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Senior Research Specialist Careers

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a senior research specialist. For example, did you know that they make an average of $26.29 an hour? That's $54,686 a year!

Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow 20% and produce 139,200 job opportunities across the U.S.

What Does a Senior Research Specialist Do

There are certain skills that many senior research specialists 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 analytical skills, detail oriented and communication skills.

When it comes to the most important skills required to be a senior research specialist, we found that a lot of resumes listed 15.4% of senior research specialists included research projects, while 10.9% of resumes included data collection, and 7.1% of resumes included data analysis. 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 senior research specialist job title. But what industry to start with? Most senior research specialists actually find jobs in the finance and education industries.

How To Become a Senior Research Specialist

If you're interested in becoming a senior research specialist, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 31.1% of senior research specialists have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 31.4% of senior research specialists have master's degrees. Even though most senior research specialists have a college degree, it's possible 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 senior research specialist. When we researched the most common majors for a senior research specialist, we found that they most commonly earn master's degree degrees or bachelor's degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on senior research specialist resumes include doctoral degree degrees or associate degree degrees.

You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become a senior research specialist. In fact, many senior research specialist jobs require experience in a role such as research assistant. Meanwhile, many senior research specialists also have previous career experience in roles such as research specialist or research associate.

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Average Salary
$54,686
Average Salary
Job Growth Rate
20%
Job Growth Rate
Job Openings
36,602
Job Openings

Senior Research Specialist Career Paths

Top Careers Before Senior Research Specialist

Top Careers After Senior Research Specialist

What is the right job for my career path?

Tell us your goals and we'll match you with the rights job to get there.

Average Salary for a Senior Research Specialist

Senior Research Specialists in America make an average salary of $54,686 per year or $26 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $79,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $37,000 per year.
Average Salary
$54,686

Best Paying Cities

City
ascdesc
Average Salarydesc
San Francisco, CA
Salary Range69k - 122k$92k$92,273
Washington, DC
Salary Range65k - 115k$87k$86,762
Springfield, MA
Salary Range59k - 108k$80k$80,186
New York, NY
Salary Range59k - 107k$80k$79,740
Houston, TX
Salary Range62k - 99k$79k$78,927
Cary, NC
Salary Range59k - 100k$77k$77,434
$42k
$122k

Recently Added Salaries

Job TitleCompanyascdescCompanyascdescStart DateascdescSalaryascdesc
Senior Research Quality Analytics Specialist
Senior Research Quality Analytics Specialist
Invitae
Invitae
03/31/2021
03/31/2021
$129,00003/31/2021
$129,000
Statistical Research Spec. III, SR. Undergraduate
Statistical Research Spec. III, SR. Undergraduate
State of Oklahoma
State of Oklahoma
03/24/2021
03/24/2021
$34,42003/24/2021
$34,420
SR. Research Specialist
SR. Research Specialist
Johns Hopkins University
Johns Hopkins University
03/03/2021
03/03/2021
$45,19503/03/2021
$45,195
SR. Research Specialist
SR. Research Specialist
Johns Hopkins University
Johns Hopkins University
01/29/2021
01/29/2021
$45,19501/29/2021
$45,195
Research Area Specialist Senior
Research Area Specialist Senior
University of Michigan
University of Michigan
01/21/2021
01/21/2021
$66,32201/21/2021
$66,322
See More Recent Salaries

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Senior Research Specialist Demographics

Gender

female

49.5 %

male

43.0 %

unknown

7.5 %

Ethnicity

White

68.7 %

Asian

12.9 %

Hispanic or Latino

10.1 %

Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

34.5 %

French

13.8 %

Arabic

6.9 %
See More Demographics

Senior Research Specialist Education

Majors

Biology
17.5 %
Business
15.4 %
Chemistry
12.4 %

Degrees

Bachelors

53.4 %

Masters

18.9 %

Doctorate

10.8 %

Top Colleges for Senior Research Specialists

1. University of Georgia

Athens, GA • Public

In-State Tuition
$11,830
Enrollment
29,474

2. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,584
Enrollment
10,764

3. University of Wisconsin - Madison

Madison, WI • Public

In-State Tuition
$10,555
Enrollment
30,360

4. University of Maryland - College Park

College Park, MD • Public

In-State Tuition
$10,595
Enrollment
30,184

5. Ball State University

Muncie, IN • Public

In-State Tuition
$9,896
Enrollment
15,529

6. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL • Private

In-State Tuition
$54,568
Enrollment
8,451

7. University of Minnesota - Twin Cities

Minneapolis, MN • Public

In-State Tuition
$14,760
Enrollment
31,451

8. University of Nebraska - Lincoln

Lincoln, NE • Public

In-State Tuition
$9,242
Enrollment
20,592

9. Stanford University

Stanford, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,354
Enrollment
7,083

10. Purdue University

West Lafayette, IN • Public

In-State Tuition
$9,992
Enrollment
33,495
See More Education Info
Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Top Skills For a Senior Research Specialist

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, 15.4% of senior research specialists listed research projects on their resume, but soft skills such as analytical skills and detail oriented are important as well.

Best States For a Senior Research Specialist

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a senior research specialist. The best states for people in this position are Washington, Alaska, Delaware, and California. Senior research specialists make the most in Washington with an average salary of $88,028. Whereas in Alaska and Delaware, they would average $87,485 and $84,304, respectively. While senior research specialists would only make an average of $80,915 in California, 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. District of Columbia

Total Senior Research Specialist Jobs:
277
Highest 10% Earn:
$147,000
Location Quotient:
1.3
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. Delaware

Total Senior Research Specialist Jobs:
170
Highest 10% Earn:
$144,000
Location Quotient:
1.07
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. Massachusetts

Total Senior Research Specialist Jobs:
2,336
Highest 10% Earn:
$139,000
Location Quotient:
2.01
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 Senior Research Specialist Employers

1. Johns Hopkins University
4.4
Avg. Salary: 
$40,434
Senior Research Specialists Hired: 
112+
2. University of Illinois at Chicago
4.6
Avg. Salary: 
$47,080
Senior Research Specialists Hired: 
110+
3. Emory University
4.6
Avg. Salary: 
$45,037
Senior Research Specialists Hired: 
66+
4. The University of Arizona
4.4
Avg. Salary: 
$44,657
Senior Research Specialists Hired: 
53+
5. JPMorgan Chase
4.9
Avg. Salary: 
$132,304
Senior Research Specialists Hired: 
39+
6. BNSF Railway
4.8
Avg. Salary: 
$71,410
Senior Research Specialists Hired: 
37+

Senior Research Specialist Videos

Updated October 2, 2020