Experienced Principal Scientist Salary

Experienced Principal Scientists can expect to earn an average of $126K annually. Overall incomes of Experienced Principal Scientists generally bottom out at around $91K and peak near $169K; the final number can, in exceptional cases, include upwards of $26K each for bonuses and profit sharing proceeds. Residence is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by the specific employer. Most workers in this position report high levels of job satisfaction. Male Experienced Principal Scientists are far more common among survey respondents than their female counterparts, who typically comprise less than one-third of the field. Nearly all enjoy medical while almost all get dental coverage. Vision coverage is also available to most. This overview is based on answers to PayScale's salary questionnaire.

$88,682 - $152,860
MEDIAN: $125,667

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Salary $88,682 - $152,860
Bonus $3,848 - $25,543
Profit Sharing $-0.50 - $39,149
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).
$90,706 - $168,747
  • Country: United States
  • Currency: USD
  • Updated: 14 Sep 2017
  • Individuals Reporting: 381

Find Out Exactly What You Should Be Paid

United States (change)

Principal Scientist Job Listings

Popular Employer Salaries for Principal Scientist

Pfizer, Inc. offers the lowest pay in the field with a median salary of just $125K. There's also little variation in pay at the company, with pay ranging from $81K to $136K.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $133,580

Larger city markers indicate a job is popular in that location.

For Experienced Principal Scientists, busy Washington offers a higher-than-average pay rate, 29 percent above the national average. Experienced Principal Scientists can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Princeton (+17 percent), Chicago (+13 percent), Irvine (+8 percent), and Cambridge (+6 percent). The lowest-paying market is Los Angeles, which sits 7 percent below the national average. Employers in San Francisco and Houston also lean toward paying below-median salaries (3 percent less).

Key Stats for Principal Scientist


26 %
74 %

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 45 votes.
10-19 years
20 years or more
Years in Fields/Career:
United States (change)

Skills That Affect Principal Scientist Salaries

Big Data Analytics

Chemical Process Engineering

National Average

Engineering Design

Molecular Biology

Material Science

Project Management

Data Analysis

Research Analysis

Clinical Research


Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 45 votes.


26 %
74 %

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 96%
dental benefits
Dental: 91%
vision benefits
Vision: 83%
no benefits
None: 3%