NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Salaries for genomics researchers have ticked upward, according to GenomeWeb's annual salary survey.
On average, staff scientists, professors, and vice presidents are taking home more in pay than they did last year. This year, survey respondents reported a median overall salary of $86,000, up from last year's $75,000 as well as higher than the median overall salary of $83,000 that was reported in 2014.
For instance, respondents to last year's survey who identified themselves as vice presidents, directors, or senior managers said they made a median $150,000, while this year the same group reported a median salary of $155,503. Likewise, staff scientists, researchers, bioinformaticians, and programmers said last year that they earned a median $65,900, while they said this year that they make a median $73,000.
Still, about 30 percent of respondents don't think they will be receiving a raise this year. Indeed, more than a third of government workers don't think they'll get a raise this year, and 70 percent of the remainder think they'll receive a less than 3 percent raise.
However, respondents working at pharmaceutical, biopharmaceutical, or biotechnology companies are more optimistic, as slightly more than three quarters of them expect a raise. Of those who expect a raise, about half are anticipating a 3 percent to 5 percent raise.
To compile this data, GenomeWeb sent a dedicated email containing a link to an online survey to registered users of our website in September, and sent follow-up emails later that month as well as in October. Links to the survey were also sent out via GenomeWeb's Twitter account and appeared in other GenomeWeb emails. Survey questions asked respondents about their scientific background, the sort of organization for which they worked, their salary, benefits, and more. Some 715 people from academia, industry, and diagnostic labs from across the US and abroad took the survey.
While both male and female respondents reported an increase in pay, the survey also indicated that women generally have lower salaries than men. Overall, women reported making a median $77,000, while men said they make a median $100,000, a greater gap than last year's median $71,200 salary for women and $80,000 median salary for men.
The contrast is also starker for certain positions. Male and female staff scientists, for instance, earn a respective $75,000 and $71,000. However, male and female senior scientists earn $102,500 and $84,000, respectively, while male and female vice presidents make $160,000 and $138,500, respectively.
In addition, the survey found that fewer than 3 percent of respondents said that they'd had a pay cut within the last year, and only a touch more, 3.5 percent, said they'd been laid off. However, some 11 percent of respondents who work at computing or informatics companies said their salary went down, and a third noted that their company had had layoffs in the past year. More respondents from instrument manufacturers and vendors, though — some 46 percent — said their company had had layoffs compared to 30 percent of respondents overall.
Despite that, most respondents said they expect to stay where they are now. About 38 percent said they didn't envision leaving their current job for another in the next several years and about 20 percent thought they'd be around for another three to five years. However, about 9 percent of respondents are thinking about greener pastures and plan to leave within six months.
Number of respondents: 715
Percentage respondents with PhD, DPhil, or PharmD: 44.3%
15.4% of academic respondents are tenured
35.3% of untenured academic respondents on the tenure track said they expect to get tenure within the next five years
8.4% of all respondents said that their last employer is no longer in business
0.73% of all respondents are unemployed
43.5% of all respondents said that they have been at their current job for between one year and four years
5.6% of all respondents said that they get ownership of patents for anything they invent
Most common benefits
Sick days/sick leave
Most common scientific tasks
DNA sequencing/RNA sequencing