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GenomeWeb's 13th Annual Salary Survey

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – The people developing new sequencing platforms, researchers using those tools to explore human disease, and their colleagues in related fields reported taking home larger salaries today than they did five years ago, according to GenomeWeb's annual salary survey.

However, on average, they appear to be making slightly less this year than what they reported in last year's survey: This year's median overall salary of $75,000 is down from last year's $83,000. Further, last year's overall median salary was lower than that reported in 2013.

For example, respondents to last year's survey who identified themselves as a senior scientist, senior researcher, or senior technologist said they made a median $97,200, while this year the same group reported a median salary of $90,128.

Similarly, program managers last year said they earned a median $94,000, while they said this year that they make a median $80,500.

Only a small number of respondents — 4.7 percent — said that they'd taken a pay cut within the last year, and even fewer — 2.6 percent — said they'd been laid off. However, some 9.6 percent of respondents from diagnostic, reference, or clinical labs said they'd suffered a recent pay cut.

Just shy of a third of respondents reported that their organization had had layoffs in the past year, and those percentages were slightly higher for respondents from instrument manufacturers and vendors as well as for respondents from pharmaceutical, biopharmaceutical, or biotechnology companies.

To gather all this data, GenomeWeb emailed a link to an online survey to registered users of our website in July with follow-up emails in August and September. The questionnaire asked respondents about their jobs, scientific backgrounds, salary, and more. Some 762 people, representing a range of academia, industry, and diagnostic labs, among others, took the survey.

The survey indicated that women, on average, make less than their male counterparts. Overall, women reported currently making a median $71,200, while men said they make a median $80,000.

The degree of difference in salary varied by job position, though. Male and female staff scientists earn approximately the same salary, as do male and female associate or assistant professors, but there is a greater gap between what male and female vice presidents make, on average — $159,000 and $130,000, respectively — or what program managers earn — $100,000 and $75,000, respectively.

Roughly a third of respondents don't anticipate receiving a raise this year. Further, more than 40 percent of government workers don't think they'll get a raise this year, and much of the remainder only think they'll receive a modest, less than 3 percent, raise. At the same time, about a third of respondents said they'd already received a slight raise within the last six months.

Still, more than a quarter of respondents expect to receive a promotion this year, with computing or informatics company workers being the most optimistic as 38 percent expect a promotion.

Many respondents say they'll be staying put for a while. Nearly 40 percent said they didn't envision themselves leaving their current job for another in the next several years, though just shy of 10 percent of respondents may already have the ball rolling as they plan to leave within the next six months.


Number of respondents: 762 




Number of respondents 762

Percentage respondents with PhD, DPhil, or PharmD: 43.5%

17.7% of academic respondents are tenured

39.4% of untenured academic respondents on the tenure track said they expect to get tenure within the next five years

8.1% of all respondents said that their last employer is no longer in business

0.83% of all respondents are unemployed

42.9% of all respondents said that they have been at their current job for between one year and four years

8.4% of all respondents said that they get ownership of patents for anything they invent


Most common benefits

Vacation time/holidays       

Medical/dental insurance   

Sick days/sick leave 

Retirement plan, including 401(k)s, 403(b)s, pensions 


Most common scientific tasks

Administrative work/management

Bioinformatics/biostatistics/data analysis