The average salary for a Principal Scientist is $121,037.
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$85k - $152k
$3k - $25k
$1k - $20k
$87k - $168k
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Job Description for Principal Scientist
Principal scientists lead scientific teams, conducting research and analyzing results. The goals of this research vary according to the field and industry in which the principal scientists are employed. For example, principal scientists working in commercial manufacturing and other fields within the private sector typically look for ways to improve products or create new products or technologies. Principal scientists n academia seek to build on existing knowledge or technology; their aim is gene…Read more
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.
Popular Employer Salaries for Principal Scientist
The top respondents for the job title Principal Scientist are from the companies Merck & Co., Inc., Pfizer, Inc. and Johnson & Johnson. Reported salaries are highest at Cargill where the average pay is $134,261. Other companies that offer high salaries for this role include Merck & Co., Inc. and Medtronic, Inc., earning around $132,898 and $131,050, respectively. Johnson & Johnson pays the lowest at around $113,500. Abbott Laboratories and Pfizer, Inc. also pay on the lower end of the scale, paying $116,809 and $117,544, respectively.
Explore the most common career paths for Principal Scientist. Thickness and color of lines indicates popularity of movement from one job to the next. Visit our career path planner to research other job paths.
More common (> 20%)
Somewhat common (8 - 20%)
Less common (< 8%)
Principal Scientist Job Listings
Popular Skills for Principal Scientist
Skills in Biotechnology and Data Analysis are correlated to pay that is above average. Skills that pay less than market rate include Research Analysis, Project Management and Product Development.
Pay by Experience Level for Principal Scientist
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 $95,459 based on 18 salaries. An early career Principal Scientist with 1-4 years of experience earns an average total compensation of $101,628 based on 156 salaries. A mid-career Principal Scientist with 5-9 years of experience earns an average total compensation of $116,438 based on 329 salaries. An experienced Principal Scientist with 10-19 years of experience earns an average total compensation of $127,437 based on 628 salaries. In their late career (20 years and higher), employees earn an average total compensation of $132,704.
Pay Difference by Location
Learn more about cost of living by city.
Employees with Principal Scientist in their job title in San Francisco, California earn an average of 17.6% more than the national average. These job titles also find higher than average salaries in Cambridge, Massachusetts (8.5% more) and Boston, Massachusetts (6.2% more). The lowest salaries can be found in Minneapolis, Minnesota (1.1% less).
Years of Experience
This data is based on 1,417 survey responses.
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