Research Technician Salary (United States)

A relatively junior crowd, approximately two-thirds of Research Technicians have fewer than five years of experience under their belt and the average salary for the field is $36,436 annually. Pay begins at $26,762 on the low end and climbs to $52,340 per year near the top. The most important factor affecting compensation for this group is career length, followed by geography and the particular employer. A strong majority report receiving medical coverage from their employers and most collect dental insurance. Men are barely outnumbered by their female counterparts, who make up a slight majority at 53 percent. Most Research Technicians report high levels of job satisfaction. The information for this rundown comes from respondents who completed PayScale's salary questionnaire.
Research Technician 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.
)
$28,098 - $53,040
(Median)
28K
37K
44K
53K
MEDIAN: $36,628
10%
50%
75%
90%
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Research Technician 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.
)
$11.69 - $23.72
(Median)
12
14
17
20
24
MEDIAN: $16.00
10%
25%
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$18K$36K$54K
Salary
$28,098 - $53,040  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $2,919  
Profit Sharing
$1,200 - $5,000  
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).
)
$26,762 - $52,340  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 3 Sep 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 477
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$14$28$42
Hourly Rate
$11.69 - $23.72  
   
Overtime
$16.30 - $39.84  
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$28K$56K$84K
Bonus
$0.00 - $2,919  
   
Profit Sharing
$1,200 - $5,000  
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).
)
$26,762 - $52,340  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 3 Sep 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 279
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Job Description for Research Technician

Research technicians assist scientists with their experiments and research. They primarily work in a lab environment, but may work in an office while analyzing basic data. The duties of a research technician working in the field of chemistry are different from a research technician working in the field of biological research. However, research technicians will usually be required to record test results, monitor experiments, use, clean and maintain equipment, care for lab animals, maintain supplies and prepare equipment for testing. Research technicians generally work as part of a team. Depending on the size of a project, they may report to the laboratory supervisors or the principal investigators (the lead scientists on projects). A great deal of a research technician's work will require on-the-job training. As such, they are usually assigned to a mentor who will train them and provide feedback.
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Research Technician Tasks
  • Assist scientists with research and record findings in the field or lab.
  • May assist with research analysis.
  • Clean, sanitize, maintain, and operate lab equipment.

Common Career Paths for Research Technician

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While not commonly found, Research Technicians who move on to become Research Scientists bring in an additional $37K annually. The most common career progression for Research Technicians leads to becoming a Research Laboratory Technician, which actually results in a pay cut of $2,247. However, many Research Technicians also opt to become a Biotechnology Research Associate, a move that typically includes a raise of $11,697.

Research Technician Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Research Technician

Survey takers reported data on just two employers and both offer similar salaries. At Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, workers typically make around $39,527 while University of Washington (UW) offers annual pay of about $38,500.

Popular Skills for Research Technician

Research Technicians report using a pretty varied skill set on the job. Biotechnology and Molecular Biology are considered valuable skills and can increase employee pay by 12 percent and 4 percent respectively. Skills that are correlated to lower pay, on the other hand, include Research Analysis, cell culture, and Clinical Research. It is often found that people who know Molecular Biology are also skilled in cell culture.

Pay by Experience Level for Research Technician

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
Experience is important when determining pay for Research Technicians. Starting at around $35K, salaries see a boost to $41K after five to 10 years. Salary comes to $45K after 10 to 20 years. Pay continues to grow for Research Technicians after two decades on the job, and average earnings come to $57K. Experienced employees who have 10-20 years of experience make up 11 percent 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 less than five percent. Most of the workforce has between one and nine years of experience.

Pay Difference By Location

Baltimore
up arrow 15%
New York
up arrow 11%
San Diego
up arrow 11%
Cambridge
up arrow 4%
Indianapolis
up arrow 4%
Seattle
up arrow 3%
Philadelphia
0%
National Average
$36,000
Chicago
up arrow 2%
Durham
up arrow 2%
Boston
up arrow 4%
Houston
up arrow 5%
St. Louis
up arrow 7%
Ann Arbor
up arrow 17%
Pittsburgh
up arrow 20%
Birmingham
up arrow 21%
Larger circles over a city indicate a job is popular in that location.
For those looking to make money, Research Technicians in Baltimore enjoy an exceptional pay rate, 15 percent above the national average. Research Technicians will also find cushy salaries in San Diego (+11 percent), New York (+11 percent), Cambridge (+4 percent), and Indianapolis (+4 percent). Research Technicians' salaries are heavily influenced by location—Research Technicians in Birmingham bring in salaries that are 21 percent lower than the national average. Employers in Pittsburgh and Ann Arbor also lean toward paying below-median salaries (-20 percent and -17 percent, respectively).

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Experience Affects Research Technician Salaries

Late-Career
up arrow 58%
Experienced
up arrow 23%
Mid-Career
up arrow 13%
National Average
$36,000

Skills That Affect Research Technician Salaries

Biotechnology
up arrow 12%
Molecular Biology
up arrow 4%
PCR Analysis
up arrow 2%
Data Analysis
up arrow 2%
Stem Cell
up arrow 1%
National Average
$36,000
Clinical Research
up arrow 3%
cell culture
up arrow 7%
Research Analysis
up arrow 12%

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied Image
Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5 based on 173 votes.

Gender

Female
53%
female alumni
 
Male
47%
male alumni

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
8%
1-4 years
60%
5-9 years
18%
10-19 years
11%
20 years or more
3%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 86% dental benefits Dental: 72%
vision benefits Vision: 56% employee benefits None: 13%