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What Is the Salary Range for a Research Scientist?


12/23/2009 12:17:27 PM

Overview

Research scientists work in university settings, private sector settings and for governments. For private sector researchers, there is usually a corporate focus for the research, such as the development of a new and faster microchip. For university settings, research scientists often have more of a direct say in what kind of research the scientist will conduct, although because the university typically funds the research, there is an expectation of having papers published in scientific journals, which adds prestige to the university. Government scientists conduct research according the nature of the agencies in which they work, from propulsion and weightlessness in NASA to the effects of acid rain in the Environmental Protection Agency.

Chemists and Materials Scientists

Chemists and materials scientists search for new knowledge about chemicals and materials and also for new uses for them. These research scientists are responsible for the development of synthetic fiber, plastics and synthetic rubber. Most research positions require a master's degree, although a Ph.D. is the most common educational background for these research scientists. The median salary for research and development services for chemists and materials scientists was $59,870 in 2006, according the Occupational Outlook Handbook. The middle fifty percent of the salary range earned between $44,780 and $82,610. The bottom ten percent earned less than $41,810 and the top ten percent earned more than $118,670.

Computer Scientists

Computer scientists typically must have a grasp of high theoretical concepts and how to apply new technology to those concepts. They're involved in development of systems such as those that use virtual reality and in complex electro-mechanical devices such as robots. A Ph.D. is required for most computer scientist research positions. The median salary for computer scientists was $95,340 in 2006, according the Occupational Outlook Handbook. The middle fifty percent of the salary range earned between $71,930 and $118,100. The bottom ten percent earned less than $53,590 and the top ten percent earned more than $144,880.

Biological Scientists

Biological scientists study living organisms and how they relate to their environments. They conduct research, for example, to develop new drugs, increase harvest yields and develop new biofuels. They are also expanding their research activities into new fields opened by discoveries in the field of genetics. While a master's degree is sometimes sufficient to be a biological research scientist, a Ph.D. is usually necessary. The median salary for biochemists and biophysicists employed in research and development was $79,990 in 2006, according the Occupational Outlook Handbook. The middle fifty percent of the salary range earned between $53,390 and $100,060. The bottom ten percent earned less than $40,820 and the top ten percent earned more than $129,510.

Medical Scientists

Medical research scientists endeavor to understand the causes of disease and health problems by researching biological systems, such as the human body. These research scientists are responsible for the introduction of many new drugs and treatments for disease. Prospective medical research scientists typically are required to have a Ph.D. The median salary for medical research scientists was $71,490 in 2006, according the Occupational Outlook Handbook. The middle fifty percent of the salary range earned between $44,830 and $88,130. The bottom ten percent earned less than $35,490 and the top ten percent earned more than $117,520.

Atmospheric Scientists

Scientists who are employed in atmospheric research study the atmosphere and topics such as pollution and atmospheric effects on forestry and agriculture. They have been responsible for data introduced on global warming and ozone depletion. Although a bachelor's degree is sufficient to be employed as an atmospheric scientist, a Ph.D. is required for research positions. The median salary for atmospheric scientists was $77,150 in 2006, according the Occupational Outlook Handbook. The middle fifty percent of the salary range earned between $55,530 and $96,490. The bottom ten percent earned less than $39,090 and the top ten percent earned more than $119,700.

Physicists and Astronomers

Physicists and astronomers conduct research to understand the universe in which we live, from subatomic particles to interstellar interactions. While physicists use devices such as mass spectrometers and lasers to conduct their research, astronomers use telescopes and satellites. A Ph.D. is required for research positions. According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook, the median salary for physicists was $94,240 and for astronomers was $95,740 in 2006. The middle fifty percent of the salary range for physicists earned between $72,910 and $117,080. The bottom ten percent of physicists earned less than $52,070 and the top ten percent of physicists earned more than $143,570. The middle fifty percent of the salary range for astronomers earned between $62,050 and $125,420. The bottom ten percent of astronomers earned less than $44,590 and the top ten percent of astronomers earned more than $145,600.

References

Biospace.com: Biotech and Pharmaceutical News & Jobs
Chemists and Materials Scientists
Biological Scientists
Atmospheric Scientists
NASA
EPA
The Royal Society


Read at BioSpace.com


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