|How much do scientists get paid?
|Question Date: 2006-09-29|
I'd say that salary depends mostly on three
things: You level of education, your field
(physics, biology, computer science, etc.) and
whether you work for a university/college or for a
company. Generally speaking, the more education
you have, the more you make. Companies usually pay
more than colleges or universities. I found
samples of high-ranking science salaries on this
In my opinion, the
best reason to choose a particular career is
because you will find it exciting and enjoyable.
You need to make enough to support yourself and
people who depend on you, but all the stuff you
can buy won't make up for a job you hate. I teach
biology at a small college because I enjoy
teaching and am fascinated by all sorts of living
things. I could make more in another field or
working for a private company, but I wouldn't be
What do you enjoy most? Who has
a job that you wish you had? Most people would be
happy to tell you about their jobs, so you might
want to email them with questions about their
I wish you the best of luck in
finding a career that works for you.
That's a great question.The answer depends on your
degree, where you work, amount of experience, and
probably also on what field of science you studied
in school. From what I've seen, a physics Ph.D.
in the Los Angeles area can make around $80,000 to
$120,000 per year.
You can find salary data
from some of the professional societies, such as
the American Institute of Physics:
chemists, there's a report on the American
Chemical Society's web site:
can also see salary information for a number of
different occupations at salary.com, which has
data that seem to agree with the other sources
Carlos, this is a good question that I have been
thinking about recently. Scientists can stay
close to their academic roots and continue
researching in academia, as well as teach, or they
can work at companies in industry. The distinction
is public and private sector. Professors at the
University of California start around $50,000 and
I think PhD's in industry start around $80,000.
Science is a very broad field (even the
disciplines, such as Chemistry or Physics, are
extremely broad) and it is difficult to summarize
the wide variety of jobs that are encompassed when
one speaks of science. And in addition to raw
monetary figures, one must consider medical and
other benefits, the impact of the workload and
type of work on one's lifestyle, and the freedom
to research your topic of choice. Science careers
are often more driven by personal motivation and
interest in the topic then by "watching the clock
till the weekend" and viewing the job as only a
source of income. The most important
distinguishing characteristic in science
professions is whether the job is academic (i.e.
they work for a university or school) or industry
(working for acompany). Industry jobs typically
pay a higher average salary, but academics enjoy
greater freedom of research topics, lifestyle, and
working goals. No one general statement will hold
true in all cases, though.
difficulties, various organizations try to keep
track of salaries in the science world, and a
quick Google search may help you find some of
them. I tracked down a couple that I think are
worth looking at, like the first one of the first
answer in this page.
This website has
scientist salaries broken down by discipline and
rough "grade" of experience, and shows mean
(average) salary, as well as 25th percentile and
75th percentile salaries, to help give some idea
of the higher and lower levels the salary may
fluctuate through. It also includes a few
"normal" professions to compare salaries
This site allows you to search salaries in the
life sciences discipline. Exploring with it
showcases the differing benefits and salaries
between various jobs, and academic vs.
Not as much as you would think! Some scientists
work for large companies and make lots and lots of
money while other scientists do a lot of research
and don't make that much money, but get to travel
to lots of places to do their research.
Scientists get paid anything from $0 to a lot.
Some scientists are unemployed, and some have
high-paying jobs. You might be interested in
My son's job (software engineer) was
ranked the best job in America by Money magazine.
Please look at the following site:
Click Here to return to the search form.
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