Scientific directors conduct research to further the knowledge and development of a particular scientific field. They head a single or multiple departments and act as their supervisor, among other responsibilities. Such directors work in both public and private sectors.

Some of the functions that they perform in this capacity include conducting research for their particular field, as well as implementing new initiatives. Moreover, they also oversee program operations including planning and evaluation, budgeting, and administrative supervision. Lastly, they are tasked with recommending improvements to the current scientific model and help implement new techniques. Essential skills that employers require in such individuals include leadership, communication, analytical, and administrative.

To qualify for this position, applicants will need a doctorate's degree along with senior-level research experience. As this is a senior position, the higher the credentials, the greater the chances of qualifying for it. The average hourly pay for this position is $46.14, which amounts to over $95,000 annually. The career is expected to grow in the near future and create new opportunities across the United States.

What Does a Scientific Director Do

There are certain skills that many scientific directors 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 communication skills, leadership skills and management skills.

Learn more about what a Scientific Director does

How To Become a Scientific Director

If you're interested in becoming a scientific director, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 43.7% of scientific directors have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 15.2% of scientific directors have master's degrees. Even though most scientific directors 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 Scientific Director

Scientific Director Career Paths

Average Salary for a Scientific Director

Scientific Directors in America make an average salary of $116,045 per year or $56 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $183,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $73,000 per year.
Average Scientific Director Salary
$116,045 Yearly
$55.79 hourly
$73,000
10 %
$116,000
Median
$183,000
90 %

What Am I Worth?

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Scientific Director Education

Scientific Director Majors

21.8 %
12.2 %

Scientific Director Degrees

Bachelors

43.7 %

Doctorate

38.4 %

Masters

15.2 %

Top Colleges for Scientific Directors

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 • Private

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 • Private

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

7. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Chapel Hill, NC • Private

In-State Tuition
$8,987
Enrollment
18,946

8. Yale University

New Haven, CT • Private

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

9. Johns Hopkins University

Baltimore, MD • Private

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

10. Vanderbilt University

Nashville, TN • Private

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

Top Skills For a Scientific Director

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, 28.8% of scientific directors listed clinical trials on their resume, but soft skills such as communication skills and leadership skills are important as well.

Choose From 10+ Customizable Scientific Director Resume templates

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

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Scientific Director Demographics

Scientific Director Gender Distribution

Male
Male
63%
Female
Female
37%

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

  • Among scientific directors, 37.3% of them are women, while 62.7% are men.

  • The most common race/ethnicity among scientific directors is White, which makes up 56.9% of all scientific directors.

  • The most common foreign language among scientific directors is French at 30.8%.

Online Courses For Scientific Director That You May Like

Advertising Disclosure  The courses listed below are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the course, we may receive a commission.
The Simplest Guide to Clinical Trials Data Analysis with SAS
udemy
4.4
(463)

Step into the world of Pharmaceutical industry Clinical Trials Clinical Research Biostatistics Data Management SAS...

Good Clinical Practice (ICH GCP) for Clinical Research
udemy
4.2
(298)

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

Scientific Methods and Research
edX (Global)

What does it mean to conduct research? What are the distinct stages of the research process? What are the requirements of modern scientific research? How do you analyze a scientific article? This course will teach you to conduct research in accordance with scientific methodology. You'll learn to analyze scientific articles in engineering and science subjects, and how to conduct scientific experiments. The course will help to develop the core skill of a scientist, giving you the research tools...

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Best States For a Scientific Director

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a scientific director. The best states for people in this position are Tennessee, California, Indiana, and Connecticut. Scientific directors make the most in Tennessee with an average salary of $151,052. Whereas in California and Indiana, they would average $136,659 and $134,519, respectively. While scientific directors would only make an average of $132,367 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. New Jersey

Total Scientific Director Jobs:
311
Highest 10% Earn:
$207,000
Location Quotient:
1.66 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. Tennessee

Total Scientific Director Jobs:
63
Highest 10% Earn:
$230,000
Location Quotient:
0.45 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. Alaska

Total Scientific Director Jobs:
18
Highest 10% Earn:
$198,000
Location Quotient:
0.91 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 Scientific Directors

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Top Scientific Director Employers

We've made finding a great employer to work for easy by doing the hard work for you. We looked into employers that employ scientific directors and discovered their number of scientific director opportunities and average salary. Through our research, we concluded that Amgen was the best, especially with an average salary of $129,867. Quest Diagnostics follows up with an average salary of $108,228, and then comes Novartis with an average of $126,708. In addition, we know most people would rather work from home. So instead of having to change careers, we identified the best employers for remote work as a scientific director. The employers include Snelling, Resource Environmental Solutions, and Epm Inc

Most Common Employers For Scientific Director

Rank  Company  Average Salary  Hourly Rate  Job Openings  
1Amgen$129,867$62.4410
2Janssen$129,371$62.204
3Novartis$126,708$60.9210
4AbbVie$125,828$60.493
5WebMD$125,042$60.125
6PRWeek$124,679$59.942
7Merck$124,621$59.915
8University of Pittsburgh$120,518$57.943
9Summa Health$116,641$56.083
10Muscular Dystrophy Association$115,096$55.332