The average Senior Research Scientist in the United States can expect to rake in roughly $98K annually. Total cash compensation to Senior Research Scientists approaches anywhere from $71K on the lower end to $140K on the higher end; in exceptional cases, this can include more than $15K from bonuses and upwards of $10K from profit sharing. Earnings for this group are mostly affected by the particular firm, followed by geography and tenure. Most workers in this position report high levels of job satisfaction. Nearly all report receiving medical coverage from their employers and most collect dental insurance. Senior Research Scientists who participated in the survey are largely men, dominating at 62 percent. The information for this snapshot was generated by responses to the PayScale salary survey.

$70,568 - $133,064
(Median)
$71K
$98K
$130K
MEDIAN: $97,894
10%
50%
90%

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$23.00 - $109.93
(Median)
$23
$45
$110
MEDIAN: $45.00
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$50K$100K$150K
Salary
$70,568 - $133,064  
   
Bonus
$2,596 - $15,170  
Profit Sharing
$1,479 - $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).
)
$70,531 - $139,943  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 28 Oct 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 814
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$50$100$150
Hourly Rate
$23.00 - $109.93  
   
Overtime
$40.69  
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$100K$200K$300K
Bonus
$2,596 - $15,170  
   
Profit Sharing
$1,479 - $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).
)
$70,531 - $139,943  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 28 Oct 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 19
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Job Description for Senior Research Scientist (Unspecified Type)

Senior research scientists (unspecified type) typically work in a laboratory environment, conducting research and experiments for academic, industrial or commercial ends. They may help develop new products for their company, for example, or help contribute to scientific understanding within their field. If they work for universities, senior research scientists may be required to apply for grants to continue their research. Senior research scientists must have an excellent track record of safely handling hazardous materials and chemicals. They may be required to mentor, train and/or coach junior research scientists as well. Additionally, these scientists must stay up to date on developments within their field through methods such as reading academic journals, attending training programs and attending conferences within their field.

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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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Senior Research Scientists do not often transition into Research & Development Director roles. The role averages $137K per year. It is more probable, however, that Senior Research Scientists become Principal Scientists or Biotechnology Senior Research Scientists.

Senior Research Scientist (Unspecified Type) Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Senior Research Scientist (Unspecified Type)


Leading companies who hire large numbers of Senior Research Scientists include Merck & Co., Inc., GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer, Inc., Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, and Procter & Gamble Co. For Senior Research Scientists, comfortable salaries can be found at Procter & Gamble Co; in fact, median earnings sit around $123K, the highest in the area. Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, Merck & Co., Inc., and Thermo Fisher Scientific, Inc. are a few other companies that offer generous salaries, with Senior Research Scientists earning around $122K, $116K, or $112K at each firm, respectively.

Others at the bottom of the scale for this job include GlaxoSmithKline at $81K, Pfizer, Inc. at $89K, and Thermo Fisher Scientific, Inc., where $112K is the norm.

Popular Skills for Senior Research Scientist (Unspecified Type)


Survey results imply that Senior Research Scientists deploy a deep pool of skills on the job. Most notably, facility with Physics, Matlab, and Chemistry are correlated to pay that is significantly above average, leading to increases of 22 percent, 18 percent, and 13 percent, respectively. Skills that seem to negatively impact pay include Molecular Biology and Research Analysis. A tool kit that includes Research Analysis also typically contains Product Development and Project Management. Those educated in Data Analysis tend to be well versed 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. Inexperienced workers earn around $92K, but people who have been around for five to 10 years pull down a much higher average of $100K. Senior Research Scientists who work for 10 to 20 years in their occupation tend to earn about $102K. 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 $109K.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $99,788

Larger city markers indicate a job is popular in that location.

With a pay rate for Senior Research Scientists that is 31 percent greater than the national average, San Jose offers a comfortable salary for those in this profession. Senior Research Scientists can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Washington (+21 percent), Cambridge (+21 percent), Cincinnati (+18 percent), and Boston (+11 percent). Austin ranks last in the field for pay, reporting salaries 8 percent below the national average. Workers in New York and Houston earn salaries that trail the national average for those in this profession (2 percent less).

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Experience Affects Senior Research Scientist (Unspecified Type) Salaries




National Average
$100,000


Skills That Affect Senior Research Scientist (Unspecified Type) Salaries

Physics
up arrow 22%

up arrow 18%

Chemistry
up arrow 13%

Bioinformatics
up arrow 9%

Material Science
up arrow 4%

Chemical Process Engineering
up arrow 4%

Statistical Analysis
up arrow 2%

Image Processing
up arrow 2%

Project Management
up arrow 1%

National Average
$100,000

Data Analysis
up arrow 1%

Product Development
up arrow 1%

Technical Writing
up arrow 1%

Proposal Writing
up arrow 3%



Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 79 votes.

Gender

Female
38 %
Male
62 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
4%
1-4 years
23%
5-9 years
27%
10-19 years
28%
20 years or more
18%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 94%
dental benefits
Dental: 80%
medical benefits
Vision: 66%
dental benefits
None: 5%
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