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Sr. Research & Development Manager Salary

On average, Senior Research & Development Managers in the United States earn six-figure salaries ($134K) annually, making for a very well-paid profession. Cash earnings for Senior Research & Development Managers — including $25K in bonuses and $14K in profit sharing proceeds near the top of the pay scale — generally stretch from $83K to $171K depending on individual performance. Career duration and the particular city each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. Medical benefits are awarded to almost all, and a large number earn dental coverage. The vast majority (80 percent) of Senior Research & Development Managers who answered the questionnaire are male. Job satisfaction for Senior Research & Development Managers is high. The information for this snapshot was generated by responses to the PayScale salary survey.
$79,660 - $157,317
MEDIAN: $121,826

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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.
$79,660 - $157,317  
$2,065 - $25,074  
Profit Sharing
$3,091 - $14,453  
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).
$82,963 - $170,965  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 11 Dec 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 268
United States (change)

Job Description for Sr. Research & Development Manager

A senior research and development (R&D) manager is a high-level executive who oversees the development of new products or software. The manager must be intimately familiar with the company’s branding and strategy, and then work with R&D staff to improve existing products and introduce new ones that conform to the company’s brand image.


Sr. Research & Development Manager Tasks

  • Negotiate with universities, government, companies, and consultants to obtain research or feasibility information.
  • Formulate research plans including estimates, necessary equipment, and monitoring plans.
  • Assess market and science current states to identify target research areas with unmet needs.
  • Manage budget, expenses, and forecasts for department, including materials analysis.

Common Career Paths for Sr. Research & Development Manager

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For Senior Research & Development Managers, career advancements do not tend to correlate with a rise in salary. On average, lower-level Senior Research & Development Managers earn similar salaries to those in higher-end positions like Software Engineering.

Sr. Research & Development Manager Job Listings

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Popular Skills for Sr. Research & Development Manager

Senior Research & Development Managers report a narrow range of specific skills. Most notably, skills in Software Development, People Management, Product Development, and Project Management are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts between 3 percent and 9 percent. Research Analysis, on the other hand, is typically associated with much lower pay. Those familiar with People Management also tend to know Project Management.

Pay by Experience Level for Sr. Research & Development Manager

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

Experience is an important factor influencing the compensation of Senior Research & Development Managers. Salaries for the relatively untried average out to around $98K, but survey participants with five to 10 years of experience earn a significantly higher median of $117K. Senior Research & Development Managers claiming one to two decades of experience make an estimated median of $136K. Individuals who have achieved more than 20 years of experience don't seem to earn much more than people who have 10 to 20 years under their belts; the more senior group reports an average income of $151K.

Pay Difference by Location

With compensation 18 percent below the national average, New York is not known for hefty paychecks and actually represents the lowest-paying market.

Sr. Research & Development Manager Advice

What do you wish you knew about your job when you first started out?

Sr. Research & Development Manager in Utica:
"Make It Look Easy!"
Spend time to understand the challenge, don't plan to fix the problems of the world. Take on the challenging path, and you will find that it has unplanned rewards along the way.

Related Job Salaries

Experience Affects Sr. Research & Development Manager Salaries

National Average

up arrow 12%

up arrow 27%

Skills That Affect Sr. Research & Development Manager Salaries

Software Development
up arrow 9%

People Management
up arrow 8%

Product Development
up arrow 3%

National Average

Project Management
up arrow 1%

Research Analysis
up arrow 25%

Job Satisfaction

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


20 %
80 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
1-4 years
5-9 years
10-19 years
20 years or more

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 96% dental benefits Dental: 88%
vision benefits Vision: 76% employee benefits None: 3%