Sr. Research & Development Manager Salary

Salaries for Senior Research & Development Managers in the United States are generous, with average pay above six figures ($121K) per year. In the world of Senior Research & Development Managers, overall income ranges from $82K near the bottom to $170K at the top; this can include more than $25K from bonuses and more than $15K from profit sharing in exceptional cases. Location is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by career length. Nearly all enjoy medical while most get dental coverage. Vision coverage is also available to a strong majority. Most Senior Research & Development Managers report high levels of job satisfaction. The data in this summary comes from the PayScale salary survey.

$77,660 - $156,466

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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.
$77,660 - $156,466  
$2,045 - $25,138  
Profit Sharing
$3,523 - $14,899  
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).
$82,311 - $170,161  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 278
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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

  • 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.

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Popular Skills for Sr. Research & Development Manager

Senior Research & Development Managers report using a diverse set of skills on the job. Most notably, skills in Software Development, People Management, Product Development, and Project Management are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts between 4 percent and 10 percent. Skills that pay less than market rate include Research Analysis. For most people, competency in People Management indicates knowledge of Product Development.

Pay by Experience Level for Sr. Research & Development Manager

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

Senior Research & Development Managers generally obtain higher compensation for more plentiful past experience. Salaries of relatively inexperienced workers fall in the neighborhood of $94K, but folks who have racked up five to 10 years see a notably higher median of $116K. Senior Research & Development Managers with one to two decades of relevant experience report an average salary of approximately $137K. Individuals who report more than two decades of experience seem to make only slightly more than folks in the 10-to-20 year range; the more senior group sees median earnings in the comparatively modest ballpark of $143K.

Pay Difference by Location

Surpassing the national average by 30 percent, Senior Research & Development Managers in San Jose receive some of the highest pay in the country. Senior Research & Development Managers will also find cushy salaries in Minneapolis (+16 percent). Senior Research & Development Managers in New York take home the lowest salaries, earning a whopping 31 percent less than the national average. Boston and Atlanta are a couple other places where companies are known to pay below the median — salaries are 8 percent lower and 1 percent lower, respectively.

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.

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Experience Affects Sr. Research & Development Manager Salaries

National Average

up arrow 29%

Skills That Affect Sr. Research & Development Manager Salaries

Software Development
up arrow 10%

Product Development
up arrow 4%

Project Management
up arrow 1%

National Average

Research Analysis
up arrow 10%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 66 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: 77% employee benefits None: 3%