PHD Researcher Careers

Does the idea of spending your day discovering new frontiers in your field sound appealing? If you love the idea of spending years studying a subject you love, working in a lab to develop new advances, and sharing those advances in order to change the world, then the career of a Ph.D. researcher might be for you.

By definition, a Ph.D. researcher is someone who already has their Ph.D. You could get your Ph.D. in a variety of fields, from physics to chemistry. You can also specialize in various subfields depending on your interests. After you graduate, you would put your academic knowledge to practical use, usually in a laboratory setting.

Your day-to-day as a Ph.D. researcher would vary. Some days, you would get to work with exciting equipment in the lab and conducting experiments. Other days, you would work on papers for publication or attend conferences. Either way, you get to spend your days studying what you love.

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being an phd researcher. For example, did you know that they make an average of $23.88 an hour? That's $49,666 a year!

Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow 8% and produce 10,600 job opportunities across the U.S.

What Does an PHD Researcher Do

When it comes to the most important skills required to be an phd researcher, we found that a lot of resumes listed 15.2% of phd researchers included phd, while 14.8% of resumes included postdoctoral, and 7.0% of resumes included python. Hard skills like these are helpful to have when it comes to performing essential job responsibilities.

Learn more about what an PHD Researcher does

How To Become an PHD Researcher

If you're interested in becoming an phd researcher, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 39.2% of phd researchers have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 19.5% of phd researchers have master's degrees. Even though most phd researchers have a college degree, it's impossible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Choosing the right major is always an important step when researching how to become an phd researcher. When we researched the most common majors for an phd researcher, we found that they most commonly earn doctoral degree degrees or bachelor's degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on phd researcher resumes include master's degree degrees or associate degree degrees.

You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become an phd researcher. In fact, many phd researcher jobs require experience in a role such as research assistant. Meanwhile, many phd researchers also have previous career experience in roles such as teaching assistant or graduate research assistant.

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PHD Researcher Career Paths

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Average Salary for an PHD Researcher

PHD Researchers in America make an average salary of $49,666 per year or $24 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $65,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $37,000 per year.
Average Salary
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Best Paying Cities For PHD Researchers

Average Salarydesc
Berkeley, CA
Salary Range50k - 80k$64k$63,652
Urban Honolulu, HI
Salary Range57k - 69k$63k$63,034
Tempe, AZ
Salary Range45k - 71k$57k$57,337
Philadelphia, PA
Salary Range42k - 71k$55k$55,321
Gaithersburg, MD
Salary Range41k - 70k$54k$54,146
Newark, DE
Salary Range39k - 66k$52k$51,569
Cambridge, MA
Salary Range41k - 63k$51k$51,015
New York, NY
Salary Range39k - 65k$51k$50,790
Eugene, OR
Salary Range38k - 62k$49k$49,161
Hampton, VA
Salary Range37k - 63k$49k$48,657
Bozeman, MT
Salary Range41k - 56k$48k$48,252
Kannapolis, NC
Salary Range35k - 59k$46k$46,028
Tampa, FL
Salary Range36k - 58k$46k$46,019
Laramie, WY
Salary Range38k - 55k$46k$45,971
Oak Ridge, TN
Salary Range34k - 58k$45k$44,870
Washington, DC
Salary Range33k - 56k$43k$43,187
Iowa City, IA
Salary Range35k - 51k$43k$42,925
Boulder, CO
Salary Range35k - 52k$43k$42,923
College Station, TX
Salary Range32k - 52k$42k$41,541
Lawrence, KS
Salary Range32k - 49k$40k$40,283

Recently Added Salaries

CompanyascdescCompanyascdescStart DateascdescSalaryascdesc
Postdoctoral Researcher
Colorado State University
Postdoctoral Researcher-Data Analytics for Power Systems
National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Postdoctoral Researcher-Chemistry
Colorado State
Postdoctoral Researcher
University of Toledo
Postdoctoral Researcher-Wind Turbine and Wind Plant Aerodynamics
National Renewable Energy Laboratory
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PHD Researcher Resumes

Designing and figuring out what to include on your resume can be tough, not to mention time-consuming. That's why we put together a guide that is designed to help you craft the perfect resume for becoming an PHD Researcher. If you're needing extra inspiration, take a look through our selection of templates that are specific to your job.

Learn How To Write an PHD Researcher Resume

At Zippia, we went through countless PHD Researcher resumes and compiled some information about how to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

View PHD Researcher Resume Examples And Templates

PHD Researcher Demographics



47.7 %


29.0 %


23.3 %



50.2 %


33.4 %

Hispanic or Latino

7.7 %

Foreign Languages Spoken


18.8 %


16.9 %


13.7 %
Show More PHD Researcher Demographics

PHD Researcher Education



40.1 %


39.2 %


19.5 %

Top Colleges for PHD Researchers

1. Duke University

Durham, NC • Private

In-State Tuition

2. University of Southern California

Los Angeles, CA • Private

In-State Tuition

3. Harvard University

Cambridge, MA • Private

In-State Tuition

4. University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

Ann Arbor, MI • Private

In-State Tuition

5. Columbia University in the City of New York

New York, NY • Private

In-State Tuition

6. University of California - Los Angeles

Los Angeles, CA • Private

In-State Tuition

7. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Chapel Hill, NC • Private

In-State Tuition

8. Yale University

New Haven, CT • Private

In-State Tuition

9. Johns Hopkins University

Baltimore, MD • Private

In-State Tuition

10. Vanderbilt University

Nashville, TN • Private

In-State Tuition
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Online Courses For PHD Researcher That You May Like

Research Methodology

Academic Research Business Research Thesis & Dissertation Report Research Paper / Journal...

Research Methods: An Engineering Approach
edX (Global)

A PhD or master’s level research project is an enormous undertaking, and you might find yourself a bit uncertain about the process or how to achieve the desired outcome. In this research course, you will learn the underlying principles that are needed to conduct research from an engineering perspective. This course is designed for engineering students conducting postgraduate research work on engineering projects. The objective of the course is to translate current research methods, which are...

Research Methods and Statistics: An Introduction

A Primer in Research Methodology and Statistics in the Social Sciences...

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Top Skills For an PHD Researcher

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 15.2% of phd researchers listed phd on their resume, but soft skills such as communication skills and observation skills are important as well.

Best States For an PHD Researcher

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as an phd researcher. The best states for people in this position are Hawaii, Alaska, Nevada, and California. Phd researchers make the most in Hawaii with an average salary of $62,942. Whereas in Alaska and Nevada, they would average $62,226 and $61,796, respectively. While phd researchers would only make an average of $60,475 in California, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. New Jersey

Total PHD Researcher Jobs:
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. California

Total PHD Researcher Jobs:
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. Washington

Total PHD Researcher Jobs:
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
Full List Of Best States For PHD Researchers

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