The Bay Area's Top Life Science Companies by Median Pay

San Francisco map with flag in Silicon Valley

The San Francisco Business Times came out with a list of 64 major Bay Area employers and their median pay, which they then compared to their chief executives’ annual compensation. For the life science companies, that median—meaning half make more and half make less—ranged from $52,450 to $198,865.

Many of the companies on the list are well-known tech companies, such as Alphabet/Google, Facebook, Dell, Twitter, IBM and Apple. There are quite a number, however, that are life science, healthcare or medical device companies.

It’s worth noting that the San Francisco area is one of the most expensive places in the country to live. Recent cost-of-living figures for the area indicate that that the four-person family’s monthly costs in the area not including rent are $4,156.98; for a single person without rent, it’s $1,131.65. Worldwide, San Francisco ranks 16th out of 447 cities for most expensive places to live. And for those interested, three cities are basically tied for the top spot: Paris, Singapore and Hong Kong.

Here's a look at the life science companies on the list.

Bio-Rad Laboratories. Headquartered in Hercules, Calif., Bio-Rad’s median pay is $52,450. Bio-Rad provides instruments, software, consumables, reagents and content for cell biology, gene expression, protein purification, protein quantitation, drug discovery and manufacturing, food safety and environmental quality testing.

Agilent Technologies. Based in Santa Clara, Agilent’s median pay is $68,579. Agilent is a leader in life sciences, diagnostics and applied chemical markets.

Veeva Systems. Located in Pleasanton, the median pay at Veeva is $94,810. Like many of the companies on the original list, Veeva is a technology-information technology company. The reason for inclusion in this article is that its focus is on cloud-based software for the global life sciences industry. On April 4, Veeva announced that Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany had chosen Veeva CRM to improve its effectiveness in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA).

Illumina. Headquartered in San Diego with Bay Area offices in Foster City, the median pay for Illumina is $107,884. Illumina develops, manufactures and markets instrumentation for the sequencing and analysis of genes and genetic variation.

BioMarin Pharmaceutical. Based in Novato, the median pay for BioMarin is $140,140. BioMarin is a biotech company focused on rare and ultra-rare genetic diseases. On March 1, its Palynziq (pegvaliase) to reduce blood phenylalanine concentrations in patients with phenylketonuria (PKU) received a positive recommendation in Europe by the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP).

Click to browse jobs in the life sciences

Varian Medical Systems. Headquartered in Palo Alto, Varian is a medical device company focused on radiation oncology treatments and software. Its median pay is $144,511.

Intuitive Surgical. Located in Sunnyvale, the median pay is $157,491. Intuitive designs, manufactures and sells robotic surgical robots, best known for the da Vinci Surgical System.

Gilead Sciences. Based in Foster City, the median pay is $163,963. Today, Gilead announced that it was collaborating with Denmark’s Novo Nordisk on a clinical trial for nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). It will combine Novo’s semaglutide (GLP-1 analogue) and Gilead’s cilofexor (FXR agonist) and firsocostat (ACC inhibitor).

Nektar Therapeutics. Located in San Francisco, Nektar’s median pay is $198,865. Nektar focuses on developing drugs for cancer, auto-immune diseases and chronic pain. At the recent American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting, the company presented preclinical data on its immuno-oncology pipeline drugs, bempegaldesleukin (NKTR-14) and NKTR-255.

Back to news