Research Chemist Salary

Median pay for Research Chemists in the United States comes out to approximately $61K per year, but employers in Wilmington pay the most, the average compensation in that city is around $141K. Research Chemists will also find cushy salaries in Pittsburgh (+45 percent), Stamford (+38 percent), Philadelphia (+38 percent), and Houston (+18 percent). The data for this synopsis comes from respondents who took the PayScale salary survey.
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$41,607 - $97,580
$42K
$61K
$98K
MEDIAN: $60,847
10%
50%
90%

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$15.61 - $29.68
$16
$21
$30
MEDIAN: $21.44
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
$41,607 - $97,580  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $9,990  
Profit Sharing
$100.67 - $19,866  
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).
)
$40,803 - $99,424  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 25 Mar 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 410
© PayScale, Inc. @ www.payscale.com
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
$15.61 - $29.68  
   
Overtime
$0.00 - $38.38  
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 - $9,990  
   
Profit Sharing
$100.67 - $19,866  
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).
)
$40,803 - $99,424  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 25 Mar 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 47
© PayScale, Inc. @ www.payscale.com

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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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Research Chemists may experience a large salary bump if they progress into a role such as Chemical Research & Development Manager. The latter position pays an average of $105K annually. A Senior Chemist role is the most common promotion for Research Chemists moving up the ladder, and pay for the position tends to be around the $75K mark. Another typical, albeit less common, transition for Research Chemists is an Analytical Chemist position, where earnings are usually $50K.

Research Chemist Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Research Chemist


For Research Chemists, comfortable salaries can be found at BASF Corporation; in fact, average earnings are around $105K, the highest in the area, though the difference in the company's lowest and highest employee paychecks ($61K versus $110K) is great.

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

Popular Skills for Research Chemist


Research Chemists generally report applying a varied skill set to their work. 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, 16 percent, and 4 percent, respectively. Data Analysis and HPLC as skills, however, tend to be associated with significantly smaller paychecks. Most people 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.


For many Research Chemists, more experience generally translates to higher pay. 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 $66K. Research Chemists bring in $77K after working for 10 to 20 years. Old hands who claim more than two decades on the job enjoy average earnings of $100K.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $60,500

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
32 %
Male
68 %

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 54 votes.
Less than 1 year
8%
1-4 years
52%
5-9 years
23%
10-19 years
10%
20 years or more
7%
Location:
Years in Fields/Career:
United States (change)

Experience Affects Research Chemist Salaries

▲66%

▲28%

▲9%

National Average
$61,000

▼8%

Skills That Affect Research Chemist Salaries

Chemistry
▲27%

Chemical Process Engineering
▲16%


Product Development
▼0%

National Average
$61,000


HPLC
▼5%

Data Analysis
▼27%

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 54 votes.

Gender

Female
32 %
Male
68 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
8%
1-4 years
52%
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: 65%
dental benefits
None: 9%
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