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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. With some bonuses approaching $25K and certain profit sharing proceeds approaching $15K, overall incomes of Senior Research & Development Managers spread between $82K and $171K depending on individual performance. Location is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by years of experience. Most Senior Research & Development Managers like their work and job satisfaction is high. Nearly all enjoy medical while most get dental coverage. Vision coverage is also available to a strong majority. The numbers in this rundown were provided by PayScale's salary survey participants.

$77,594 - $156,462
MEDIAN: $121,175

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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.
$77,594 - $156,462  
$2,067 - $25,176  
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).
$82,265 - $170,751  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 16 May 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 277
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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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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 $136K a year.

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 4 percent and 10 percent. At the other end of the pay range are skills like Research Analysis. Most people experienced in 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.

Experience and income seem to be closely related; in general, the survey respondents who had worked for more years reported higher incomes. The relatively untested earn a median of $93K per year, but survey respondents who have racked up five to 10 years of experience report a six-figure median of $112K. Senior Research & Development Managers with one to two decades of relevant experience report an average salary of approximately $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 $146K.

Pay Difference by Location

Senior Research & Development Managers will find that San Jose offers an impressive pay rate, one which exceeds the national average by 30 percent. Senior Research & Development Managers will also find cushy salaries in Minneapolis (+16 percent). Senior Research & Development Managers in New York report much lower salaries than the rest of the country — 31 percent below the national average — proving that residence is a major factor in overall pay. 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

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Experience Affects Sr. Research & Development Manager Salaries

National Average

up arrow 15%

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 12%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 68 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%