Research Chemist Salary

Research Chemists in the United States can expect to earn an average of $62K per year. Overall cash earnings for Research Chemists vary widely between $39K and $102K; for a few high rollers, the final number can encompass upwards of $10K each from bonuses and profit sharing proceeds. Location and experience level each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. The majority of Research Chemists (63 percent) who took the survey are men. Most Research Chemists like their work and job satisfaction is high. A large number enjoy medical while a fair number get dental coverage. Vision coverage is also available to the larger part. This overview is based on answers to PayScale's salary questionnaire.
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$41,483 - $97,906

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$14.29 - $26.23

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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
$41,483 - $97,906  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $9,910  
Profit Sharing
$300.67 - $10,213  
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).
)
$39,430 - $101,704  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 711
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
$14.29 - $26.23  
   
Overtime
$0.00 - $36.91  
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 - $9,910  
   
Profit Sharing
$300.67 - $10,213  
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).
)
$39,430 - $101,704  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 94
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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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For Research Chemists, progressing to a Research & Development Manager role may result in a significant raise. On average, a Research & Development Manager can earn $97K annually. 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.

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Popular Skills for Research Chemist


Research Chemists report using a diverse set of skills on the job. Most notably, skills in Chemical Process Engineering, Material Science, Product Development, and Research Analysis are correlated to pay that is above average. At the other end of the pay range are skills like HPLC, Research Analysis, and Product Development. Most people skilled in Product Development are similarly competent in Material Science.

Pay by Experience Level for Research Chemist

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


Research Chemists who reported more years of relevant experience also reported higher earnings. During the first five years of their careers, Research Chemists see a median income of $53K. Survey respondents with five to 10 years of experience report an only modestly higher median of $64K. After working for 10 to 20 years, Research Chemists make a median salary of $78K. More than 20 years of experience seem related to solid financial gains; veterans in this group report earning a median of $97K.

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

Chemical Process Engineering
up arrow 15%

Material Science
up arrow 4%

National Average
$61,000

Product Development
up arrow 3%


HPLC
up arrow 11%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 145 votes.

Gender

Female
37 %
Male
63 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
6%
1-4 years
45%
5-9 years
23%
10-19 years
16%
20 years or more
11%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 89% dental benefits Dental: 76%
vision benefits Vision: 59% employee benefits None: 10%
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