The Highest Paying Life Science Jobs in 2022


The life science industry is vast, encompassing fields like pharma, biotechnology, healthcare and biology, just to name a few. For those looking to enter the life science industry, it can be difficult to narrow down the search and choose one field over the other. 

One way to narrow down the search is money–after all, even the most selfless, value-driven professional still needs to worry about their income.

Fortunately, the industry as a whole has grown at a rapid pace, and income has climbed along with it. In fact, 69% of professionals surveyed in BioSpace’s 2022 Life Sciences Salary Report cited higher pay as a key motivator to apply for new jobs.

The Highest Paying Life Science Jobs

We surveyed thousands of industry professionals to get the most current, accurate salary statistics. Read on to find out the top-paying jobs in each sector.

Research & Development

It’s no surprise that the highest-paid professionals in each industry are in executive and director positions. For that reason, we won’t include titles like those in this guide. 

Research and development is the first stage in the drug development process. The goal of R&D is to both introduce new products into the market and make improvements to existing products already in the company’s pipeline. 

Behind leadership positions, the highest-earning role in R&D is a principal scientist, with an average annual salary of $I67,026. Coming in right behind were engineers, earning an average of $I35,46I, followed by managers and senior scientists. The lowest-paid position in the report is a research associate. Still, these professionals earn a competitive salary compared to other industries, bringing in $77,536 on average. 


The clinical field in the medical industry is broad, and there are a myriad of roles one could choose in this sector. Often, clinical roles involve direct patient care, and the jobs most people associate with clinical settings include doctors and nurses. Still, there are some professionals in this sector who work behind the scenes, like researchers and scientists who work in labs. 

As with all other divisions, the highest-paid professionals in the clinical sector include executives and directors and managers. Right behind them are clinical scientists, who make an average annual salary of $III,833. Following clinical scientists are project managers at $III,000 and technicians at $77,823. 

Sales & Marketing

Sales and marketing differ from the other sectors in a few major ways. Though some in the field have a medical or scientific background, many successful, high-level professionals came into this sector with a non-science background. Many in this field also get bonuses or commissions added to their annual salaries, which differs from a large majority of other professionals in the life science industry.

Behind executives, marketing directors and sales directors, territory managers have the highest average base salaries, at $I3I,524, with an average of $37,889 in yearly bonuses or commissions. Directly following are sales managers, sales specialists and marketing managers. Rounding out the bottom of the group are sales representatives, with an average base salary of $77,29I and an average yearly bonus or commission total of $4I,667. 

To get more information on salary trends in the life science industry, download the full salary report.

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