What does a Research Scientist do?

A research scientist plans and performs experiments in a wide range of areas, from medical research to natural sciences to computer science and much more. Research scientists work in many different kinds of organizations, including government agencies, universities and private businesses. Scientists often work in teams, but can also conduct research on their own.

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Working as a Research Scientist

The day-to-day duties of a research scientist vary depending on the project they're working on and the company. Some of the work involves:

  • Planning and conducting research experiments in order to analyze specific data and interpret results
  • Writing grant proposals and complete applications for funding to ensure that you have the funds needed to carry out the project
  • Collaborating with team members and support staff
  • Presenting results to senior staff or other research teams
  • Supervising junior staff members or graduate student research
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How much does a Research Scientist make in the United States?

1.3k salaries reported, updated at August 3, 2021
$103,718
per year

The average salary for a research scientist is $103,718 per year in the United States.

Most common benefits

  • Stock options
  • Family leave
  • Commuter assistance
  • Parental leave
  • Health insurance
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Where can a Research Scientist earn more?

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Frequently asked questions

Common questions about being a Research Scientist

What types of companies hire research scientists?

The typical companies that hire research scientists include:

  • Government laboratories
  • Utility companies
  • Pharmaceutical companies and producers
  • Chemical companies
  • Colleges and research universities
  • Research organizations and consultant firms

Depending on the company or organization, research scientist positions are either permanent or a temporary contract that lasts as long as the project is expected to take.

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What is the job growth potential for research scientists?

The overall job opportunities for research scientists is good. Over the next ten years, the projected jobs available will increase by about 13%, with entry-level positions rising by 9%. Salaries have a wide range depending on your education level and experience.

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