Senior Research Scientist (Unspecified Type) Salary

Approximately one-half of Senior Research Scientists in the United States are seasoned employees who have more than 10 years of experience in the field. Pay ranges from $65K to $142K per year, and the average comes out to $96K annually. Including potential for bonuses and profit sharing — peaking near $16K and $10K, respectively — total cash payment to Senior Research Scientists can bottom out near $65K or peak near $142K depending on individual performance. The most important factor affecting compensation for this group is the particular firm, followed by geography and experience level. Generally, women make up less than a third of all Senior Research Scientists who answered the questionnnaire. Medical benefits are awarded to nearly all, and most earn dental coverage. For the most part, Senior Research Scientists enjoy their work and report high levels of job satisfaction. The data in this summary comes from the PayScale salary survey.

$64,359 - $134,865
(Median)
$64K
$96K
$130K
MEDIAN: $96,476
10%
50%
90%

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$18.22 - $81.40
(Median)
$18
$36
$81
MEDIAN: $36.00
10%
50%
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$50K$100K$150K
Salary
$64,359 - $134,865  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $15,608  
Profit Sharing
$1,829 - $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).
)
$64,636 - $142,258  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 1 Apr 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 1,496
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$28$56$84
Hourly Rate
$18.22 - $81.40  
   
Overtime
$0.00 - $82.43  
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$60K$120K$180K
Bonus
$0.00 - $15,608  
   
Profit Sharing
$1,829 - $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).
)
$64,636 - $142,258  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 1 Apr 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 36

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Job Description for Senior Research Scientist (Unspecified Type)

Senior research scientists lead the formulation, development, and optimization of new programs, designs, and prototypes. They stay on the cutting age of modern science, assessing new technologies and their future applications. They propose, plan, and manage research projects. Many positions are based out of university research departments or laboratories, but other positions can be with technology companies or government-run agencies.

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Senior Research Scientist (Unspecified Type) Tasks

  • Assess new technologies and future applications of technologies.
  • Propose, plan, and manage research projects, report preparation, and presentation of findings.
  • Lead the formulation, development, and optimization of new programs, designs, and prototypes.
  • Participate in research formulating and writing with other staff.

Common Career Paths for Senior Research Scientist (Unspecified Type)


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At the upper end, Senior Research Scientists who move into a Research & Development Director role can end up with a hefty increase in pay. The average income for Research & Development Directors is a much higher $134K per year. With an annual salary of $122K, Principal Scientist is the most common role for Senior Research Scientists to subsequently assume on their way up the ladder. Transitioning into a Biotechnology Senior Research Scientist role — which usually pays $97K — is also typical for Senior Research Scientists, though less common by comparison.

Senior Research Scientist (Unspecified Type) Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Senior Research Scientist (Unspecified Type)


Senior Research Scientists fill the offices of leading firms Pfizer, Inc., Merck & Co., Inc., GlaxoSmithKline, Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, and Thermo Fisher Scientific, Inc. The biggest paychecks can be found at Bristol-Myers Squibb Company — the median salary there is $122K.

With a median salary of $77K, GlaxoSmithKline provides Senior Research Scientists with the lowest pay in their field; moreover, earnings are capped at only $105K, limiting employee salary growth.

Popular Skills for Senior Research Scientist (Unspecified Type)


Senior Research Scientists report using a large range of skills on the job. Most notably, facility with Physics, Matlab, and Bioinformatics are correlated to pay that is significantly above average, leading to increases of 23 percent, 9 percent, and 8 percent, respectively. At the other end of the pay range are skills like Molecular Biology, Chemistry, and toxicology. Those proficient in Data Analysis are, more often than not, also skilled in Project Management.

Pay by Experience Level for Senior Research Scientist (Unspecified Type)

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


For many Senior Research Scientists, extensive experience does not lead to significantly more money. The median compensation for relatively untried workers is $88K; in the five-to-10 year group, it's higher at around $97K. Experienced professionals who have spent one to two decades on the job can score lucrative paychecks that average out to $103K. Veterans who have acquired more than 20 years report a median income of $124K, which is generally higher than the pay reported by other tenure groups.

Pay Difference by Location


For those looking to make money, Senior Research Scientists in San Jose enjoy an exceptional pay rate, 32 percent above the national average. Senior Research Scientists can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like San Francisco (+11 percent), Philadelphia (+11 percent), Cincinnati (+11 percent), and Cambridge (+9 percent). With compensation 10 percent below the national average, Atlanta is not known for hefty paychecks and actually represents the lowest-paying market. Below-median salaries also turn up in Chicago and Houston (9 percent lower and 4 percent lower, respectively).

Related Job Salaries

United States (change)

Experience Affects Senior Research Scientist (Unspecified Type) Salaries



National Average
$99,000



Skills That Affect Senior Research Scientist (Unspecified Type) Salaries

Physics
up arrow 23%

up arrow 9%

Bioinformatics
up arrow 8%



Project Management
up arrow 4%

Proposal Writing
up arrow 2%

Research Analysis
up arrow 1%

Material Science
up arrow 1%

Data Analysis
0%

National Average
$99,000

Product Development
up arrow 1%

toxicology
up arrow 3%

Chemistry
up arrow 11%


Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 320 votes.

Gender

Female
26 %
Male
74 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
3%
1-4 years
20%
5-9 years
27%
10-19 years
32%
20 years or more
19%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 94% dental benefits Dental: 84%
vision benefits Vision: 67% employee benefits None: 5%