is usually $75K per year. Another common career choice for Research Chemists is to move into an Analytical Chemist role. Typically, Analytical Chemists get paid $50K.

Research Chemist Job Listings

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Popular Skills for Research Chemist


Research Chemists report a narrow range of specific skills. Most notably, skills in Material Science, Product Development, Research Analysis, and HPLC are correlated to pay that is above average. Skills that are correlated to lower pay, on the other hand, include HPLC, Research Analysis, and Product Development. Those proficient in Product Development are, more often than not, 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.


For many Research Chemists, experience and pay levels seem to be correlated; more years in the business generally lead to more money. Respondents with less than five years' experience take home $52K on average. In contrast, those who have been around for five to 10 years earn a noticeably higher average of $65K. Research Chemists see a median salary of $79K after reaching one to two decades on the job. Individuals who have achieved more than 20 years of experience don't seem to earn much more than people who have 10 to 20 years under their belts; the more senior group reports an average income of $92K.

Related Job Salaries

Experience Affects Research Chemist Salaries




National Average
$61,000


Skills That Affect Research Chemist Salaries


National Average
$61,000

Product Development
up arrow 4%


HPLC
up arrow 11%

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 199 votes.

Gender

Female
38 %
Male
62 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
6%
1-4 years
44%
5-9 years
24%
10-19 years
17%
20 years or more
10%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 89% dental benefits Dental: 76%
vision benefits Vision: 58% employee benefits None: 11%