Average Principal Scientist Salary

$121,951
Avg. SalaryShow Hourly Rate
$13,443
Bonus
$7,500
Commission
$5,244
Profit Sharing
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The average salary for a Principal Scientist is $121,951.
10%
$86k
MEDIAN
$122k
90%
$154k
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United States (change)
Salary
$86k - $154k
Bonus
$3k - $26k
Profit Sharing
$1k - $20k
Commission
$0 - $8k
Total Pay
$87k - $172k
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What Do Principal Scientists Do?

Principal Scientist Tasks
  • Conduct quantitative and qualitative research to improve existing products or develop new ones.
  • Coordinate with other departmental team leads to produce effective business solutions, and provide updates to project managers.
  • Provide technical guidance on area of expertise and respond to internal and external queries.
  • Monitor staff performance and conduct annual performance reviews.
  • Lead a team of researchers, and coordinate work activity and training sessions.

Job Satisfaction for Principal Scientist

4 out of 5
(179)
Highly Satisfied
8Reviews
The top respondents for the job title Principal Scientist are from the companies Merck & Co., Inc., Pfizer, Inc. and Medtronic, Inc.. Reported salaries are highest at Merck & Co., Inc. where the average pay is $137,164. Other companies that offer high salaries for this role include Abbott Laboratories and Medtronic, Inc., earning around $128,531 and $127,875, respectively. Henkel Corporation pays the lowest at around $96,074. Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer, Inc. also pay on the lower end of the scale, paying $114,783 and $117,737, respectively.

Principal Scientist Job Listings

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What Are Popular Skills for Principal Scientists?

Skills in Biotechnology and Data Analysis are correlated to pay that is above average. Skills that pay less than market rate include Project Management, Research Analysis and Product Development.

What is the Pay by Experience Level for Principal Scientists?

An entry-level Principal Scientist with less than 1 year experience can expect to earn an average total compensation (includes tips, bonus, and overtime pay) of $93,881 based on 17 salaries. An early career Principal Scientist with 1-4 years of experience earns an average total compensation of $103,326 based on 152 salaries. A mid-career Principal Scientist with 5-9 years of experience earns an average total compensation of $116,379 based on 318 salaries. An experienced Principal Scientist with 10-19 years of experience earns an average total compensation of $128,730 based on 585 salaries. In their late career (20 years and higher), employees earn an average total compensation of $137,014.
Employees with Principal Scientist in their job title in San Francisco, California earn an average of 23.0% more than the national average. These job titles also find higher than average salaries in Cambridge, Massachusetts (9.1% more) and Boston, Massachusetts (5.5% more). The lowest salaries can be found in Minneapolis, Minnesota (3.3% less).

Years of Experience

This data is based on 1,351 survey responses.
Entry Level
1.3%
Early Career
11.3%
Mid Career
23.5%
Experienced
43.3%
Late Career
20.7%