Updated April 6, 2023

Research Associate Salary Estimate


$28.93 hourly

Entry level Salary
$41,000 yearly

How much does a Research Associate make?

The average salary for a research associate in the United States is $60,166. Research associate salaries typically range between $41,000 and $87,000 a year. The average hourly rate for research associates is $28.93 per hour.

Location, education, and experience impacts how much a research associate can expect to make. Research associates make the most in Massachusetts, New Jersey, Connecticut, Delaware, and Alaska.

Research Summary.
  • The average salary for a research associate is $60,166 in the US.
  • The average research associate salary ranges between $41,000 and $87,000 in the US.
  • Hourly rates for research associates in the US typically range between $19 and $41 an hour.
  • The average research associate salary is $71,991 in Massachusetts, $69,731 in New Jersey, and $68,933 in Connecticut. These are the three highest-paying states for research associates in the US.
  • The Citadel has the highest average salary for research associates.
  • Finance is the highest-paying industry for research associates in the US.

Highest Paying States For Research Associates

While a research associate can average a salary of $60,166 per year, or $28.93 per hour, there are many opportunities for research associates to make more. For example, in Worcester, MA you might make $72,205 per year. Other high-paying locations include Newark, NJ, Washington, DC and Newark, DE. If you're in an entry-level position, your best bet is to move to Worcester, MA where the average starting salary is $50,000. The highest paying states for research associates include Massachusetts, New Jersey and Connecticut. Meanwhile, South Dakota, Iowa, and Texas offer the lowest salaries.
  • State View
  • County View
Average Salary:

Research Associate average salary by State

RankStateAvg. SalaryHourly RateJob Count
2New Jersey$69,731$33.521,219
3New Mexico$63,145$30.36230
5District of Columbia$68,059$32.72297
8Rhode Island$58,703$28.22170
12New York$60,060$28.881,967
15North Carolina$57,606$27.70965
16New Hampshire$56,675$27.25210
19West Virginia$54,910$26.40145
22South Carolina$57,255$27.53211
43North Dakota$47,755$22.9670
45South Dakota$43,355$20.84108

Highest Paying Cities For Research Associates

RankCityAvg. SalaryHourly RateJob Count
1Worcester, MA$72,205$34.7134
2Newark, NJ$69,764$33.544
3Washington, DC$68,100$32.7435
4Newark, DE$65,978$31.724
5San Francisco, CA$63,461$30.5129
6Atlanta, GA$61,616$29.6219
7Chicago, IL$61,394$29.5227
8New York, NY$60,288$28.98130
9Portland, OR$59,206$28.4636
10Raleigh, NC$58,561$28.154
11Miami, FL$57,821$27.8052
12Baltimore, MD$57,794$27.7922
13Philadelphia, PA$56,868$27.3454
14Minneapolis, MN$56,168$27.009
15Seattle, WA$54,420$26.1627

Here Are The Five Most In Demand Cities Right Now:

  1. Worcester, MA
  2. Newark, NJ
  3. Washington, DC
  4. Newark, DE
  5. San Francisco, CA

Research Associates Salary Details

Average Research Associate Salary Graph
Average Research Associate Salary Graph, Trends, and Summary

What is a Research Associate's Salary?

PercentileAnnual SalaryMonthly SalaryHourly Rate
90th Percentile$87,000$7,250$42
75th Percentile$73,000$6,083$35
25th Percentile$49,000$4,083$24
10th Percentile$41,000$3,417$20

Highest Paying Types of Research Associates

Job TitleAnnual SalaryMonthly SalaryHourly RateJob Openings
Laboratory Researcher$27,760$2,313$13.3557,359
Graduate Research Student$34,658$2,888$16.6658,921
Research And Development Technician$83,552$6,963$40.17111,268
Research And Development Scientist$90,278$7,523$43.40129,803
Research Laboratory Technician$38,308$3,192$18.4286,476

How Would You Rate The Starting Salaries For Research Associates, As Well As The Prospects For Salary Advancement?

David Simon

Professor, Stonehill College

According to the American Institute of Physics Employment & Careers Report in Physics (available at aip.org/statistics/reports/employments-and-careers-physics), they are starting salaries for new physics Ph.D.'s range roughly from $40k - $65k for academic positions, $60k-$75k for government positions, and $85k-115$ in the private sector. Starting salaries for recent graduates with bachelor's degrees range from about $30k-$70k. In all employment areas, salaries grow at a reasonable rate with increased experience and seniority. The unemployment rate for graduates at both the bachelor's and Ph.D. levels have been well below 10% in recent years.

In most cases, academic positions have significantly lower starting salaries than industry, since the standard academic salary is for nine or ten months of teaching rather than for 12 months. However, the tradeoff is that academic jobs allow a greater degree of freedom in how you spend your time and what type of research you pursue. Furthermore, academic salaries can be supplemented by extra teaching, consultant work, or grant-funded summer salaries, which, in many cases, can raise a professor's total income to levels close to what would be earned in the industry. So, although salary is certainly a consideration, ultimately, the deciding factor for what type of career to pursue should be based on what type of work would make you happiest in the long term.
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Which Companies Pay Research Associates The Most?

According to our most recent salary estimates, The Citadel and Urban Institute are the highest paying companies for research associates.
RankCompanyAverage SalaryHourly RateJob Openings
1The Citadel$121,378$58.3510
2Urban Institute$116,707$56.113
3Putnam Investments$114,559$55.08
4Edelman Financial Engines$114,270$54.942
5BMO Capital Markets$113,274$54.466
7Neuberger Berman$111,652$53.688
8Pacific Investment Management Company LLC$111,228$53.483
9PDT Partners$110,078$52.922
10Sentinel Benefits$109,950$52.86
11Wedbush Securities$109,663$52.721
12AQR Capital Management$109,174$52.49
13Dodge & Cox$108,344$52.09
16International Center for Research on Women$107,034$51.461
17Coatue Management$106,671$51.28
18William Blair$106,348$51.13
19Sterne Agee & Leach Inc$106,201$51.06
20Royal Bank of Canada$105,811$50.873

How Much Do Research Associates Make In Different Industries?

Here are some examples of how much a research associate salaries can based on different industries:

  1. The finance industry pays research associates an average salary of $84,005

  2. The pharmaceutical industry pay $79,853

  3. The lowest paying industry for research associates is the education industry. Research associates in this industry earn an average salary of $58,655

Highest Paying Industries For Research Associates

RankIndustryAverage SalaryHourly Rate
3Health Care$65,943$31.70

High Paying Research Associate Jobs

Research Associate Pay Trends

Average Research Associate Salary Over Time

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

    Research Associate Salary By Year

    YearAvg. SalaryHourly Rate% Change

    Recently Added Research Associate Salaries

    CompanyJobLocationDate AddedSalary
    CowenEquity Research Associate-TMT-SoftwareNew York, NY05/02/2023$100,000
    JefferiesEquity Research Associate-Product ManagementNew York, NY05/02/2023$100,000
    Yoh, A Day & Zimmermann CompanyResearch AssociateCambridge, MA05/02/2023$89,741
    Federation BioResearch Associate ISouth San Francisco, CA05/02/2023$60,000
    LeidosResearch Associate IIISan Antonio, TX05/01/2023$63,050
    Childrens Hospital Los AngelesHS & Behavioral Research Associate IILos Angeles, CA05/01/2023$55,120
    Northwell HealthResearch AssociateManhasset, NY05/01/2023$41,780
    Takeda PharmaceuticalResearch Associate II, Global BiologicsSan Diego, CA05/01/2023$63,700
    Pyramid ConsultingUSA-Research Associate Scientific IIRound Lake, IL05/01/2023$73,045
    Myflorida801245-Economic Research AssociateTallahassee, FL05/01/2023$36,883

    Research Associate Salaries FAQs

    What State Pays Research Associates The Most?

    Massachusetts pays Research Associates the most in the United States, with an average salary of $71,991 per year, or $34.61 per hour.

    How Do I Know If I'm Being Paid Fairly As A Research Associate?

    You know if you are being paid fairly as a Research Associate if your pay is close to the average pay for the state you live in. For example, if you live in New Jersey you should be paid close to $69,731 per year.

    What Is A Good Starting Salary For A Research Associate?

    A good starting salary for a research associate is $38,000 in the United States. That puts you in the 10th percentile of annual income for a research associate in the U.S., which is about what you would expect if you were new to the field. The average salary for research associates is $57,292, but that normally requires some level of experience to achieve. Furthermore, a good starting salary for a research associate can vary by state.

    What Does A Research Associate Earn?

    A research associate earns between $40,000 per year and $75,000 per year. This number can vary, though, depending on the position.

    Although associates don't tend to earn very high starting salaries, a career as a research associate can be a valuable source of experience. Experienced research associates typically earn higher salaries and may have opportunities to advance their careers.

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