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The Going Rates, 2019 Edition

I did a post a few years ago that was a sort of informal salary survey for biopharma folks (I asked initially about the Boston/Cambridge area, but responses came in from many other places as well). I’ve had a recent request for an update, and I think it would make an interesting comparison..

So break out the comment-section pseudonyms! Let’s hear what the rough salary ranges are these days. Relevant information would be your level of experience, the broad scientific area/job function that you’re working in, and your geographical region, as well as your general pay level. If you’re just starting out, it would be worth knowing if you’re coming out of a post-doc and how long that took as well. At the other end, if you’ve moved into the world of consulting, I think people would like to know how that’s going, too.

This will be far from a controlled scientific survey, but I think that last time around it proved to be of some value, and we can also see if things come out any differently than they did in 2014. . .

308 comments on “The Going Rates, 2019 Edition”

  1. Newnamenoname says:

    North of the UK, “Research Scientist”, small pharm dev company, 1 year in right after my PhD (also UK) – £24,000 p/a

  2. NotScientist says:

    South of the UK, “Research Scientist”, small pharm dev company, 6 years in the industry after MSc – £35,000 p/a

  3. TheName says:

    Doing a PhD now, but before; Southern Scotland, “Research Scientist I”, Big CRO straight from Masters, £21k

  4. ProffyMcProfFace says:

    $152k. Tenured full professor at private university (w. attached hospital & medical school) in Northeast US. Expected to cover 75% of salary from grants.

  5. Anonymous says:

    $230k + bonus, Senior Director in a business role at large pharma in the Boston area
    10 years in industry
    PhD, consulting background

  6. RecoveringGradStudent says:

    $60k (excluding benefits, stocks, bonus). Associate chemist in pharma with a Masters, CO, USA.

  7. anon says:

    Oxford PDRA, £34k. 2 years post doc experience.

    1. Manon says:

      Hi Ewen!

      1. anon says:

        Thats a longshot haha. I’m in Biochem.

        1. Manon says:

          Hi Adam!

          1. Anon says:


  8. Canadian Chemist says:

    Boston area medicinal chemist, straight out of postdoc: ~130k after cash bonus for last year

  9. Anonymous says:

    ….seeing as other academics are posting.

    £58k Senior Lecturer (~= associate prof) UK (outside London).
    27 years post-PhD, 24 years post-postdoc.

  10. Luckyman says:

    US West Coast BD/strategy consulting. $300k cash comp on annual basis + commission on deals done. PhD, MBA, 22 years industry experience.

    1. Hardik says:

      consultant. Would love to connect with you on linkedin. my name is Hardik Amin from King’s college.

  11. Anon. says:

    UK, BSc. 10 years lab experience, moved into pharma project management last year. £33k

  12. Virology says:

    Research Associate, Central Jersey, Public University. $69k (nice), 4 years out from PhD.

    1. passionlessDrone says:

      You should aim for 420K and stop there no matter what.

  13. What's Going On? says:

    B.S. 2019
    “Molecular technician” for genetic lab diagnostic company in Central Massachusetts

  14. Anon says:

    Northeast US big pharma synthetic chemist, MS w/6 years experience, 85k base

  15. anonymous says:

    PhD in a BD role. Medium size pharma, Pacific northwest, 8 years experience.
    130k base and up to 25% base in stock options.

  16. Anon says:

    PhD + 15 years experience, Boston area biopharma, director in research. $210k base, 20% bonus, $130k stock incentives.

  17. Anon says:

    $135k, Chemistry technology specialist at a Boston based law firm (IP). One year out of post doc.

  18. Anon says:

    Assistant professor (soon to be associate) at public university in California, 13 years post-PhD, 6 years post-postdoc (I wasted a lot of years there). $79k

  19. Anonymous Coward says:

    £40k computox in the UK. also 35 days holiday a year.

  20. AnonAgain says:

    UK-based independent consultant working for a range of clients in the scientific space (primarily nano / bio and some BD). Take home last year ~£100k, could probably make more but happy at this level and work-life balance. A few years of industrial experience across sectors and a PhD in the early 2000s

    1. Hardik says:

      nano based consultant. Would love to connect with you on linkedin. my name is Hardik Amin from King’s college.

      1. Pgh says:

        Computational biology Graduate student, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. $30k/yr including health insurance

  21. anon the II says:

    90K in Southeast academic pharmacology lab doing org syn, not a prof, 38 yr experience. Got pharmed out from big pharma at 50. Was making 200+ in salary and bonuses in the late 90’s. Glad I didn’t spend it.

  22. A Ninny Miss says:

    £93K Director, Regulatory Affairs
    PhD, post. doc, ~8 yrs med. chem. + 5 years in reg affairs in Cambridge UK area.

  23. NewGrad says:

    Fresh comp chem PhD. 110k$ base, greater Boston area.

  24. Anon says:

    Process Chemist, Medium CMDO, Southeast US, $70K base pay. 1.5 years out from PhD, 1 year as post-doc.

  25. Anonymous says:

    Process chemist for Fine Chemicals, midwest area, PhD with 6 years experience: $140k.

  26. anonanonanon says:

    Senior Scientist (no project management experience) at a CRO in the Midlands, UK.

    5 years post PhD. No post doc experience.

    £32k plus bonus.

  27. Anon says:

    Synthetic chemist, M.S. w/ 6 years of experience, Big Pharma, $80K + bonus, San Diego.

  28. ButtonPusher says:

    Analytical chemist at a small startup, greater Boston area, MSc. with 5 years in industry, 75k USD/yr

  29. noname says:

    Organic chemist working in the North West of England. PhD + 9 years industrial experience (in everything BUT pharma). Currently working on additives for polymers (antioxidants and the like), still mostly lab based. £31K

  30. choss says:

    Remind me not to move back to the UK

    1. Nonane says:

      Even allowing for the exchange rate the difference in salaries is rather striking… then again maybe the cost of living is higher in the US?

      1. Diver Dude says:

        The general rule of thumb seems to be that the cost of living in the UK is about 25% HIGHER than in the US. This seems to be generally held by economists to be the dividend of the dollar being the world’s reserve currency and oil being priced in dollars. That raises some interesting potential impacts as we transition away from oil as an energy source and as the current administration’s policies erode their allies trust.

      2. loupgarous says:

        I’ve worked (as a clinical data analyst/computer programmer) in Big Pharma in the UK and US when the GBP was worth USD 1.70. Stuff like food and rent (my family and I rented in a solidly blue-collar area of Welwyn Garden City, Herts while I worked at the local branch of multinational Big Pharma) that sold for (X) number of US dollars cost the same number of GB pounds. Value Added Tax and current exchange rates exacted a 70 percent surcharge on my earnings.

        When my British assignment (for the local subsidiary of my US-based consulting firm) shifted south of London, the financial pain increased, because things cost more in the southeastern counties. Fortunately, it was time for the kids to go back to school in the US. They and my wife went back, I stayed in the UK working for two months, living over a pub.

        But… breathtaking views of large rolling hills in farm country, decent cooking (British cooks get an undeservedly bad rap, and I speak as someone spoiled to Cajun and Amish cooking) and nice people made up for quite a lot of the cost of living.

        I am glad I went.

    2. Anonymous says:

      Horses for courses.
      The numbers don’t apply to all employments, but I get 39 days holiday a year (incl. bank hols). No need for medical insurance. 6 months on full pay if off sick, a further 6 months on half-pay if needed. 26 weeks ordinary maternity leave (a further 26 weeks additional leave allowed), statutory maternity pay, 2 weeks paid paternity leave.

      1. Derek Lowe says:

        These are good points. I would note that health insurance in the US is (perhaps notoriously) part of employment, and its cost is shared between the employee and the employer. The money provided by the latter is not included in the salary figures.

        1. Ian Brooks says:

          Im a Brit working in the US (context)

          The associated fringe benefits add even more to total compensation. Ive had staff complain about low(er) salaries than industry might offer. I show them their actual *compensation* is salary + 20-40% in benefits bc of subsidized health insurance & annuities etc

        2. Anon says:

          Another factor is employer contribution to occupational pension scheme. I get 19.5% employer contributions p.a. compared to my 8.8% contribution (university setting).

      2. Noname says:

        I get that, our terms and conditions are generally held to be better (I’ve never worked in the US so I can’t say for sure how much better – be interesting to hear from someone who knows first-hand).

        I sometimes wonder how the chemical industry is fairing in the UK. In the North West it feels like its been in a slow decline for years. Brexit uncertainty really isn’t helping, all my chemist friends tell me that their companies are on a hiring freezes.

      3. A Ninny Miss says:

        Geez! I left med chem in the UK because I earned £43K and thought that wasn’t enough! nobody on here has been paid that much as far as I can see!

      4. Hap says:

        Vacation helps less, though, if you have no money. I don’t think I’d take 2/3 of my salary as a tradeoff for better health care and more vacation – if it were 1/3, it might make sense, but not at 2/3.

        1. Hap says:

          Giving up 2/3 salary, not getting 2/3 (similarly with 1/3 later).

        2. johnnyanon says:

          Lived and worked in the US, Canada and the UK (now in the UK). Many things are cheaper in the UK that don’t necessarily factor into official cost-of-living calculations – i’m finding I spend a lot less yearly than I used to in North America, so despite the lower salary am feeling relatively comfortable (that said I’m at the very high end of the UK salaries being mentioned here). But you can’t get away from the fact that UK salaries for scientists and academics are somewhere between 1/2 to 1/4 of what they are in North Am, along with real estate costs that are brutal anywhere in the south. Apart from the longer vacation, maternity leave and much more esthetically pleasing environment, quality of life isn’t that hugely better, especially if you have to commute to a big centre. If one considers that salaries generally reflect how much a particular society values an occupation, then the UK doesn’t really value science that much (and neither does it value health care – North Am physician salaries can be 5-10 times those of UK doctors, and nurse salaries are very low as well). Professions valued in the UK are finance and marketing. Science is much more of a vocation. The more nationalistic brits will often trot out the “more Nobel prizes per capita than any other country!” nugget, but the health of a sector isn’t measured by past awards. Over the long term, if it can’t compete with the US for salaries, UK science is facing a long decline. You already see it when trying to recruit, the local candidate pool is minimal.

      5. MTK says:

        Is not university free or very low cost in the UK?

        If you have kids you don’t have to save nearly as much for that as we do in the US

        1. WildCation says:

          Tuition fees came in in 1998, at £1000/year. In 2004, it increased to £3000/year, then to £9000/year in 2010. Since then it’s increased in line with inflation. Still a good deal compared to the US, but it’s quickly becoming out of reach for families who did not anticipate fees increasing by >800% in 20 years.

          1. Andrew says:

            The term “tuition fee” in the UK is confusing and oft misunderstood by any one not in the know. It is not a debt like any other loan. Repayment is salary-based, not based on how much is owed, and the balance is written off after 25 or 30 years. It’s a graduate tax by any other name.

          2. Andrew says:

            (and the 1k and 3k fees were “top up” fees, with the rest paid for by the student’s local education authority, or LEA. The 9k fee is more transparent withnregard costs, and the LEA no longer makes a contribution.)

    3. Single Payer for All says:

      Let’s not Forget they have Single Payer healthcare

      1. anon says:

        Paid for in part by taxes on the salary, certainly.

  31. anonforthisone says:

    soft money scientist at US national lab, 10yrs post PhD, 120k.

  32. Anonymous says:

    B.Sc in Biochemistry, underpaid and overworked contractor in the midwest US for $37k. 5 Years experience in the lab doing protein assays, LC/MS.

    1. Frm Assoc Professor says:

      20 years ago, I paid my staff better than that at a public midwest university off my grants.

  33. NGS Scientist says:

    Structural Biologist with Ph.D. (5 Years ago) now working as Data Scientist in NGS for large diagnostic company in Metro Boston. 120K+performance bonuses.

  34. anon says:

    4 years out of PhD/postdoc, Bay area pharma process chem ~$160k (including bonus) + stock incentives

  35. Anon says:

    Biochemist doing analytical work, $70K, research associate professor title, Midwest, 20 years after postdoc, 6 years postdoc before that.

  36. Mister B. says:

    Undergraduate (National funding) 19.680 € / year ($21.975) It included part-time teaching at University.
    Industrial post-doc 30.233 € / year ($33.758)

    Industrial post-doc (temporary position I hope to convert into permanent) about 40.000€ / year.

    Being a chemist in Europe is more about being passionate in chemistry not interested in money.

    1. EUtooLowMustGo says:

      You can go somewhere else to make more money and still be passionate about your work. Don’t limit yourself.

  37. Anonymous says:

    Neuroscientist SF Bay Area. 1 year out of PhD (Ivy League), no post-doc. $107/year base + bonus + stock options.

  38. Anony-Mouse says:

    Associate professor at public university in Texas, 11 years post-PhD, 8 years post-postdoc. ~$90k

  39. overpaidbutnotcomplaining says:

    $95K base. synthetic chemist, B.S. and 3 years experience. big pharma in the SF Bay Area

    1. Questioner says:

      95k in SF? Do you have 4 roommates?

  40. nonono says:

    PDRA at a well known London university. £41k. 4 years of PD experience

  41. offAnonAgain says:

    Medicinal chemist, medium sized pharma in southeast US, PhD + 3 years experience. $110k + bonus.

  42. Anonymus says:

    Senior Research Scientist (Organic & Polymer Chemistry), 1.5 years after PhD graduation (no postdoc experience; went into industry straight after PhD; PhD in Russel Group Uni), Belgium, 53k€ / year + 6% bonus (up to 9% depending on performance) + 32 days paid holidays (bank holidays not included here).

    The year before finishing my PhD I started to apply for jobs and the offers I got from the UK were abysmal (25k-30kGBP / year)

  43. anonymous says:

    Bay area thin film process engineer, 1 year out of chemistry PhD, 115k base

  44. Also_anon says:

    SF Bay Area, discovery research, biotech site for a large Pharma, 12 years post Ph.D., $140,000 salary, $20,000 average bonus.

  45. anon says:

    MS Chemist with 30 years experience working at mid-atlantic area research lab now making $55K /year. Previously made nearly double that in the pharma industry before it ceased to exist. I would like to know where the magical STEM jobs are (I guess in MA, CA, and a few other spots.

    PS, Not sure how anyone can live in San Diego for 80K.

    1. CB says:

      I’m sorry to hear this. I am an synthetic organic chemist MS at a biotech in the midwest making $72.5K base + 2k to 5k in annual bonus depending on company performance and personal performance about 3.5 years out of grad school.

  46. Krystellegrower says:

    82k. R&D/formulations, industrial fluids, US deep south. 7 yrs after PhD inorganic chemistry, 2 yrs after postdoc (yeesh)

  47. assprof says:

    $79k, year-six asst. prof. at Mid-Atlantic PUI

  48. Dorkoselectivity says:

    PhD 2015, SF Bay Area
    No post-doc. Contractor for ~2 years at $45/h for mid-sized pharma. Hired at a small start up, Scientist I Discovery Chem; $110k starting, bonus, and pre-IPO stock options.
    It’s Bay Area though. Even married to an Apple developer, we’ll never be home owners here.

  49. anonyprof says:

    1st year assistant prof in MI liberal arts school, 70k/yr

  50. Dept. Chair says:

    Full Professor and Chemistry Department Chair
    17 years at small, private liberal arts college in Midwest (?) US.
    $69k for nine-month contract

    1. Chrispy says:

      Just out of curiosity what does tuition cost there?

      1. Aanon says:

        Scary question!

  51. CornChemist says:

    Postdoc public R1 in the Midwest. 3 yrs experience 52k/ year with health and dental (and lots of travel support)

  52. Super Anonymous says:

    $135k base + bonus and long term incentives. PhD + 13 yrs large biopharma in drug product development. Greater Boston.

  53. Dodgy Biology says:

    PhD + post-doc + 15 years of biopharma experience, SF Bay Area, Biology Director @ startup. $210k base + 25% bonus + ISOs.

  54. Anonymous says:

    Non-TT research assistant professor at an SEC school. 9 years post PhD 7 years post PD at a national lab.

    $84k for a 12-month appointment.

  55. Buried says:

    Full Professor at large private school in Midwest USA
    16 years out of postdoc
    $94K for 9 month contract

  56. Urlik says:

    Senior Scientist/Proj mgr., BA chemistry, 19 years process + med chem, 6 years with private “not for profit” lab
    NW US, $136k + $20k bonus

  57. Anonymous says:

    17 yr industry. PhD + 2 post docs
    Sr Director biology, large pharma. Boston area

    186k base. 21% performance bonus, 24% restricted stock/year
    total cash compensation ~250k depending on stock price and bonus in any given year

  58. Anon nom says:

    $100k working for Uncle Sam. PhD with 0 years post doc and 0 years experience. Hope to be $110k in two years with the ‘automatic’ step increases. 3-5 years out hope to be at 120-130k with another grade increase. Manager makes $192k on the SES scale, we have multiple $145-165k GS15s with 10-15 years experience and GS14s making $115-135k. I guess Uncle Sam isn’t so bad considering our job stability, affordable health care and pension. Definitely not making the insane salaries posted on here, but I can’t complain.

  59. a says:

    NJ big pharma biology PhD, $200k incl bonus +15k stock every so often. 13 years since post doc.

  60. anonymous says:

    Fifth-year tenure-track assistant professor at east coast public university. $87K 9-month salary that can go up to $116K annually when I have grant funds to cover summer salary.

  61. noname says:

    Senior Research Scientist (organic chemistry) @ 60-people biotech in SF Bay Area, PhD ~5.5 years ago, postdoc ~3 years ago, $120k + stock option of unpredictable worth.

  62. anon says:

    Research scientist (sometimes medchem/sometimes process/sometimes regulatory/sometimes CRO management/generally putting out fires jack-of-all trades type of chemistry job), 4 years post-PhD, no postdoc, SE US small pharma: $120k base + bonus + RSUs + stock options

  63. anon says:

    Assistant prof (almost up for tenure) at a Canadian university. $105 k CAD (78 k in USD at current exchange) 12 month salary.

  64. Dr Grumpy says:

    Tenured academic at well known ‘research intensive’ UK Univ outside London (not Oxbridge).. broadly equiv to large state Uni in US. PhD + 17 post-PhD yrs, inc 15 as PI of small & intermittently unsuccessful research gp. Salary £ 48K, so approx US $ 62K, but as others have mentioned healthcare is free here

  65. anon says:

    Post-doc/staff scientist, major London university, 3 years post-PhD. £45k pa.

  66. SwissChemist says:

    Big Pharma Switzerland: 150k CHF (incl bonus), 8 years experience PhD chemist incl. postdoc

  67. Anon says:

    Med Chemist in academic Drug Discovery in U.K.
    Some project management, but no line management responsibilities. ~20 years Industry experience in pharma, CROs etc after Masters degree.
    Salary ~£42,000 with no bonus.
    36 hour flexible working week + 40 days paid vacation.

  68. Not complaining says:

    MS organic chemistry. 7 years in industry doing med chem, now in GMP/process. Southeast Michigan. $78k.

  69. Viking says:

    Scandinavia, big pharma, >25 years post post doc, non-lab based med chemist. Equivalent to $84k but with high tax – and all the benefits that accrue from a society with low levels of inequality. Very happy with the good life I have.

  70. John Smith says:

    Clinical data science at a hospital in NE US. PhD + 15yr (10 in this field). $140k

    Avg *male* salary for my degree & ‘rank’ is $168k. If i was MD not PhD i could double my salary, at least.

  71. anon says:

    “Research Assistant Prof” (the very bottom of tenure track) at a NE US med school, started last year $84k
    Sci 1 at medium-sized pharma, NE US, started last year $110k

  72. The hours are good says:

    South-east UK, PhD + post-doc + 20 yrs experience, analytical chemistry, 60k + 10% bonus, 12% pension contribution, 30 days holiday.

    1. SSG says:

      Just wondering… $60k, or £60k? One would be what I expected, the other would be doing really well IMO!

  73. Skensis says:

    BS level scientist about 4yrs out of school pay area ~130 total comp at startup

    Anal Chem

    1. wowza says:

      Wow! You are making more than a lot of people with PhDs and experience! nice work!

      1. Skensis says:

        Thanks! I know I’m a real outlier.

        A lot of my success boils down to the luck of having a string of good leadership/PIs/bosses who believed and trusted me to take on more and more serious and impactful projects.
        Yeah my hard work and effort certainly was crucial, but that’s really only a small piece.

  74. wow says:

    105k USD, regulatory

    7 years postdoc, 1.5 years after postdoc

  75. The Job I am About to Start says:

    Senior Director, Analytical Academic/Industrial Institute, Mid Atlantic
    220, 000. No Long term incentives.

    1. The Job I am About to Start says:

      This is 21 years post-PhD, 19post-PD

  76. Mike Mike says:

    R&D Chemist in industry. B.S. Biochemistry graduated in 16. Salary 64k before bonus and 401k incentives. Southwest.

  77. The Job I Just Left says:

    Associate Director, Biologics Analytical, Greater Chicago, 21 years post-PHD, 19years post-PD
    158, No idea what the LTI are.

  78. Anonarama says:

    Director-level, greater Boston area, scientific ladder, 25 years experience. Salary around 210k, bonus and incentives around 50k.

  79. NYC prof says:

    Full professor in New York City medical school, 20 years out of postdoc. 340K salary plus 70K consulting.

    1. Ray says:

      Are you an MD/PhD? or is this just with a PhD?

      1. Anon says:

        PhD + 11 years experience.

        GS15-5 scientist in the government. $161k + $8k retirement matching + ~$1-2k bonus.

        Pay $72 every paycheck for health care. TSP (govt 401k plan) has a 0.04% expense ratio. 21 days of vacation + all federal holidays. Soon to get 26 days vacation after 15 years. Can also get more days off with credit hours if wanted.

        If nothing changes with my salary, I will get $40,000 per year in pension by the time I put 25 years in. Social security + pension + my savings means retiring on an income of $80-100k per year. Thinking about hanging it up and living abroad at 56 after I get 25 years in.

      2. Old Timer says:

        MD/PhD starting Prof salary in NYC can easily be 450k

      3. NYC Prof says:

        I am a PhD. No clinical responsibilities. I’m at a private school, so salaries can be high if they want to retain you. They are not limited by state government salary guidelines.

    2. WhatTheHeck says:

      No wonder my medical tuition is $55,000+. Jesus christ

  80. Anon says:

    Sr. Scientist – in vitro pharmacology – 11 years in industry – Boston – $110k + bonus

  81. Moving on says:

    Pharma org chemist in UK, MS + couple of years’ experience: £35k + bonus, sweet benefits package.
    Significant improvement on last job, so mileage may vary

    1. Dadoanondadoanon says:

      Nice work landing a pharma job in the UK without a PhD!

      Granted I’m a few years out of date but I recall when I was doing my masters placement the big pharma company I was with hadn’t hired a chemist without postgraduate experience for around 2 years.

      Anyone know if the pendulum swinging back to hiring a few more graduates (in my view a good thing, as not everyone wants to do a PhD) or is this sort of thing an outlier?

      1. Moving on says:

        Depends on your company. My couple of years’ experience were in a CRO and I could demonstrate substantial growth & valuable niche experience in that time.

        Non-PhD’s get ****ed over in some places even if they have equivalent experience.

        I am an outlier in other ways, but can’t deny I am also lucky.

  82. Life Is Good says:

    Med chemist, one foot in the lab and one foot in too many meetings. 10 years post PhD (no postdoc!). $135K + bonus/stock options, Big Pharma, San Diego

  83. HFM says:

    Bioinformatics at a giant biotech, SF Bay Area. Individual contributor level, 2 years out of PhD. Salary $117K with bonus, 401K match, etc totaling ~$20K more.

  84. Anon says:

    Principal Scientist, PhD biochemist. Small biotech in San Diego. 6 yrs in biotech after 10 years tenure track academic. 128K + ~12% bonus.

  85. NightKing says:

    Senior Data Scientist, 7+ years post-grad experience (no post-doc), Bay Area Pharma, ~$210k + ~20% RSUs (cliff)

    1. PhotoDeTox says:

      Valar morghulis

  86. navarro says:

    high school math teacher, public schools, 24 years experience in texas, usa.

    $57k + teacher retirement system pension.

  87. caffeineToBugConverter says:

    Not directly relevant (not biopharma), but since I read the blog I may as well. Also cross-industry comparison can be helpful for context.

    Jr Embedded Software Engineer, in western NY $72k, 90% health insurance premiums paid by employer, 100% dental/vision, 401k (50% match), some other perks that add $2500 to effective salary at least).

    B.S. Computer Engineering, 0 yrs experience (entry level).

  88. She is anon says:

    Director, Boston area biotech startup, 12yrs post phd, 180K + 20% bonus + stock options of dubious value. 5 weeks vacation and zero job security, can be let go at a moments’ notice.

  89. SendNudes says:

    Technical Writer for large pharma / device company. PhD with 1 year of industry experience. No post-doc. $150K + benefits.

  90. Anon says:

    PhD + postdoc, medicinal chemistry professor, US midwest, private, 12 month contract, $110.

  91. Anony says:

    Sr. Sci, Boston biotech, MS with 20yr. $150 base + 15k bonus. 1500-2 k stock options/yr.

  92. Spring has sprung says:

    Senior Director level, medicinal chemistry, private small virtual biotech, Northeast USA (high cost of living area), 19 yrs in biotech industry past postdoc.
    $230K + bonus + stock options

  93. Polymer McPolyface says:

    Materials Engineer at a Boston-area 3D printing company. PhD + 4 yrs work experience. $112,500 plus equity

  94. anon says:

    UK biotech (not South East).Approx 50% lab based. Line and project management. PhD in a lab you’ve heard of. 10-15 years in industry. £42k.

  95. Anon says:

    Research Scientist Process R&D. Small/med biotech SF Bay area. 6 years post PhD (no postdoc). 140k + ~20k bonus + ~30-60k RSU bonus (total compensation = ~205k). 20 vacation days/yr + holidays

  96. alwaystired says:

    Research associate at R1 state univ in mid south, 20 yrs post PhD, basically a post-doc-for life: 52 K/yr, with outside teaching gigs up to 65 K a year. I work all of the time, essentially. Clearly, I’m underpaid!

  97. Notme says:

    Retired prof, teaching 7 credits at local community college in rural southeast to avoid the internet, 7800.

  98. IndecipherableName says:

    I’m making $83,000 at a small R&D company in Los Angeles. One year out of PhD.

  99. nemo says:

    Big pharma in Spain, PhD + 15y experience, research chemist, €50k, 23d paid holidays, free med insurance (paid with ca, 25%tax)

  100. Anon says:

    Associate Professor in the University of California system. ~90K + benefits (we still have a retirement plan).

  101. Another SwissChemist says:

    CDMO Switzerland, senior scientist, process development and some project management, 110 kCHF + bonus (up to 20%), 15 years post PhD (3 years as postdoc)

  102. Prof(essional) says:

    Early career assistant prof. at private R1 in the South, $100k 9-month base salary with up to $22k more possible from grants/startup.

  103. Anon right this moment says:

    Senior bioprocess engineer, $133k base + bonus, Boston MA area, MS +19 years experience

  104. Anonymous says:

    Associate Professor (PhD) at a Pharmacy School in the Midwest University. 12 month salary: 130K and can make another 25% if cover effort with grants.

  105. B-Team says:

    Big chemistry in germany, first year after phd, no post-doc: 71k€ (USD 80k) incl. bonus

  106. a non says:

    $138k salary + $22k bonus (average), 9 yrs post-PhD (no post doc), greater Boston area big pharma, MedChem.

  107. Anon says:

    Process Chemist near London after short postdoc, £30k.

  108. Anon says:

    $125k plus bonus – med chemist in big pharma, 3 years out of PhD (no postdoc)

  109. Dr. Toboggan says:

    Just stumbled accross this article about a spreadhseet detailing jobs in general, not just chemistry jobs. I guess someone put together a google poll and 12,000+ people have answered it. Their answers are available in a google sheet anyone can view.

    1. Ongo Gablogian says:

      Dr…. Mantis Toboggan?? Is that you?

      1. The Golden God says:


  110. Anonymous Bosch says:

    Senior director, medicinal chemistry, Boston-area startup, PhD+post-doc, 10 yrs experience: $210k + 20% bonus

  111. big aggregate says:

    Graduate student at a (high cost of living) University of California school: $30k (we’ll be at $32k by the time I get out of here in 2023).

    Previously an RA at a biotech in the Bay Area (working at a jack-of-trades w/ 4 years of undergrad chem lab experience): ~$55k w/o options.

  112. anon says:

    Bay Area – Analytical Chemistry – Application Scientist – 1 year removed from PhD (no postdoc) – $110k (salary incl bonus, but not counting 401k match+health insurance)

  113. Anemone says:

    Formulation Scientist, small-mid Pharma company, Bsc Pharmaceutics/chem, 5 yrs total in pharma (2 years manufacturing/process, 2 years lab analytical chem, 1 year formulation) 70k AUD.

  114. Lucky SOB says:

    Senior level medicinal chemist, research scientist, 30 years experience post PhD. No post doc. Northeast US, $250k salary, 20%bonus, $90k restricted stock plus some options.

  115. A-A-non says:

    Organic chemistry (contractor), BS/MS level (less than 10 yrs exp), large company in the Midwest (USA).

    $55-65k per year, 0% bonus (average), 0-2% raise annually, less than 2 weeks vacation per year.

    1. Andrew says:

      How can any company think they get the best from their workers with less than two weeks holiday a year???

  116. another anon says:

    290K salary plus bonus plus 30-40% LTI. Assoc Director, Bay Area Pharma. 10 years experience after postdoc

    1. Anonymous says:

      Are you hiring??? Sign me up!

  117. PUIprof says:

    Starting assistant prof at PUI in eastern USA, $75k (9 month) + 5k for first summer only. 5 years post-PhD

  118. EmDubs says:

    Biochemistry (w/ title similar to Senior Research Associate), B.S. w/ 17 years of experience, Big Pharma, $118K + $15-25k bonus + $10-12k LTI, SF Bay Area.

    Last year, including benefits (401k match, insurance), my total compensation was $184k. This accounts for a very generous bonus for 2018.

  119. Jim Davis says:

    Boston Area Molecular Biologist at a drug discovery startup, PhD + 4 years experience (no postdoc), $115k with 9% bonus, ~5000 shares (in options) per year, 20 days vacation.

  120. Anon says:

    Arghh accidentally hit the wrong button (sorry for this repost):

    PhD + 11 years experience.

    GS15-5 scientist in the government. $161k + $8k retirement matching + ~$1-2k bonus.

    Pay $72 every paycheck for health care. TSP (govt 401k plan) has a 0.04% expense ratio. 21 days of vacation + all federal holidays. Soon to get 26 days vacation after 15 years. Can also get more days off with credit hours if wanted.

    If nothing changes with my salary, I will get $40,000 per year in pension by the time I put 25 years in. Social security + pension + my savings means retiring on an income of $80-100k per year. Thinking about hanging it up and living abroad at 56 after I get 25 years in.

  121. A says:

    Medicinal Chemist $124k plus 10% annual bonus plus >70k incentive stock options in pre ipo pharma startup in the Bay Area. 2.5 years since PhD in chemistry.

  122. Anonnn says:

    VP Research
    San Diego
    Established small biotech
    20 years post postdoc
    $212k salary plus bonuses totaling about $325k

  123. Delp says:

    Agrochemical Research, USA. PhD plus postdoc, 0 years experience. $115k starting salary plus bonus

  124. Anonymous in IT says:

    IT operations in a major research university in Cambridge, 22 years in job, $120k + pension + usual fringes

  125. for whom the bell tides says:

    PhD June 2018, no postdoc. Scientist I (chemistry) at public biotech in boston/cambridge. $98k base plus ~10% bonus, some stock options, and misc benefits

  126. Tripod says:

    Senior research scientist med chem at large biotech in Bay Area. Ph.D no postdoc + 11 yr at same company. $180k plus 20% bonus and about $30k stock. Thankful for chance to do what I love.

  127. Nony says:

    Research associate, 2 years academic experience, 5 years industry experience, BS. 85K, 2k bonus, no 401k, some options, California bay area rent.

    Where the other RAs at?

  128. AnonAnon says:

    I’m waiting on those MDs to drop in and mention how much they are underpaid:

  129. whoami says:

    Anybody from Asia?

  130. Anon says:

    Pre-tenure assistant professor in a Midwest state flagship university. 8 years post PhD. Basic science department in med school. 12 month salary is currently at 230k (started at 102k). No stability. The number can go down as soon as my grant can’t cover it.

  131. Anon says:

    Comp Chemist in Europe, 2 years postdoc+PhD, <1 year at Company, +-60k euro

  132. DrugHunter007 says:

    Scientist (Chemistry) in Bay Area.
    PhD and 4 years Postdoc: started at $105K (base) + 30K (signing bonus, relocation, 2 months housing) + stock options.
    After 2 years experience: $140K (including bonus) + stock options + flexible working hours.

  133. namenlos says:

    Big Pharma Switzerland, clinical data scientist, 140k CHF base + 15-25k bonus. 9 years post-PhD, 6 years post-postdoc

    1. auch_namenlos says:

      From what I understand, in Switzerland people pay for health insurance coverage on their own.

      How much would somebody in that salary bracket pay for insurance each year, as an individual or for a family?

      1. namenlos says:

        That’s right, everyone pays health insurance separately. However it is not dependent on your income. Usually around 300 CHF per adult per month. For children it’s somewhere between 130-200 CHF. These rates assume you pay the first 2500 CHF from your own pocket each year. If you want to drop this, the rates will go up.

        1. auch_namenlos says:

          Thanks for the reply! That seems like reasonable rates. That’s around what I pay here in the US for my health insurance through work ($300/month with $4,000 deductible).

          Random question time. I’ve heard that speeding tickets in Switzerland are based on income. At your approximate income, 160k CHF (157k USD), how much would one of those set you back?

          1. exSwiss says:

            Only if you end up in court.
            Normally it’s a fine on a sliding scale depending by how much you have exceeded the limit starting around CHF40. If you exceed the posted limit by >20 km/h you can end up in front of the beak.

  134. Anon again says:

    I know it’s a separate discussion, but it would have been interesting for people to add their gender. Mind you, based on what’s already been posted, any gender pay gap would probably be overshadowed by geographical and role-specific details.

    1. Anonymous says:

      Interesting you mention this- yesterday (Apr 29) there was a podcast from The Indicator (a part of the broader Planet Money team from NPR, highly recommend the podcast in general!) where the topic was a report from Glassdoor where they looked at which industries had the largest and smallest gender pay gaps. Biotech/pharma was either lowest or second lowest with ~2.5% difference for the same roles. Basic take-home message is that there is more emphasis on “what you know” vs “who you know” as compared to many other fields.

  135. ZeeFormulator says:

    10 yr after PhD at a big American University with Tech in its name. Working in Europe for a large consumer goods company. 94k EUR equals cca 105k USD pre tax. 30 days vacation, +7 additional if I work 40 hours instead of 37.5 a week. Parental leave option where the company has to take me back at the same level and salary. No bonus.

  136. Dadoanonondadoanon says:

    Four years ago senior scientist (straight out of PhD, 2 years at company) med chem CRO midlands £29k (from comments sounds like not much has changed).

    Currently still in life sciences related job but working in public sector in London £51k.

    Love research but glad I got out, chemists massively undervalued in the UK. Not all about the money of course (I could go into private or consulting and earn more – but job satisfaction and other factors are important too, and much respect to those who stick it out because they love the lab).

    Advice to UK chemists, don’t be scared to try something new. I needed a push (and had to take a pay cut on the way!) but it has been rewarding and your skill sets are easily adaptable to jobs that at first glance you’d think your qualifications/training aren’t a match for.

  137. Needs more salary says:

    Hmmm… salaries have seemed to jump quite a bit since Derek’s last post in 2014 when everyone was complaining how bad salaries have stagnated. What has happened in 5 years where everyone now seems for easily be making $130k+? Granted, from the responses thus far the survey seems to have easily skewed more towards the director/senior scientists who have 15-20 years experience. It was my impression that many PhDs were still starting around $85-110k out if school, and a little bit higher if in a HCOL location like Boston or SF. But have salaries really ballooned this much since 2014? I’m being hugely underpaid unless people are lying or survey bias exists because people who make more feel more compelled to tell people about it!

    1. alwaystired says:

      Good point. I think this poll may be selective for people with relatively “good” careers (upward trajectories, good pay, few unemployment gaps, stayed in science). I do know of people who have had careers that have “fizzled” (didnt get tenure, became adjuncts, gaps of unemployment, had to leave science if they wanted decent pay) and I suspect these individuals are not well represented here.

      1. Dr Zoidberg says:

        It is absolutely poll bias. I know there are people out there working for CROs and walking away with $70K (or sometimes less). If that was me I wouldn’t jump into a thread like this with everyone bragging about how they’re making $100-250K and $10K+ in stock options/bonuses.

        Odds are that at least a few of these people are lying too.

        1. tlp says:

          Many commenters live in Bay area, where you can easily pay $2.5-3.5k rent and $1.5-2k for all-week daycare. Here is you 40-50k adjustment.

          1. Meh says:

            meh, daycare in Cambridge is also often $3000/month.

    2. Switch says:

      Starting at 100k out of PhD, then switch jobs once for 20-30% bump.

    3. Not SF or Boston but still says:

      We’ve recently hired a few fresh PhDs (mostly with postdocs) in the $100-115k range. Our bonus package adds another $20-30K at that level. Big Pharma in SoCal

    4. Skensis says:

      Probably it’s also because people are just further in their careers now, five years is a lot of time. I went from being in school to being on my fourth job.

  138. Belgian PhD student says:

    Around 30,000 euros/year as a Belgian PhD student. Also, PhD students in Belgium are largely exempt from taxes so definitely not bad..

  139. A Nonny Mouse says:

    I am absolutely shocked by the salaries in the UK.

    I was in med chem research and left in 1989 after 7 years with the company. I was paid £29K at that time (and about to receive a wet company car- fuel included ) and it wasn’t that special. It seems that things have really deteriorated in the last 30 years!

    When the company got taken over 6 years later and people got laid off, they were taking home that amount of money and more in pensions (at the age of 55).

    1. anon says:

      The money is all in the City…

  140. A nonny Mouse says:

    BS, two years after graduation, working as Scientist 1 in QC in the Midwest. 43K$ before bonus and 401K match.

  141. PhD Student, German University says:

    Bit less than 26k€/a before taxes/health insurance/pension etc. 30 days holiday, 6 weeks paid sick leave. Some teaching requirements, effectively maybe 2-3 months/a.

  142. Anon says:

    Research chemist and technologist for generic Pharma in Canada. CAD$65K not including 15% bonus (£37, USD$48K)

    5 months from PhD, didn’t do a postdoc

  143. Dionysius Rex says:

    €95k basic, plus 10% bonus, 30 days annual holiday allowance + statutory days (total of maybe 39 vacation days per year), + private pension scheme, + a private health insurance contribution. Smallish European pharma in a relatively low cost of living area.

    Principal scientist/Director level medicinal chemist (non-lab), PhD + postdoc + 15 years experience.

  144. Anon says:

    MSc from a good university plus three years experience at a big pharma company in the south of England, mostly lab based, medicinal chemistry.

    31k GBP plus benefits and bonus together around 37k GBP.

  145. Mass Spec Anon says:

    Protein LC-MS Scientist, M.S., Mid-Atlantic Large Pharma, 9 years experience, ~120k after annual cash bonus

  146. why oh why says:

    UK Biotech South East. “Manager” (equivalent to Team Leader / Principle Scientist). PhD + 6 yr post doc + 6 year industry. £45k, zero bonuses, zero stock, 25 days vacation + public holidays.

  147. Anon says:

    Chemistry/Chemical Biology in San Diego, PhD (no postdoc), 3 years experience, ~95k base with 12% cash bonus and 40k stock.

  148. Razor69er says:

    BA in Bio; QA Specialist for pharma manufacturing (company does contract formulation and analytical development and small batch manufacturing). 2 years, 75k, East Coast, USA.

  149. ann a mouse says:

    VP chemistry small biotech in Boston area, 17 years post PhD, 250k + 50k bonus + stock

  150. Anony anony anony ho ho ho says:

    West Coast BD Manager with PhD + 9 years experience. 120k + bonus. Judging from the thread I may be under market rate…

  151. lbf says:

    30 yrs. experience, Ph.D. (1986) + post doc. Research director at a small contract research lab in Western New York (50 employees). $150 K + $8K bonus. Just got a 40% pay hike to this level (I asked and presented ACS salary data to back me up, plus a list of accomplishments- it was overdue)

    1. WNYlulz says:

      Sounds like Stark Associates except they don’t pay their people diddly…

  152. Anonymous says:

    $80K base + some percent bonus (6% …?) associate med chemist in big pharma, New Jersey. 1 year post MS, good benefits, some 401K matching.

  153. Just Median says:

    Director level, Biologics Product Development in small biotech in Boston area. 12 years out of a PhD, no post-doc. 174 + 15% bonus + options that are too few to make any tangible difference to retirement plans. I might be at median.

  154. Anon says:

    Scientist level, drug product development at Boston Biotech (larger). 5 years out of PhD, no post doc. 140k plus bonus and equity (additional 30-40k depending on performance and stock)

  155. SAH says:

    Senior Scientist, large life sciences corporation outside of Boston.

    Masters degree, 20-years experience. $98,108 / £75,278 per year.

  156. Anon says:

    Scientist level, computational biology at a small Biotech in Cambridge, MA. One year out of 1 year postdoc, 120k plus bonus (up to 10%) and incentive stock options.

  157. Ruthenium says:

    Mid-Atlantic research-oriented university, assistant prof 4 years in, 87k$/9 months.

  158. Patent Agent says:

    Patent Agent at large firm in Washington DC. Four years out of PhD. $150K per year.

    1. Patent Agent says:

      no post-doc*

      1. Shirley says:

        Can I ask about the median salary of a patent attorney? Thank you very much!

        1. Patent Agent says:

          It depends on a few factors: law firm size and location being the biggest. Working at a ‘Biglaw’ firm in DC/Boston/NYC/SF the starting salary (with bonus) for a patent attorney will be about 180-190k (plus15k-20k bonus) and can get up to 350k (plus 6 figure bonus) within 8 years and partners can earn significantly more.

          Working at a small firm in a small market will be significantly less…starting salary will probably be low 100s and the raises and bonuses will be much less substantial. The stress is much lower, however.

          1. Noname says:

            $255k + 25% cash bonus + $75k LTI.

            Senior Director in a business role. 13 hrs big Pharma experience + 7 yrs banking.

        2. BK says:

          Patent attorney vs. patent agent are very different things.

  159. Anon says:

    Post-doc in pharma in France. Straight out of PhD. ~€49k.

  160. new to RA says:

    75k USD + 10% bonus at a CRO in North Carolina
    I have 5 years post-PhD industry experience, but I’m in my first year of working in regulatory affairs. I took a pay cut to move away from bench research into an area with more room for growth. I’m hoping to advance quickly in this field, and I plan to start studying for the RAC exam after I’ve been here a full year.

  161. Cananon says:

    Cofounder small fine chem startup, CAD$40k/y, just about all I can afford to pay myself at the moment!

  162. Da Boss says:

    CEO of computational chemistry company, 30 years industry experience. £150k + bonus + options.

    1. anon2 says:

      You need to add some AI to your portfolio. That should at least double your salary!

  163. Anon says:

    Tenured full professor (past 13 years) at USA top-20 private university medical school. 28 years post PhD (no postdoc). Research pharmacologist PhD in a clinical department. 95% soft money. $182k + ~$20k average consulting per year. My PhD peers, without named chairs or professorships, but with substantial/full funding are ~$175-215k per year.

  164. PDRAnonymous says:

    Postdoc in Medicinal Chemistry at a well-known north-west British university. <1 year from PhD. ~£32k p/a

  165. Kevin says:

    BS biochem/bio 1 year after graduation, ‘biotehcnician’ at IVD manufacturing company, 43k. San Diego. This job is telling me to go back to school.

  166. Nymous says:

    Switzerland big pharma. Bioprocess development engineer, MSc + 7 years, CHF 101k + bonus

  167. Shalini says:

    This is a test comment. Please ignore for now.

  168. Anonymouse says:

    4 years postdoc + 1 extra year experience.
    $105k/yr – Midwest research hospital. No bonus/stock options (as a non-profit institution), but incentivized with a cut from any licensing deals that are achieved.
    Research assistant professor title from neighboring university, with close-to-zero teaching responsibilities

  169. Running At Speed says:

    Senior scientist, 7 years post-PD $150K + 15% bonus + various LTIs at large metro-Boston biotech.

  170. LifeSciConsultant says:

    Boston-based life sciences strategy consultant, 1.5 yrs out of post-doc, $120K / yr + ~$20K in performance bonus

  171. Rhenium says:

    Associate professor (soon to be Full) at public university (PUI) in Arizona.
    ~17 years post-PhD, 12 years post-postdoc. ~$78k for 9 month salary (plus full year benefits) with potential for Summer salary from grants when they come in.

  172. IvoryTower_LowerLevel says:

    Stanford post-doc in Biochemistry $60k

    1. IvoryTower_Swiss_Edition says:

      ETH Postdoc (Chemistry), 1 year post-PhD, 91k (USD) + Benefits

    2. Anon says:

      Interesting how post-doc salary is adjusted for cost of living; Stanford paying ~20% more. Recently accepted post-doc offer at an Ivy League school, starting at $48k/yr this fall. Few other interviews in Boston and SF areas (not Stanford) were around ~$51k/yr.

  173. Anonymous says:

    Product Manager, research device company, 3 years postdoc, 9 years R&D+2 years Product Manager at same company. SF Bay Area. $141k/year+bonus+benefits

  174. Pontificator says:

    Microbiologist – independent consulting for 14 years (after 21 yrs in Big Pharma [& two post docs]). Now 44 yrs from PhD. Salary from consulting ~90K – but working the equivalent of 2 or fewer days/week. [Income from social security and required distribution from IRA as well]

  175. Frank says:

    Genetics PhD with 2 years postdoc and 7 year industry experience, currently Associate Director in a medium size biotech, 170K plus 18% bonus with modest stock offers.

    1. Chitty bang bang says:

      Did you get a signing bonus? If so, how much?

  176. enzyme says:

    process chemist, 3 yrs post-phd, no postdoc, 110k base, big pharma in northeast

  177. anon says:

    Manufacturing/fine chemicals principal scientist (organic chem), UK (not London) , 2 postdocs + 12 years in industry £47

    1. anon2 says:

      Sorry can’t resist… ‘Wow, £47! That a bit low!’

      1. Moving on says:

        Eh, it’s enough for a Freddie once a month

        1. Moving on says:

          Damn you autocorrect. Freddo.

  178. A Nonny Mouse says:

    “Senior Chemist” (process dev), PhD + 5 years, £36k base, catalyst manufacturer in SE England

  179. Bostanon says:

    Lab automation engineer in small pharma startup doing NGS work, 90K USD/year + bonus + stock. Greater Boston area.

    MSc in bioengineering, 4 years out of school, 1 year of relevant experience.

  180. Bioadjacent says:

    CMC financial analyst at large biopharma in Cambridge, MA. Started this job in 09/2018, B.A. 2015, worked as a research associate at a NY investment bank in the interim. $70K p/a (excl. bonus), no stock options.

  181. Anon says:

    London, Research Assistant, £30k, finished B.Sc. last summer

  182. Anon says:

    Senior Manager Medical Affairs, large biopharma in Cambridge, MA
    PhD + 4 years in industry
    $130K + bonus

  183. Anon says:

    Saw a few legal sector comments, so in case anyone’s interested: Patent Attorney at large pharma in Boston, $210k plus bonus plus LTI, PhD+JD and 4 years experience in private practice. Moving in-house was a pay-cut.

  184. brak says:

    Senior Medical Director, mid-sized pharma in Boston area
    MD + 4 years in industry (7 years in clinic/academia before transitioning)
    $300k + bonus + LTI

    1. A friend says:

      Do you have to be board certified if you also have a PhD? Asking for a friend.

  185. Chillin' says:

    PhD with over 20 yrs in clinical development experience in big pharma. Retired from 9-5. Do part time med writing gigs for big pharma at $150/hr. Plenty of request for work.

  186. Stevie Zheng says:

    Experience level: Rotation program directly out of undergrad (B.S. in Chemical Engineering)
    Area/function: Biopharmaceutical industry
    Location: North Chicago, IL
    Annual salary: $68,000 USD/year

  187. lunaro says:

    Experience level: under one year of MSL experience; 2 postdocs (3 years), PhD (4.5 years)
    Area/Function: medical science liaison, biopharma
    Location: Southwest US
    Annual salary:150k, plus ~18% annual bonus + stock options

  188. dude says:

    SFO where 200k may not qualify for a home loan.
    >20y exp in R&D and Business
    3 yrs ago: VP Bus Dev w PhD, 270k plus stock/bennies at a start-up
    Corp dev consulting now: 400k+ but unreliable but then what job is?

  189. French Anon says:

    50k€ as a full professor in french academy
    16 years after PhD
    Around 8 weeks of vacations

  190. FishingForWork says:

    Medicinal Synthetic Chemist (North of England, UK), 6 years on the job, £22k. Working towards PhD, the tution fees for which are paid out of my salary. No bonuses, stock options or benefits.

    As an aside… if anyone fancies offering me a job, get in touch!

    1. anon says:


      1. Hap says:

        For that pay, they should at least give you an installment plan to get your very own storage container with used mattress and portable grill. If you’re a really good credit risk, they could even arrange for a padlock and a battery-operated lantern in the deal. Alternatively, they should arrange for some of the workers to get low-rent housing in unused prison cells.

        1. FishingForWork says:

          I wouldn’t put it past my employer to suggest re-purposing unused prison cells. To be honest, I’m not even sure they’d need to be unused.

  191. Sgt Oddball says:

    Senior Scientist UK CRO (not London), 4 years postdoc and 5-10 years industry £37k

  192. Martin (the other one) says:

    Research Chemist @ CRO in Germany (Dortmund, NRW);
    4 years active since PhD, including 1 year postdoc (and ~1 year total between jobs);
    ~46000 EUR/year before taxes (after taxes ~29000 EUR/year). 5 weeks of paid vacation + ~ a dozen bank holidays.
    First job after postdoc was in France (Lille region), ~44000 EUR/year before taxes (after taxes ~25 kEUR p.a.)
    Note that:
    – “taxes” include income tax, but also retirement and unemployment insurance, as well as health insurance
    – this is a low salary in Germany: union rates are >92000 EUR/year with a PhD, >60000 EUR/year with MSc, but are only used in huge companies (Bayer, BASF, Evonik, etc…). My former colleagues who found other jobs in Germany are mostly in the 60-70 kEUR p.a. range, when they are not paid union rates.

    FWIW Re: UK salaries: a colleague applied for a position in the UK (PhD + 2 years postdoc + 1 year in industry, they offered him ~32 kGBP p.a. My ex girlfriend, after PhD + 2 years in industry, gets 30~35 kGBP p.a., both jobs not in London though. UK salaries are ridiculously low compared to France, Belgium or Germany, with similar benefits (unemployment, retirement, healthcare, public transportation etc…)

    If anyone from the US is interested, I could check how much of my salary goes to healthcare, benefits and taxes.

    1. Martin (the other one) says:

      Oh, and again about UK salaries:
      in my experience (postdoc in St Andrews, Scotland), you’ll be in the right ballpark comparing UK salaries (in GBP) and EU salaries (in EUR): roughly, what costs 1 EUR on the continent is going to be ~1 GBP in the UK.
      As a postdoc I was making ~31 kGBP p.a.

      Conclusion: if you stay in the UK, you’ll be underpaid your whole life compared to the US/Germany and even France or Belgium.

    2. Union Guy says:

      Hi Martin, no idea where that info came from, but the only unionized salary in chemical industry we have is for PhDs 77k in their second year, by the union VAA.
      92k is nonsense even though most chemist will get there and beyond after a couple of years, but this ain´t unionized, this is between you and your company only.

      1. Martin (the other one) says:

        I double checked, and you are most definitely right.
        As Union Guy pointed out, my recollections were quite a bit off. so the numbers should read:
        for MSc: 66 kEUR p.a.; for PhD: 77 kEUR p.a.
        (source: Gesellschaft Deutscher Chemiker website:, last consulted on 07.05.2019)
        I feel a bit stupid now… Bah, won’t be the first (nor the last) time I’m proven wrong…
        Sorry for the inaccurate information, and thanks Union Guy for pointing my mistake out!

  193. Bill says:

    Research manager in biotech (biochem/mol bio background, exclude if you want chem only): $110K in Maryland, USA. That’s a bit low, I was in need of a job and got fucked on the comp, it should be around $130 (where my last job was, before the inevitable layoffs). Health insurance is decent (2K deductible, 4K oop limit, standard coverage), no 401K match (that sucks), “unlimited” vacation (take with usual grain of salt).

  194. anon says:

    Medicinal chemist in small public biotech, Cambridge/Boston, $110K + stock options. 4yr postdoc, 1st industry job after postdoc.

  195. Anonymous says:

    Medicinal chemist with a master’s degree and 3.5 years experience at a CRO in the south east of the UK: £27K + £1-2K annual bonus.

  196. benonymous says:

    Should be pretty clear to everyone why UK based CROs are doing well. Highly trained people working in good facilities for a fraction of the cost of a US medicinal chemist…

  197. Anon says:

    Europe 170 K EUR plus bonus and stock options
    Head Med Chem at a European Biotech/Start-up (few years old, clinical stage)
    15 years from post-doc

  198. meCH says:

    Biologist Swiss 25 yr after PhD, 6 yr PostDoc
    Pharma since 17 yr
    Director group lead
    180 k CHF, plus 20 % bonus, plus eligible for option plan

  199. RatherOK says:

    Staff Scientist at international research organization in Germany – ~80k euro/yr net, after all deductions. B Sc. in Computer Science. 18 years experience (7 at mgt. level).

  200. ChemistChemistChemist says:

    Asst. Professor at R1 in chemistry department in upstate NY. 9-month salary (excludes summer salary from grants) is $77,500. Was a postdoc for 3.5 years.

  201. A.non.Scot says:

    £45k. Senior statistician in stats consulting firm in Scotland, largely aimed at big Pharma. Four years post PhD, twelve years post MSc in stats.

    1. says:

      And as other’s have noted, 35 days of holiday per year, 37.5h working week not including lunch (though averaging 39 or so at the moment), NHS, a non-insane housing market, and a 15min bike ride to work. While the salaries posted make a move sound tempting, I realize that I’m pretty lucky where I am.

  202. Monoclonal says:

    Business, Senior Associate Director, Western CT
    $177k + 20% bonus target
    8 years out of MS/MBA

  203. yoyomama says:

    What kind of money do the high visibility executive directors in Big Pharma make? Do some of them cross over into 7 figures in a good year or am I way too high? But some high profile process leaders at BMS and Merck seem to have to travel 20+ weeks a year if you go by Twitter, so high compensation does not come without its costs.

    1. Exahusuted says:

      You can find out yourself by downloading the 10-K reports filed by pharma companies as required by the SEC. Many executives are comfortably in the 7 figure range, and some have made it into 8 figures when you consider not just their base salary but total compensation package. See for example a recent article on high-paid CEOs published on Endpoints.

  204. anon says:

    tenured assoc. prof. at private university in the mid-atlantic: 172K per year (which includes 3 months summer salary from grants), or 130K annually without any grant funding

  205. Okemist says:

    BS Chemist 30 yrs exp with PMP 92k plus 15% bonus in Mass CDMO. About the same as 15 years ago in big pharm.

  206. enzymelover says:

    Midwest, Research Scientist, bio-based
    3.5 yrs postdoc

    1. BK says:

      Sorry to hear; I make 72.5K as an organic chemist in the Midwest with an MS 3.5 years out of grad school with okay bonus, very large 401K match, crappy stock purchase program (5% discount), really good medical and dental, and 20 days vacation + 11 holidays.

  207. process chemist says:

    SF bay area, 3yrs from PhD in chemistry, Scientist II level
    120k + target 10% bonus + stock incentives

  208. LyannaMormont says:

    Bioinformatician (scientist level) at small Boston-area biotech startup.
    2 years experience + 1 year postdoc + PhD
    $120k + 10% bonus + stock options

  209. Joe Doe says:

    UK pharma CRO-type medium size company, PhD level research scientist with several years of postdoc, in position for 1y: £ 30k (before tax).

  210. LAcreamery says:

    $120K + 10% bonus at large pharma, SF, manager biomarker operations, B.S. biology, 6 years experience

  211. NJchemdog says:

    85k+ 10-13% bonus + 5% 401(k) match at CPG in NJ, US. B.S. Chem with 9 years experience

  212. Anon says:

    16 yrs post-PhD, No PD
    Industrial Chemist – some CRO Process Chemistry exp
    Great Lakes Region
    140k base, $0 Bonus, mediocre benefits program

  213. loupgarous says:

    (back before medical retirement, mid-1990s)

    10 years post BA (Technical writing, biotechnology specialization)
    clinical data analyst (developed custom SAS software for safety/efficacy reports and data transformation for postmarketing safety databases)

  214. AnonDE says:

    First job after PhD at a large German company:
    About 80k€ + 18% bonus.
    Very agreeable considering the extremely low cost of living in my area.
    Taxes are high, but healthcare hasn’t let me down so far.
    As an extra plus, 30 days of holiday for everyone (thanks to the tariff contracts).

  215. Mysterio says:

    Senior Manager in Quality Group.
    Pharma, Cambridge Area, UK.
    PhD and 15 years consultancy and industry experience.
    £90k + 15% bonus + similar in shares p.a.

  216. Pierre says:

    Medicinal chemist in a small biotech for 5 years
    South of France
    12 years post MSc
    42k€ gross / 31k€ net per year

  217. Albert says:

    Process chemist, Switzerland. 10 years in the industry. About 115k $ not counting bonuses.

  218. Tenured in Germany says:

    Tenured W2 professor (associate professor), Top-rated German University, Medical School, 30-years post Phd, 4 years postdoc,
    EUR 83’000 (USD 93000) before taxes (typically 36%), 6 weeks vacation

  219. Angela says:

    BS in Chemical Engineering (c/o 2017), about 2 years of industry experience. $85k as a consultant in engineering firm. Biotech clients are in Southern California.

  220. atypicalchemist says:

    Graduated with MS in organic chem 2012, started as medicinal chemist at medium sized firm in Boston at 65k + bonus and stock. After 3 years (and an acquisition / job change), was making 85k + plenty of biobucks at startup biotech in Cambridge. Salary was matched by bigger pharma companies in Boston, but i decided to leave the lab. I left the lab for scientific communications, started with a lower offer in the southeast (75k) but after 3 years (and a job change), now making 125k. Non-traditional career path but now don’t have to endure boston winters anymore.

  221. bioanalytical chemist says:

    Graduated with a BS in chemistry, 2013. Working as an associate scientist doing LC-MS with 5 years experience in the Boston/Cambridge area at a mid size biotech. Currently at 74k, plus bonus and stock.

  222. Victor says:

    Bachelors, Masters (Pharma), Another postgrad in business management – No PhD. almost 15 years of experience in drug development, worked through Pharma, Biotechs, UK current salary £60k plus benefits (count 42% deduction on tax plus national insurance) – in London.

  223. Noname says:

    Biochemist, 8 years postdoc/ Sr postdoc after PhD (top 3 UK university) – 27k – 45k
    Assistant professor for 2 years, same university – 52k
    Clinical development big pharma – starting salary 76k including benefits but not bonus (18% base salary); salary increment year 2, 93k plus 24% bonus. Less than 3 years in pharma and now making 102k plus bonus

  224. Dick Sanormus says:

    MS Organic chemist 10 years at big pharma in eastern US, research scientist ~90k/year + bonus
    Now at small CRO in midwest ~62k/year +small bonus

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