The research investigator acts in a leadership role, overseeing and designing advanced experiments. They usually assist the principal investigator and play a leading role in developing a research program to advance a specific area of study. They play a crucial role in all aspects of research products, including development, implementation, and data analysis.

As a research investigator, your responsibilities will include performing analysis and documentation as per the procedure, reviewing and approving analytical data, and communicating with the client. You'll also be expected to adhere to all operating procedures, communicate with relevant departments, and ensure all measures are met and imparted to the team by training. Educational requirements include a Ph.D., a doctor of medicine (MD) degree, or equivalent doctoral degree along with five years or more work experience.

The position comes with a lot of responsibilities, but it also compensates generously. The average hourly salary for the position is $36.84, which equates to $76,626 annually. The career is expected to grow 8% in the near future.

What Does a Research Investigator Do

There are certain skills that many research investigators have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed observation skills, communication skills and leadership skills.

Learn more about what a Research Investigator does

How To Become a Research Investigator

If you're interested in becoming a research investigator, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 53.7% of research investigators have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 17.3% of research investigators have master's degrees. Even though most research investigators have a college degree, it's impossible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Learn More About How To Become a Research Investigator

Research Investigator Career Paths

Average Salary for a Research Investigator

Research Investigators in America make an average salary of $79,438 per year or $38 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $118,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $53,000 per year.
Average Research Investigator Salary
$79,438 Yearly
$38.19 hourly
10 %
90 %

What Am I Worth?


Research Investigator Education

Research Investigator Majors

24.6 %
17.5 %

Research Investigator Degrees


53.7 %


19.5 %


17.3 %

Top Colleges for Research Investigators

1. Duke University

Durham, NC • Private

In-State Tuition

2. University of Southern California

Los Angeles, CA • Private

In-State Tuition

3. University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

Ann Arbor, MI • Private

In-State Tuition

4. Columbia University in the City of New York

New York, NY • Private

In-State Tuition

5. University of California - Los Angeles

Los Angeles, CA • Private

In-State Tuition

6. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Chapel Hill, NC • Private

In-State Tuition

7. Harvard University

Cambridge, MA • 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

Top Skills For a Research Investigator

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, 11.3% of research investigators listed data analysis on their resume, but soft skills such as observation skills and communication skills are important as well.

Choose From 10+ Customizable Research Investigator Resume templates

Zippia allows you to choose from different easy-to-use Research Investigator templates, and provides you with expert advice. Using the templates, you can rest assured that the structure and format of your Research Investigator resume is top notch. Choose a template with the colors, fonts & text sizes that are appropriate for your industry.

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Research Investigator Demographics

Research Investigator Gender Distribution


After extensive research and analysis, Zippia's data science team found that:

  • Among research investigators, 47.4% of them are women, while 52.6% are men.

  • The most common race/ethnicity among research investigators is White, which makes up 56.4% of all research investigators.

  • The most common foreign language among research investigators is Spanish at 47.2%.

Online Courses For Research Investigator That You May Like

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The University of California San Diego, Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences Drug Development course brings you lectures from both faculty and industry experts. With this course, recorded on campus at UCSD, we seek to share our access to top people in the field who bring an unprecedented range of expertise on drug development. In this course you will learn the different stages of clinical development as well as the regulatory including but not limited to, an Investigational New...

Good Clinical Practice (ICH GCP) for Clinical Research

An Introduction to Good Clinical Practice ICH GCP E6 (R2) for Investigators & Clinical Research Staff...

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Best States For a Research Investigator

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a research investigator. The best states for people in this position are Hawaii, Alaska, California, and Connecticut. Research investigators make the most in Hawaii with an average salary of $155,676. Whereas in Alaska and California, they would average $136,308 and $135,243, respectively. While research investigators would only make an average of $133,560 in Connecticut, 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. California

Total Research Investigator Jobs:
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:

2. New Jersey

Total Research Investigator Jobs:
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:

3. Connecticut

Total Research Investigator Jobs:
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:
Full List Of Best States For Research Investigators

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Top Research Investigator Employers

Most Common Employers For Research Investigator

Rank  Company  Average Salary  Hourly Rate  Job Openings  
2Bristol-Myers Squibb$116,576$56.05279
5Sanofi US$103,327$49.6891

Research Investigator Videos