Monday, March 20, 2017

A random salary survey

It's time to break out the pseudonyms! (TM Derek Lowe).

I'd be really interested in knowing what new M.S. and Ph.D.-level salaries are for positions in the Cambridge, Bay Area, San Diego, RTP and New Jersey. Size of company, relocation package would be helpful, too.

Feel free to e-mail me if you'd rather. chemjobber@gmail.com

Thanks! Really appreciate it. 

32 comments:

  1. MS with 8yrs (same level as PhD and 3-5yrs) - Analytical development - Massachusetts - 1000-5000 person biotech - $92k + ~$35k restricted stock.

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  2. FWIW, the non-contractor, full time employee (FTE) government salary schedules are freely available online. A science PhD usually equates to at least step 1 of GS-13. Bench scientists typically fall under the Title 42 pay scale, but it still starts at basically step 1 of the GS-13 level. Depending on your location, this roughly translates to about 75K-100K.

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    1. As someone who applied to a position at the FDA, OPM cleared me for GS-12, but not GS-13. This was PhD with 3/4 of a post doc under my belt. That's 61-80k for step one. I didn't get that position. Currently I'm getting GS-12 pay in a different position. I'm at the high end of the range because of the location. That's PhD with two years postdoc.

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    2. This seems to be a common misconception, starting rank for a PhD in federal service is NOT GS-13, it's GS-11. My husband and I are both PhDs in research positions at different agencies in the DC area, and I don't know anybody who has come in right out of school into a GS-13 position. If you have a few years of relevant post-doc experience maybe you come in as a GS-12, or maybe you're just offered a few step level increases. There are some science agencies around here who use alternative pay schedules, but even there, starting pay for a new PhD tends to be in the GS-11 ranges.

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    3. Federal employee here, hired last year after 3 years of post-doc experience. I was hired as a GS-13, 103k including locality. Mid-Atlantic.

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    4. A friend is a PhD chemist who now works at DoJ--she started fresh out of her postdoc at GS-13 (Step 1, I think) and had moved up a couple of steps in a few years (maybe two steps in five years?).

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    5. As all the responses imply, this varies by agency, but most often varies by who happens to be the HR person assigned to a search and how they certify the applicants. As written in the job descriptions, a PhD should be GS-11, PhD+postdoc should be GS-12, and GS-13 should be postdoc+experience. Most come in this way, but I have seen fresh PhDs come in at 13 and I have seen people with a PhD+postdoc+10 years experience come in at GS-12. And sometimes they offer steps to compete with other offers. But much of it depends on what the HR person dictates about the CV to the hiring manager.

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  3. Bay Area at a national lab after 4 years academic post-doc in materials chemistry. Starting salary of 115k and 20k cross country relocation cost.

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  4. Anybody can shed some light on payscale in St Louis (particularly - Millipore Sigma)?

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  5. Some pay information can be found on the Glassdoor website for many companies, but it is self-reported.

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  6. Bay area pharma, PhD process chemist, 5 yr experience, 125k + 24k stock + 15k bonus

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    1. If you don't mind me asking, what was your starting salary level?

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    2. Sorry, missed the part about entry level... didnt start off in Bay area. I would estimate 100-110k starting + 10 k stock + 8 k bonus

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  7. bay area non profit company, PhD Organic chemistry, started at $46K as post doc to $52 after 2 years, got switched to Research Scientist 1 68K

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  8. PhD Organic Chemistry currently working in a small strategy consulting company in Orange County, CA
    Current position: Analyst, salary: 50 K

    Would have liked an industry R&D position or a postdoc in a national lab, but no luck even after 600+ applications... oh well :(

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  9. PhD P-Chem + 2 years postdoc
    Bay Area
    Size of company: Mega-large
    Hired 2 years ago at $150k/yr including salary and routine bonuses.
    Relocation expenses: Yes, ~$19k for coast-to-coast move

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  10. National lab, Ph.D. + 2.5 years academic post-doc, starting salary for post-doc gig ~$42,000, relocation given but then taken back because I left a couple months early to start new job

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  11. Mine isn't in the designated area, but may still be useful for the sake of comparison. I'd multiply by 1.2-1.5 to adjust for estimated cost of living in the listed areas.

    Me: Ph.D. Analytical chemistry, 0 years experience at time of hire
    Them: National Lab in the American Southwest
    Compensation: $72K
    Relocation: yes, professional pack and move and most miscellaneous expenses covered

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  12. PhD Organic, no postdoc, small biotech in RTP: $100k a few years ago + stock options, yes for relocation (paid for professional movers to take care of it, don't know actual $ amount)

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  13. Ph.D., organic chemistry + 1 year postdoc
    DC Area, 3000+ person biotech
    Hired in 2013, $90K plus annual bonus/LTI (bonus target 10%), $10K sign-on bonus, plus cross-country relocation (household goods and vehicle)

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  14. Ph.D. organic synthesis / no postdoc / small bay area biotech (200 people)

    starting 85k (2015) + ISOs. raise in 6 months (end of year) to 95k. relocation... 3000? I think? Another at 1.5 years.

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    1. following up (same person here): ISOs paid out. second raise (106k) was result of company success. So my situation was unusual.

      that being said, I planned to look for a new job if I didn't get a raise at the end of year 1. 85k is pretty bad.

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  15. PhD biophysical chemistry + 2 years postdoc
    NYC metro area; medical writer starting at 70k/yr for a large multinational med comm company
    no relocation offered (already lived in commuting distance)

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  16. Ph.D. biochemistry with no post doc. Working at a midsize CRO in RTP, started at 81k with up to 8k for relocation as I was coming from the west coast. Bonus plan instituted day after I started sets target at 2.5-7.5% of annual salary.

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  17. Metro Boston, large pharmaceutical, science / management, 5+ yrs - $137 + bonus

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  18. PhD in organic chemistry, no postdoc, no industry experience working in tech company as material sciences/ chemist (fresh of grad school) in San Diego, CA. Salary 100k, 6k moving expenses as lump sum, 6k signing bonus on stock.

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  19. Wow, either salaries aren't as bad as we've been thinking, or there is some serious selection bias in this data set. It seems all the people doing synthesis are starting off at 6 figures or really close to it.

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    1. I'm anonymous march 23 8:08 PM. I'm not doing synthesis. More like formulation of emulsions for technological applications (not biotech, not pharma related)

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    2. I would think selection bias - we're not hearing from people (like myself) who would like to get one of these cushy jobs but couldn't.

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    3. Most the people who started on six figures have 2+ years post doc experience, and are in the Bay Area or Cambridge/Boston.

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    4. If this isn't selection bias then wow, seriously, wow. From a UK synthetic chemist.

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  20. I know it wasn't asked for but I'm non-coastal, one of the large Ag companies.
    PhD - Organic Chemistry
    post-doc - several years
    Chemist - started >$90k few yrs ago
    Usual % of salary incentive, No stocks or options
    Relocation was ~$8-10k I think when factoring the $ + movers

    I guess I was really surprised at some of the salaries I am seeing on coasts. I know it's higher cost of living, but with the stocks and incentives maybe I have misconceptions in my myopic midwest perspepective

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