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Senior Research Scientist (Unspecified Type) Salary (United States)

With approximately one-half of Senior Research Scientists in the United States reporting more than 10 years of experience in the field, this area is heavily weighted toward experienced professionals. Pay ranges from $63K to $143K per year and averages out to $96K per year. Total cash compensation for Senior Research Scientists runs from $63K to $143K depending on bonuses that can occasionally exceed $16K and profit sharing that can reach almost $10K. Compensation for this group is mainly affected by career length, but the particular city and the specific company are influential factors as well. Most Senior Research Scientists report high levels of job satisfaction. Medical benefits are awarded to almost all, and a large number earn dental coverage. Generally, women make up less than a third of all Senior Research Scientists who answered the questionnnaire. The numbers in this rundown were provided by PayScale's salary survey participants.
Senior Research Scientist (Unspecified Type) 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.
)
$63,004 - $134,943
(Median)
63K
78K
96K
110K
130K
MEDIAN: $96,074
10%
25%
50%
75%
90%
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Senior Research Scientist (Unspecified Type) 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.
)
$18.66 - $82.57
(Median)
19
26
38
62
83
MEDIAN: $38.00
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$50K$100K$150K
Salary
$63,004 - $134,943  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $15,575  
Profit Sharing
$1,919 - $10,304  
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).
)
$63,475 - $142,682  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 11 Dec 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 1,511
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$100$200$300
Hourly Rate
$18.66 - $82.57  
   
Overtime
$0.00 - $290.00  
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$200K$400K$600K
Bonus
$0.00 - $15,575  
   
Profit Sharing
$1,919 - $10,304  
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).
)
$63,475 - $142,682  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 11 Dec 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 32
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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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For Senior Research Scientists, career progression to a Research & Development Director role may result in a considerable increase in compensation. On average, a Research & Development Director, an upper-level role, can earn $134K annually. The most common career progression for Senior Research Scientists leads to becoming a Principal Scientist, where average pay is $121K annually. However, many Senior Research Scientists also opt to become Biotechnology Senior Research Scientists. Typically, a Biotechnology Senior Research Scientist brings home $97K.

Senior Research Scientist (Unspecified Type) Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Senior Research Scientist (Unspecified Type)

Salary cannot be beat at Merck & Co., Inc., where median pay comes to $117K. The range seems somewhat confined, however; the lower end sits at $106K, and the higher end is not far away at $156K.

Popular Skills for Senior Research Scientist (Unspecified Type)

Senior Research Scientists seem to exploit a large range of skills on the job. Lucky workers who know Image Processing can expect a significant pay bump, scoring salaries 20 percent above average. Statistical Analysis and Matlab are also correlated to pay that is above average, with increases between 10 percent and 20 percent. Skills that are correlated to lower pay, on the other hand, include Chemistry and Molecular Biology. It is often found that people who know Data Analysis are also skilled in Project Management and Product Development.

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. People who have worked for fewer than five years bring home $87K on average. Median compensation in the five-to-10 year group, however, is higher at approximately $97K. Between one and two decades on the job, average salaries pass the six-figure mark at around $105K. Ultimately, more time spent in the workforce does seem to translate to bigger paychecks; seasoned veterans with more than 20 years of experience report a median income of $126K.

Pay Difference By Location

San Jose
up arrow 30%
Philadelphia
up arrow 12%
Los Angeles
up arrow 11%
Cincinnati
up arrow 11%
Cambridge
up arrow 9%
San Francisco
up arrow 7%
up arrow 3%
San Diego
0%
National Average
$99,000
New York
up arrow 1%
up arrow 2%
Washington
up arrow 4%
Seattle
up arrow 5%
Atlanta
up arrow 8%
up arrow 9%
Minneapolis
up arrow 10%
Larger circles over a city indicate a job is popular in that location.
San Jose offers some of the highest pay in the country for Senior Research Scientists, 30 percent above the national average. Senior Research Scientists will also find cushy salaries in Philadelphia (+12 percent), Los Angeles (+11 percent), Cincinnati (+11 percent), and Cambridge (+9 percent). Minneapolis is the lowest-paying area, 10 percent south of the national average. Chicago and Atlanta are a couple other places where companies are known to pay below the median — salaries are 9 percent lower and 8 percent lower, respectively.

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Experience Affects Senior Research Scientist (Unspecified Type) Salaries

National Average
$99,000

Skills That Affect Senior Research Scientist (Unspecified Type) Salaries

Image Processing
up arrow 20%
up arrow 10%
Bioinformatics
up arrow 9%
Proposal Writing
up arrow 3%
Research Analysis
up arrow 2%
Material Science
up arrow 2%
Data Analysis
up arrow 1%
Product Development
0%
National Average
$99,000
toxicology
up arrow 3%
Chemistry
up arrow 12%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied Image
Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5 based on 380 votes.

Gender

Female
26%
female alumni
 
Male
74%
male alumni

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
3%
1-4 years
20%
5-9 years
26%
10-19 years
33%
20 years or more
19%

Common Health Benefits

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