Research Chemist Salary

Research Chemists in the United States can expect wages of $61K annually on average. Cash earnings for Research Chemists — which occasionally include more than $10K from bonuses and more than $19K from profit sharing — stretch from around $41K to approximately $100K. Earnings for this group are mostly affected by location, followed by experience level and the specific company. Men make up the majority of Research Chemists (67 percent) survey respondents. Most Research Chemists report high levels of job satisfaction. Most enjoy medical while a strong majority get dental coverage. Vision coverage is also available to the greater part. The data in this summary comes from the PayScale salary survey.
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$41,880 - $98,485
$42K
$61K
$98K
MEDIAN: $60,847
10%
50%
90%

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$15.78 - $29.36
$16
$22
$29
MEDIAN: $21.58
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
$41,880 - $98,485  
   
Bonus
$-0.47 - $9,991  
Profit Sharing
$103.04 - $19,392  
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).
)
$41,097 - $100,356  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jan 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 440
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
$15.78 - $29.36  
   
Overtime
$0.00 - $38.22  
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 - $9,991  
   
Profit Sharing
$103.04 - $19,392  
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).
)
$41,097 - $100,356  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jan 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 50

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United States (change)

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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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While not commonly seen, Research Chemists who transition into a Research & Development Manager position may see a rise in pay. The median salary for Research & Development Managers is $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 Employer Salaries for Research Chemist


BASF Corporation offers the largest salaries in town ($105K on average), but the considerable range in workers' salaries creates a rather varied pay scale that stretches from $61K to $110K.

Known for its small paychecks, PPG Industries, Inc. actually ranks last in the field for salary, reporting a median income of $61K — 71 percent less than the top paying company.

Popular Skills for Research Chemist


Survey results suggest that Research Chemists use a fairly large toolkit 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 28 percent, 15 percent, and 4 percent, respectively. Data Analysis and HPLC as skills, however, tend to be associated with significantly smaller paychecks. The majority of those who know Product Development also know Material Science.

Pay by Experience Level for Research Chemist

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


Experience is an important factor influencing the compensation of Research Chemists. Relatively untried employees who have fewer than five years of experience earn around $56K on average. People who have worked for five to 10 years can expect a higher median salary of $65K. For Research Chemists, 10 to 20 years of experience on the job amounts to an average salary of $75K. Average wages for folks with more than 20 years of experience come out to around $103K.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $60,670

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

Home to some of the best pay for Research Chemists, Wilmington offers exceptional salaries, 133 percent above the national average. Research Chemists can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like San Francisco (+65 percent), Stamford (+38 percent), Philadelphia (+37 percent), and Pittsburgh (+14 percent). Research Chemists in St. Louis make 21 percent less than the national average, proving that location is a major factor in pay. Workers in San Diego and Los Angeles earn less than others in this profession; their salaries fall short of the national average by 19 percent.

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
33 %
Male
67 %

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 57 votes.
Less than 1 year
7%
1-4 years
51%
5-9 years
22%
10-19 years
11%
20 years or more
8%
Location:
Years in Fields/Career:
United States (change)

Experience Affects Research Chemist Salaries

▲69%

▲24%

▲7%

National Average
$61,000

▼8%

Skills That Affect Research Chemist Salaries

Chemistry
▲28%

Chemical Process Engineering
▲15%


National Average
$61,000



HPLC
▼5%

Data Analysis
▼27%

Job Satisfaction

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

Gender

Female
33 %
Male
67 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
7%
1-4 years
51%
5-9 years
22%
10-19 years
11%
20 years or more
8%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 90%
dental benefits
Dental: 73%
vision benefits
Vision: 65%
dental benefits
None: 9%
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