The Scientist’s Life Science Salary Survey 2011 – Results Announced

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US salaries are starting to recover after last year’s survey recorded the first-ever drop.

Life Sciences Salary Survey

The three things that everybody’s looking for as they age are their health and well-being, mobility, and clarity of mind,” says Alan Edwards, a product leader for Kelly Scientific Resources.

The results of The Scientist’s 2011 Salary Survey of life science researchers are in. From March 7 to June 26, 2011, 4,665 professional scientists took part in the survey, which showed a slight bump over last year’s salaries, indicating that things are moving back up. Last year, for the first time in The Scientist’s Salary Survey 10-year history, there was a dip in salaries over the previous year, but this year’s numbers indicate that total earnings (salaries plus fees, bonuses, and profit sharing) are almost back to the 2009 median of $90,000.

Moderate increases in salaries were seen across many disciplines in this year’s data, with the highest salaries found in areas under the most pressure to improve the public’s safety and standard of living. This translates to a focus on specialties such as virology and immunology (infectious disease and autoimmune disorders), genomics (personalized medicine), developmental biology (stem cell research for regenerating damaged organs and tissues), and cancer research.

“The three things that everybody’s looking for as they age are their health and well-being, mobility, and clarity of mind,” says Alan Edwards, a product leader for Kelly Scientific Resources. “That fits with where the research dollars are going and where there’s the highest earning potential.”

As usual, the results showed that industry scientists tend to bring home more money than those in academia, and wide variation across the country. High-paying locales corresponded to the US hot spots for biotech and pharma, including the San Francisco Bay area, Boston, San Diego, New York/New Jersey/Pennsylvania (also known as the tri-state area or the Pharmaceutical Corridor), and the Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill Research Triangle. The salaries in these areas reflect both the higher competition for researchers in those areas and the generally higher cost of living.

Another recurring trend, also evident in this year’s data, is the gender gap—in the life sciences men still make, on average, more than women in comparable positions. But Edwards notes that the difference is smaller than it once was, and he expects it to continue to compress. “The gap is closing,” he says. Before long, “the skill reward, as opposed to the gender reward, is going to be dominant.”

Full results, further statistics and interactive charts can be found at http://www.thescientist.com/salarysurvey and in the November/December print issue.

About The Scientist
The Scientist has informed and entertained life science professionals around the world for over 25 years. We provide print and online coverage of the latest developments in the life sciences including trends in research, new technology, news, business and careers. We reach the leaders in academia and industry that are interested in maintaining a broad view of the life sciences by reading insightful articles that are current, concise and entertaining. For more information about The Scientist, visit http://www.the-scientist.com.

For more information regarding the 2011 Life Science Salary Survey, please contact Jef Akst via email at jef.akst(at)the-scientist(dot)com or phone at 215-351-1660 ext. 3042.

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Jef Akst
The Scientist
(215) 351-1660 3042
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