The Highest Paying Life Sciences Jobs
Published: Apr 21, 2016
April 21, 2016
By Renee Morad, BioSpace.com Breaking News Staff
Life sciences careers marry many desirable factors: attractive salaries, exciting locations and often the workplace satisfaction of knowing you’re making a positive impact on the future of healthcare. Indeed, if you’ve decided to major in one of the in-demand STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) fields, you’re likely on the fast track to a rewarding career.
According to Sara Radcliffe, president and chief executive officer of the California Life Sciences Association (CLSA), California, alone, currently has 2,848 life sciences companies up and down the state that employ over 281,000 people who boast average annual wages topping $108,000.
“These high-paying life sciences jobs employ people who are hard at work to bring forth the miracles of tomorrow,” Radcliffe said.
If you’re trying to narrow down your concentration in school or even are considering a career change, here are some hot job fields right now, according to the 2015 Life Sciences Salary Survey, published by The Scientist, as well as information about which specific life sciences job titles attract the highest salaries.
Where the Money Is
The Scientist’s 2015 Life Sciences Salary Report collected data from 4,724 usable responses from around the world via a web-based survey. The team complied data on the top-paying fields in life sciences. Furthermore, the survey broke down the highest paying jobs in academia, industry and other categories—across all sectors. (Note: Some titles, such as CEO in the Positions by Industry Title category, did not receive enough survey responses for the team to calculate an average salary. CEO and CFO would be among the highest paid employees at a life sciences company.)
Top Positions in Academia
Top Positions by Nonacademic Title
Top Positions by Industry Title
What to Expect in the Future
Across the country, the life sciences industry has evolved into “new and exciting areas with bioengineering and health technology growing at increasing rates,” Radcliffe said. The role of engineering is also becoming more prominent.
The globalization of healthcare and the varying regulatory environments are also determining where jobs are being created. With many companies shifting away from building out internal expertise, they’re becoming more external-facing and virtual.
According to Radcliffe, there’s also a big attraction for versatile employees who have integrated skills. For example, as industries such as digital health and bioinformatics converge, the need for integrated skill sets, such as IT and biology or, say, chemistry with business education, are particularly desirable.
Furthermore, if you’ve already embarked down one route in your concentration of studies, there’s always the option to pursue new opportunities.
“From the biotechnology to the pharmaceutical industry, and many others in the life sciences space, numerous scientists have applied their background in completely different directions,” Radcliffe said.
Regardless of your focus, one thing’s for sure that “the life sciences sector has continued to grow jobs while other industries experienced significant decreases in employment,” Radcliffe said.
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