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Working as a Research Staff Member

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a research staff member. For example, did you know that they make an average of $55.31 an hour? That's $115,043 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 a Research Staff Member Do

There are certain skills that many research staff members 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 creativity.

When it comes to the most important skills required to be a research staff member, we found that a lot of resumes listed 17.6% of research staff members included python, while 14.9% of resumes included machine learning algorithms, and 9.5% of resumes included research staff. Hard skills like these are helpful to have when it comes to performing essential job responsibilities.

When it comes to searching for a job, many search for a key term or phrase. Instead, it might be more helpful to search by industry, as you might be missing jobs that you never thought about in industries that you didn't even think offered positions related to the research staff member job title. But what industry to start with? Most research staff members actually find jobs in the technology and education industries.

How To Become a Research Staff Member

If you're interested in becoming a research staff member, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 28.7% of research staff members have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 24.3% of research staff members have master's degrees. Even though most research staff members 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 a research staff member. When we researched the most common majors for a research staff member, we found that they most commonly earn doctoral degree degrees or bachelor's degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on research staff member resumes include master's degree degrees or high school diploma degrees.

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

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Average Salary$115,043
Job Growth Rate8%

Research Staff Member Career Paths

Top Careers Before Research Staff Member

Top Careers After Research Staff Member

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Average Salary for a Research Staff Member

Research Staff Members in America make an average salary of $115,043 per year or $55 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $149,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $88,000 per year.
Average Salary
$115,043

Best Paying Cities

City
Average Salary
San Francisco, CA
Salary Range93k - 151k$119k$118,817
Bethesda, MD
Salary Range86k - 142k$111k$111,206
Mesa, AZ
Salary Range85k - 142k$110k$110,327
Pittsburgh, PA
Salary Range83k - 138k$108k$107,608
Seattle, WA
Salary Range84k - 130k$105k$105,039
New York, NY
Salary Range75k - 125k$98k$97,516
$52k
$151k

Recently Added Salaries

Job TitleCompanyCompanyStart DateSalary
Research Staff Member
Research Staff Member
IBM Corporation
IBM Corporation
09/19/2019
09/19/2019
$139,20009/19/2019
$139,200
Research Staff Member (Computer Scientist)
Research Staff Member (Computer Scientist)
Lawrence Livermore National Security LLC
Lawrence Livermore National Security LLC
09/13/2019
09/13/2019
$154,44009/13/2019
$154,440
Research Staff Member (Materials Science)
Research Staff Member (Materials Science)
Lawrence Livermore National Security, LLC
Lawrence Livermore National Security, LLC
09/03/2019
09/03/2019
$94,20009/03/2019
$94,200
Research Staff Member
Research Staff Member
IBM Corporation
IBM Corporation
08/30/2019
08/30/2019
$139,20008/30/2019
$139,200
Research Staff Member
Research Staff Member
IBM Corporation
IBM Corporation
08/26/2019
08/26/2019
$141,58608/26/2019
$141,586
See More Recent Salaries

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Research Staff Member Demographics

Gender

male

61.2 %

female

27.4 %

unknown

11.4 %

Ethnicity

White

54.9 %

Asian

27.6 %

Hispanic or Latino

8.2 %

Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

31.3 %

Russian

15.6 %

German

9.4 %
See More Demographics

Research Staff Member Education

Majors

Physics
9.3 %

Degrees

Doctorate

42.1 %

Bachelors

28.7 %

Masters

24.3 %

Top Colleges for Research Staff Members

1. Duke University

Durham, NC • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,695
Enrollment
6,596

2. University of Southern California

Los Angeles, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$56,225
Enrollment
19,548

3. Harvard University

Cambridge, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$50,420
Enrollment
7,582

4. University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

Ann Arbor, MI • Public

In-State Tuition
$15,262
Enrollment
30,079

5. Columbia University in the City of New York

New York, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$59,430
Enrollment
8,216

6. University of California - Los Angeles

Los Angeles, CA • Public

In-State Tuition
$13,226
Enrollment
31,568

7. Yale University

New Haven, CT • Private

In-State Tuition
$53,430
Enrollment
5,963

8. Johns Hopkins University

Baltimore, MD • Private

In-State Tuition
$53,740
Enrollment
5,567

9. Vanderbilt University

Nashville, TN • Private

In-State Tuition
$49,816
Enrollment
6,840

10. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Chapel Hill, NC • Public

In-State Tuition
$8,987
Enrollment
18,946
See More Education Info
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Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Top Skills For a Research Staff Member

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, 17.6% of research staff members listed python on their resume, but soft skills such as observation skills and communication skills are important as well.

Best States For a Research Staff Member

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a research staff member. The best states for people in this position are Delaware, Alaska, Nevada, and Rhode Island. Research staff members make the most in Delaware with an average salary of $146,642. Whereas in Alaska and Nevada, they would average $136,170 and $124,797, respectively. While research staff members would only make an average of $121,403 in Rhode Island, 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. Alaska

Total Research Staff Member Jobs:
22
Highest 10% Earn:
$187,000
Location Quotient:
1.8
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. Rhode Island

Total Research Staff Member Jobs:
31
Highest 10% Earn:
$190,000
Location Quotient:
1.31
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. Arizona

Total Research Staff Member Jobs:
319
Highest 10% Earn:
$176,000
Location Quotient:
2.52
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
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Top Research Staff Member Employers

1. IBM
4.8
Avg. Salary: 
$122,124
Research Staff Members Hired: 
883+
2. Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
4.4
Avg. Salary: 
$103,852
Research Staff Members Hired: 
152+
3. Oak Ridge National Laboratory
4.9
Avg. Salary: 
$104,296
Research Staff Members Hired: 
86+
4. Philips Electronics North America
4.8
Avg. Salary: 
$106,203
Research Staff Members Hired: 
81+
5. Palo Alto Networks
4.8
Avg. Salary: 
$128,234
Research Staff Members Hired: 
78+
6. Nokia
4.9
Avg. Salary: 
$115,846
Research Staff Members Hired: 
20+
Updated October 2, 2020