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10th Annual Salary Survey

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Though there have been some small setbacks, the world is — generally — cautiously optimistic about the slow and steady recovery of the global economy. Though it continues to do better, the pace of that improvement is not as fast as many had hoped it might be. While several respondents to Genome Technology's 2011 salary survey indicated their situations were improving, the pace of improvement in the life sciences sector this year seems to mimic that of the global economy — things are getting better, but they are taking time.

To compile all this data, GT emailed a survey link to subscribers in mid April, and followed up with a second email a week later to those who had not taken the survey. In total, 2,111 people responded to GT's questions.

Respondents said that their salaries are generally the same as they were last year, though they have fallen a bit from what was reported five years ago. When the data is broken down by gender, it appears that the salary gap between men and women may be narrowing, though that is due in large part to men's salaries staying the same or falling slightly as opposed to women's salaries rising significantly. Pharmaceutical C-level executives are still making the most money, but principal investigators and professors are also doing well.

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Overall, there is some good news. Salaries reported this year either match or are slightly less than those reported in 2003, when GT conducted its first salary survey. However, only 8.3 percent of respondents said that their employers went out of business this year, compared to 11 percent in 2003.

Despite the seemingly depressed salary numbers, only 6.7 percent of respondents said they have suffered a pay cut in the past year, compared with 8.4 percent in 2011; the percentage of those unemployed has also fallen slightly since then. In addition, a majority of respondents said that they expect raises or promotions in the next two years.

Further, 46.3 percent of respondents said they are better off financially now than they were at this time last year.

Number of Respondents
2,111

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Datapoints

48.2% of all respondents have a PhD or PharmD
17.0% of academic respondents are tenured
11.2% of untenured academic respondents said that they expect to get tenure within the next -
5 years
8.3% of all respondents said that their last -employer is no longer in business
42.1% of all respondents said that their organization has had layoffs in the past year
6.7% of all respondents reported a pay cut in the last year
3.0% of all respondents reported having been laid off in the past year
0.4% of all respondents are unemployed
39.5% of all respondents said that they have been at their current job for 1 year to 4 years
8.4% of all respondents said that they get owner-ship of patents for anything they invent

Most common benefits
• Medical/dental insurance
• Retirement plan, including 401(k)s, 403(b)s, and pensions
• Family leave
• Annual bonus

Most common scientific task
• Administrative work/management
• DNA sequencing/RNA sequencing
• Biostatistics/data analysis
• Product development/technology transfer

Overall financial comfort
• 46.3% of respondents said they're better off now financially than they were at this time last year
• 37.8% of respondents said they're about at the same level financially as they were at this time last year
• 15.9% of respondents said they're worse off financially than they were at this time last year

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