Senior Research & Development Managers in the United States can expect wages of $119K per year on average. Final cash compensation to Senior Research & Development Managers varies from around $85K to approximately $179K; choice pay grades include potential for bonuses and profit sharing as high as $24K and $30K, respectively. Residence and career duration each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. Making up 78 percent of those who took the survey, male Senior Research & Development Managers greatly outnumber their female counterparts. Most Senior Research & Development Managers are fairly content with their jobs, and work satisfaction falls in line with the national average. Almost all enjoy medical while nearly all get dental coverage. Vision coverage is also available to a large number. Respondents to the PayScale salary survey provided the data for this report.

$79,156 - $160,786
MEDIAN: $119,169

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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.
$79,156 - $160,786  
$4,750 - $23,750  
Profit Sharing
$5,425 - $29,799  
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).
$84,785 - $178,650  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 28 Oct 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 96

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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

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

Common Career Paths for Sr. Research & Development Manager

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Senior Research & Development Managers who transition into an upper level Software Engineering position will not necessarily make much more than they do in their current role. The average Software Engineering makes $138K a year.

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Popular Skills for Sr. Research & Development Manager

Survey results imply that Senior Research & Development Managers put a diverse skill set to use. Most notably, skills in Software Development, People Management, Product Development, and Research Analysis are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts between 6 percent and 11 percent. Most people who know People Management also know Product Development.

Pay by Experience Level for Sr. Research & Development Manager

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

Although employees with less than five years' experience earn around $94K on average, the five-to-10 year group has a much higher, six-figure median of $108K. Senior Research & Development Managers bring in $139K after working for 10 to 20 years. Folks who claim more than 20 years of relevant experience actually report a comparatively lower median income of $135K.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $132,231

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

With a pay rate for Senior Research & Development Managers that is 17 percent greater than the national average, Minneapolis offers a comfortable salary for those in this profession. The lowest-paying market is New York, which sits 29 percent below the national average, proving that location is a significant contributor to overall pay. Employers also pay below the national average in Boston (24 percent lower) and San Jose (2 percent lower).

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

Years in Fields/Career:
United States (change)

Experience Affects Sr. Research & Development Manager Salaries

National Average

up arrow 29%

Skills That Affect Sr. Research & Development Manager Salaries

Software Development
up arrow 11%

Project Management
up arrow 3%

National Average

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 11 votes.


22 %
78 %

Years of Experience

1-4 years
5-9 years
10-19 years
20 years or more

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 96%
dental benefits
Dental: 90%
medical benefits
Vision: 80%
dental benefits
None: 2%