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Research Chemist Salary (United States)

Earnings for Research Chemists in the United States typically come in at around $63K per year. Total cash compensation to Research Chemists varies from $39K to $98K; higher pay grades include potential for bonuses and profit sharing as high as $10K each. Geography and career duration each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. Medical benefits are awarded to a strong majority, and a fair portion earn dental coverage. There are more male Research Chemists than female, making up 62 percent of individuals in this profession. For the most part, Research Chemists enjoy their work and report high levels of job satisfaction. This report is based on responses to the PayScale salary survey.
Research Chemist Salary (?
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.
)
$41,030 - $95,150
(Median)
41K
63K
79K
95K
MEDIAN: $62,565
10%
50%
75%
90%
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Research Chemist Salary (?
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.
)
$14.25 - $26.95
(Median)
14
20
24
27
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
$41,030 - $95,150  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $9,528  
Profit Sharing
$300.00 - $10,000  
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).
)
$38,635 - $97,629  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 3 Sep 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 737
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
$14.25 - $26.95  
   
Overtime
$20.68 - $37.27  
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 - $9,528  
   
Profit Sharing
$300.00 - $10,000  
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).
)
$38,635 - $97,629  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 3 Sep 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 101
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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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Though not the most common occurrence, Research Chemists sometimes become Research & Development Managers, where the average income is $97K per year. The most common career progression for Research Chemists leads to becoming a Senior Chemist, where average pay is $75K annually. However, many Research Chemists also opt to become Analytical Chemists. Typically, an Analytical Chemist brings home $49K.

Research Chemist Job Listings

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Popular Skills for Research Chemist

Typical Research Chemists report a focused set of job skills. Those who have experience with Material Science, Product Development, and Research Analysis can expect to be compensated well for these skills. Skills that seem to negatively impact pay include Research Analysis. 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, more experience generally translates to higher pay. The average beginner in this position makes around $51K, but folks who have been around for five to 10 years see a markedly higher median salary of $64K. Research Chemists bring in $78K after working for 10 to 20 years. 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 $91K. More than half of the workforce has between one and nine years of experience. Experienced employees who have 10-20 years of experience make up around a sixth of the workforce; inexperienced individuals who have been working for less than one year comprise less than 10 percent, and senior people with more than 20 years under their belt fill out the remaining one-tenth.

Pay Difference By Location

Wilmington
up arrow 130%
San Francisco
up arrow 23%
Pittsburgh
up arrow 20%
Philadelphia
up arrow 14%
Cincinnati
up arrow 13%
Houston
up arrow 11%
Los Angeles
up arrow 5%
National Average
$61,000
Minneapolis
up arrow 6%
Dallas
up arrow 11%
St. Paul
up arrow 18%
St. Louis
up arrow 22%
San Diego
up arrow 36%
Larger circles over a city indicate a job is popular in that location.
Surpassing the national average by 130 percent, Research Chemists in Wilmington receive some of the highest pay in the country. Other big spenders include San Francisco, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, and Cincinnati, top-paying cities where Research Chemists see paychecks higher than average (+23 percent, +20 percent, +14 percent, and +13 percent). Place of residence plays a huge part in a Research Chemist's salary, with San Diego Research Chemists earning salaries that are 36 percent less than the national average. A couple other locations with smaller-than-average paychecks include St. Louis (22 percent lower) and St. Paul (18 percent lower).

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Experience Affects Research Chemist Salaries

National Average
$61,000

Skills That Affect Research Chemist Salaries

National Average
$61,000
Product Development
up arrow 3%
Research Analysis
up arrow 4%

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied Image
Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5 based on 218 votes.

Gender

Female
38%
female alumni
 
Male
62%
male alumni

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
6%
1-4 years
43%
5-9 years
24%
10-19 years
16%
20 years or more
11%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 89% dental benefits Dental: 76%
vision benefits Vision: 57% employee benefits None: 10%