Sr. Research & Development Manager Salary

On average, Senior Research & Development Managers in the United States earn six-figure salaries ($121K) annually, making for a very well-paid profession. Cash earnings for Senior Research & Development Managers — including $25K in bonuses and $15K in profit sharing proceeds near the top of the pay scale — generally stretch from $82K to $171K depending on individual performance. Residence and career duration each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. Almost all report receiving medical coverage from their employers and a large number collect dental insurance. Job satisfaction for Senior Research & Development Managers is high. Participants in PayScale's salary questionnaire provided the particulars of this report.

$77,660 - $156,409
MEDIAN: $121,305

Add this chart to your site: 640px    300px

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.
$77,660 - $156,409  
$2,071 - $25,157  
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).
$82,317 - $170,700  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 20 Jun 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 278
United States (change)

Find Out Exactly What You Should Be Paid

United States (change)

Comp Managers: Start Here »

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

Add this chart to your site:   640px 640px    300px 300px

Many Senior Research & Development Managers move into a Software Engineering role, which does not lead to a big boost in pay. Software Engineering Directors on average bring in a similar salary to Senior Research & Development Managers.

Sr. Research & Development Manager Job Listings

Search for more jobs:

Popular Skills for Sr. Research & Development Manager

Senior Research & Development Managers only report a few 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 4 percent and 10 percent. At the other end of the pay range are skills like 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 with a rich background of experience are typically rewarded with larger paychecks. In this occupation, salaries for the relatively untested average out to $93K, but folks in the five-to-10 year range enjoy a much heftier median of $114K. The average pay reported by folks with 10 to 20 years of experience is around $137K. Senior Research & Development Managers who surpass 20 years on the job report pay that isn't as high as one would expect; the median compensation for this crowd sits around $145K.

Pay Difference by Location

For Senior Research & Development Managers, busy San Jose offers a higher-than-average pay rate, 30 percent above the national average. Senior Research & Development Managers will also find cushy salaries in Minneapolis (+16 percent). Senior Research & Development Managers' salaries are heavily influenced by location — Senior Research & Development Managers in New York bring in salaries that are 31 percent lower than the national average. Not at the bottom but still paying below the median are employers in Boston and Atlanta (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.

Related Job Salaries

United States (change)

Find Out Exactly What You Should Be Paid

United States (change)

Comp Managers: Start Here »

Experience Affects Sr. Research & Development Manager Salaries

National Average

up arrow 14%

up arrow 30%

Skills That Affect Sr. Research & Development Manager Salaries

Software Development
up arrow 10%

People Management
up arrow 7%

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 67 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%