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How Much Does a Research And Development Engineer Earn In The United States?

Research And Development Engineer Salaries
Updated December 31, 2020
Average Yearly Salary
$89,000
$68,000
$89,000
$117,000
Research and development engineers in the United States make an average salary of $89,792 per year or $43.17 per hour. People on the lower end of that spectrum, the bottom 10% to be exact, make roughly $68,000 a year, while the top 10% makes $117,000. As most things go, location can be critical. California, Alaska, New Mexico, Delaware, and Massachusetts provide the highest research and development engineer salaries.
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Where Research And Development Engineers Earn The Most

The darker areas on the map show where research and development engineers earn the highest salaries across all 50 states.

Average Salary

How Much Do Research And Development Engineers Earn In Different Cities?

Throughout the U.S., the average salary for a research and development engineer is roughly $89,792 per year, which boils down to $43.17 per hour. Interestingly enough, research and development engineers have the highest salaries in Santa Rosa, CA at about $113,440 per year. For those who are just starting out, the average entry-level salary in Santa Rosa, CA is $76,000. Additionally, research and development engineers make more than the average salary in Albuquerque, NM, Andover, MA, Burlington, VT, Colorado Springs, CO, and Austin, TX. On a more broad level, research and development engineer salaries are highest in California, Alaska, New Mexico, Delaware, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Vermont. On the contrary, Ohio, Nebraska, and Indiana offer the lowest research and development engineer salaries.
Location
City
Average Salary

Santa Rosa, CA

Salary Range92k - 139k$113k$113,440

Albuquerque, NM

Salary Range83k - 125k$102k$102,265

Andover, MA

Salary Range77k - 114k$94k$94,001

Burlington, VT

Salary Range75k - 111k$92k$91,593

Colorado Springs, CO

Salary Range73k - 109k$90k$90,036

Austin, TX

Salary Range71k - 108k$88k$87,848

Clifton Park, NY

Salary Range70k - 105k$86k$86,454

Phoenix, AZ

Salary Range69k - 106k$86k$85,919

Hillsboro, OR

Salary Range67k - 98k$82k$81,793

Arlington Heights, IL

Salary Range65k - 97k$80k$79,899
$60k
$139k

High Paying Research And Development Engineer Jobs

Which Companies Pay Research And Development Engineers The Most?

If you want to get paid the most as a research and development engineer, being employed by a company such as Brocade Services or Lucasfilm would be a smart choice, as they are the highest paying companies in this field. Additionally, companies like HGST and Planet Labs also report highly competitive salaries for research and development engineers.
Company
Company
Average Salary
Brocade Services
Salary Range124k - 153k$138k$138,379
Lucasfilm
Salary Range127k - 143k$135k$135,201
HGST
Salary Range117k - 139k$128k$127,856
Planet Labs
Salary Range116k - 140k$128k$127,720
DNAnexus
Salary Range120k - 133k$127k$126,753
Samsung Telecommunications America General
Salary Range114k - 136k$125k$125,274
Numonyx
Salary Range111k - 136k$123k$123,450
Ansoft
Salary Range108k - 129k$119k$118,631
Los Alamos National Security
Salary Range102k - 128k$115k$114,881
Freescale Semiconductor Holdings V
Salary Range102k - 128k$115k$114,630
$93k
$153k

The largest raises come from changing jobs.

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Research And Development Engineer Salary History

Compare salaries for individual cities or states with the national average.

Location

    How Much Do Research And Development Engineers Make In Different Industries?

    As we previously stated, research and development engineer salaries can vary depending on the industry. In fact, our data shows that technology, manufacturing, and health care companies tend to offer much higher salaries for research and development engineers. For example, research and development engineers make a whopping average salary of $101,615 while working for technology companies. Meanwhile, other people in this field are making $93,499 at manufacturing companies and $91,807 at health care companies. But research and development engineers may want to avoid working in the automotive industry as it offers the lowest average salary at $90,622.
    Industry
    Average Salary

    Technology

    Salary Range88k - 116k$102k$101,615

    Manufacturing

    Salary Range80k - 108k$93k$93,499

    Health Care

    Salary Range79k - 106k$92k$91,807

    Automotive

    Salary Range79k - 103k$91k$90,622
    $79k
    $116k

    How Experience Affects Research And Development Engineer Salaries

    The salary for a research and development engineer can vary depending on the years of experience that a person has, from entry level to senior level. Data on how experience level affects total compensation is provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) as part of their National Compensation Survey, which is based on factors such as knowledge, complexity, contacts, and environment.

    Recently Added Research And Development Engineer Salaries

    Location
    CompanyJobLocationDate AddedSalary
    #107719 R&D Engineer 1
    #107719 R&D Engineer 1
    San Diego, CA
    San Diego, CA
    01/30/2021
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    $48,878
    $48,878
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    Staff Sustaining R&D Engineer
    Staff Sustaining R&D Engineer
    Colorado Springs, CO
    Colorado Springs, CO
    01/28/2021
    01/28/2021
    $100,000
    $100,000
    01/28/2021
    R&D Software Engineer
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    Boulder, CO
    Boulder, CO
    01/20/2021
    01/20/2021
    $69,900
    $69,900
    01/20/2021
    Research and Development Engineer 2
    Research and Development Engineer 2
    Riverside, CA
    Riverside, CA
    01/19/2021
    01/19/2021
    $61,600
    $61,600
    01/19/2021
    Avispa
    Avispa
    R&D Engineer, Software
    R&D Engineer, Software
    R&D Engineer, Software
    Santa Rosa, CA
    Santa Rosa, CA
    01/15/2021
    01/15/2021
    $156,525
    $156,525
    01/15/2021
    Junior Research and Development Engineer
    Junior Research and Development Engineer
    San Antonio, TX
    San Antonio, TX
    01/06/2021
    01/06/2021
    $50,000
    $50,000
    01/06/2021
    R&D Engineer 2, Software
    R&D Engineer 2, Software
    Colorado Springs, CO
    Colorado Springs, CO
    01/06/2021
    01/06/2021
    $70,470
    $70,470
    01/06/2021
    Avispa Technology
    Avispa Technology
    R&D Engineer, Software
    R&D Engineer, Software
    R&D Engineer, Software
    Santa Rosa, CA
    Santa Rosa, CA
    01/04/2021
    01/04/2021
    $156,525
    $156,525
    01/04/2021
    R&D Engineer 2, Software
    R&D Engineer 2, Software
    Colorado Springs, CO
    Colorado Springs, CO
    12/24/2020
    12/24/2020
    $74,670
    $74,670
    12/24/2020
    Research and Development Engineer
    Research and Development Engineer
    Acton, MA
    Acton, MA
    12/17/2020
    12/17/2020
    $80,000
    $80,000
    12/17/2020