The global economy is still shaky. It seems that each week there are reports of improved economic indicators, followed closely by reports of setbacks. In the US, the national unemployment rate is down from its 2009 high — but not by much. In the research field, however, unemployment appears to have dropped, according to Genome Technology's latest salary survey. At the height of the economic crisis, 3.17 percent of respondents to 2009's survey indicated that they were unemployed; this year only 0.7 percent did.
To gather all the data on these pages, Genome Technology e-mailed a survey link to subscribers in late April, and followed up with a second e-mail a week later to those who had not taken the survey. All told, 1,870 people responded to GT's questions about salary and benefits.
Overall, salaries reported this year are about the same as those reported five years ago. In both 2006 and 2011, senior scientists at small pharmas or biotechs reported making a median of $50,000 to $74,999. Similarly, associate professors at universities or medical centers reported earning a median of $75,000 to $99,999. Some positions — like VP-level jobs at mid- or large-sized pharmas or biotechs — saw salary increases while others — including staff scientists at small pharmas or biotechs — saw a decrease in pay.
This year, GT also broke the salary data down by reported gender, to try to determine whether there are any differences in pay for men and women. Broadly, it appears that indeed there are, even when years of experience are controlled for.
It's not all gloom and doom, however; about 60 percent of respondents say they expect a raise this year and about a quarter expect a promotion. Read on to find out more:
Number of Respondents: 1,870
Of academic respondents have tenure
Of respondent say last employer is no longer in business
Say organization has had layoffs in the past year
Have had a pay cut in the last year
Were laid off in the past year
Are employed full-time
Have been at their current job for 1-4 years
Most common benefits
Retirement plan, including 401(k)s, 403(b)s, pensions
Continuing education or tuition benefit
Most common scientific task
Microarray analysis or gene expression
PCR or PCR-related tasks
Most common educational levels
Most common remuneration for inventions
Ownership of the patent