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Become A Senior Scientist

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Working As A Senior Scientist

  • Getting Information
  • Analyzing Data or Information
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
  • Documenting/Recording Information
  • Mostly Sitting

  • $87,890

    Average Salary

What Does A Senior Scientist Do

A Senior Scientist supervises the technical staff and prepares reports, publications, and oral presentations regarding the scientist projects. They are responsible for reviewing and evaluating new concepts or technologies.

How To Become A Senior Scientist

Medical scientists typically have a Ph.D., usually in biology or a related life science. Some medical scientists get a medical degree instead of a Ph.D., but prefer doing research to practicing as a physician.


Students planning careers as medical scientists typically pursue a bachelor’s degree in biology, chemistry, or a related field. Undergraduate students benefit from taking a broad range of classes, including life sciences, physical sciences, and math. Students also typically take courses that develop communication and writing skills, because they must learn to write grants effectively and publish research findings.

After students have completed their undergraduate studies, they typically enter Ph.D. programs. Dual-degree programs are available that pair a Ph.D. with a range of specialized medical degrees. A few degree programs that are commonly paired with Ph.D. studies are Medical Doctor (M.D.), Doctor of Dental Surgery (D.D.S.), Doctor of Dental Medicine (D.M.D.), and Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (D.O.). Whereas Ph.D. studies focus on research methods, such as project design and data interpretation, students in dual-degree programs learn both the clinical skills needed to be a physician and the research skills needed to be a scientist.

Graduate programs emphasize both laboratory work and original research. These programs offer prospective medical scientists the opportunity to develop their experiments and, sometimes, to supervise undergraduates. Ph.D. programs culminate in a thesis that the candidate presents before a committee of professors. Students may specialize in a particular field, such as gerontology, neurology, or cancer.

Those who go to medical school spend most of the first 2 years in labs and classrooms, taking courses such as anatomy, biochemistry, physiology, pharmacology, psychology, microbiology, pathology, medical ethics, and medical law. They also learn how to record medical histories, examine patients, and diagnose illnesses. They may be required to participate in residency programs, meeting the same requirements that physicians and surgeons have to fulfill.

Medical scientists often continue their education with postdoctoral work. Postdoctoral work provides additional and more independent lab experience, including experience in specific processes and techniques such as gene splicing, which is transferable to other research projects.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Medical scientists primarily conduct research and typically do not need licenses or certifications. However, those who administer drugs, gene therapy, or otherwise practice medicine on patients in clinical trials or a private practice need a license to practice as a physician.

Important Qualities

Communication skills. Communication is critical, because medical scientists must be able to explain their conclusions. In addition, medical scientists write grant proposals, because grants often are required to fund their research.

Critical-thinking skills. Medical scientists must use their expertise to determine the best method for solving a specific research question.

Data-analysis skills. Medical scientists use statistical techniques, so that they can properly quantify and analyze health research questions.

Decisionmaking skills. Medical scientists must determine what research questions to ask, how best to investigate the questions, and what data will best answer the questions.

Observation skills. Medical scientists conduct experiments that require precise observation of samples and other health data. Any mistake could lead to inconclusive or misleading results.

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Senior Scientist jobs

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Senior Scientist Career Paths

Senior Scientist
Staff Scientist Laboratory Manager Clinical Research Coordinator
Clinical Project Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Senior Technician Specialist Licensed Practical Nurse Clinical Research Coordinator
Clinical Research Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Principal Investigator Research Coordinator Clinical Research Coordinator
Clinical Study Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Adjunct Faculty Physician Assistant Clinical Researcher
Clinical Trial Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Adjunct Faculty Nurse Practitioner Clinical Assistant
Clinical Trials Specialist
8 Yearsyrs
Project Leader Program Manager Senior Manager
Director Of Analytics
13 Yearsyrs
Senior Manager Service Director Nursing Director
Director Of Clinical Operations
13 Yearsyrs
Staff Scientist Project Manager Program Manager
Engineering Director
13 Yearsyrs
Program Manager Consultant Senior Software Engineer
Engineering Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Associate Director Program Director
Operations Director
9 Yearsyrs
Group Leader Production Supervisor Production Manager
Operations Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Program Manager General Manager
President Of Operations
11 Yearsyrs
Associate Director Operations Director Management Consultant
Product Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Group Leader Project Manager
Program Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Adjunct Professor Subject Matter Expert Business Analyst
Quality Assurance Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Chief Executive Officer Physician Clinical Research Coordinator
Senior Clinical Research Associate
10 Yearsyrs
Senior Technician Specialist Designer Product Developer
Senior Manager, Product Development
10 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Senior Project Manager
Senior Product Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Adjunct Professor Professor Research Associate
Senior Research Associate
6 Yearsyrs
Program Manager Senior Product Manager Director Of Product Development
Vice President Product Development
12 Yearsyrs
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Senior Scientist Demographics


  • Male

  • Female

  • Unknown



  • White

  • Asian

  • Hispanic or Latino

  • Unknown

  • Black or African American

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Languages Spoken

  • Spanish

  • Chinese

  • French

  • German

  • Russian

  • Japanese

  • Mandarin

  • Italian

  • Korean

  • Hindi

  • Portuguese

  • Carrier

  • Polish

  • Arabic

  • Xiang

  • Ukrainian

  • Swedish

  • Dutch

  • Shan

  • Sami

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Senior Scientist

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Senior Scientist Education

Senior Scientist

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Real Senior Scientist Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Senior Safety Scientist Genentech Inc. South San Francisco, CA Oct 23, 2015 $210,000
Senior Scientist The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia Philadelphia, PA Apr 01, 2016 $200,665
Senior Scientist III Universities Space Research Association Houston, TX Feb 25, 2015 $199,142
Senior Scientist Haskins Laboratories, Inc. New Haven, CT May 14, 2015 $192,776
Senior Research Scientist Nvidia Corporation Santa Clara, CA Oct 06, 2016 $190,000 -
Scientist Senior 11 Kelly Services, Inc. Bethesda, MD Jan 25, 2016 $182,091
Scientist, Senior 11 Kelly Services, Inc. Frederick, MD Aug 17, 2015 $182,091
Senior Scientist General Electric Company-GE Global Research Center San Ramon, CA Oct 31, 2016 $180,000
Senior Scientist Blippar LLC Mountain View, CA Sep 11, 2015 $180,000
Senior Research Scientist New York University New York, NY Jan 09, 2016 $180,000
Senior Scientist Microsoft Corporation Mountain View, CA Jul 14, 2015 $177,600
Senior Research Scientist Parallel MacHines, Inc. Santa Clara, CA Aug 06, 2015 $175,000
Senior Scientist Genentech, Inc. South San Francisco, CA Jun 15, 2016 $109,907 -
Senior Research Scientist DCG Systems, Inc. Fremont, CA Sep 26, 2015 $109,514
Senior Scientist, HPP Process Sabic Innovative Plastics Us LLC Vernon, IN Sep 30, 2016 $108,994
Senior Scientist I Abbvie Inc. North Chicago, IL Nov 18, 2016 $108,877
Senior Research Scientist Guttmacher Institute, Inc. New York, NY May 16, 2015 $108,623
Senior Research Scientist Electrical Geodesics, Inc. Eugene, OR Oct 01, 2015 $108,378
Senior Research Scientist, Healthcare Research NORC Bethesda, MD Mar 23, 2016 $108,292 -
Senior Scientist (Formulation) Vintage Pharmaceuticals LLC Huntsville, AL Feb 10, 2015 $108,150
Senior Reearch Scientist I Albany Molecular Research, Inc. Albany, NY Dec 08, 2016 $91,603
Senior Scientist Aerospace Engineering and Research Associates, Inc. Lanham, MD Mar 21, 2016 $91,333
Senior Scientist SGT, Inc. Greenbelt, MD Oct 01, 2015 $91,187
Scientist, SR. Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics Inc. Norwood, MA Aug 11, 2015 $91,035
SR. Scientist Theranos, Inc. Palo Alto, CA Sep 20, 2015 $91,000 -
Senior Research Scientist, Psychometrics Data Recognition Corporation Maple Grove, MN Jan 06, 2015 $91,000
SR. Scientist Theranos, Inc. Palo Alto, CA May 15, 2015 $91,000 -

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Top Skills for A Senior Scientist


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Top Senior Scientist Skills

  1. Laboratory
  2. Analytical Methods
  3. Method Development
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Served on Quality Assurance team responsible for laboratory equipment management and internal audits.
  • Directed innovations group to develop new products, processes, analytical methods, and technology for commercialization.
  • Established in house utility-driven QC program and method development.
  • Designed and implemented bioassay and cell culture automation strategies, and novel cellular uptake and substrate depletion assay methodologies.
  • Created product literature, documentation and laboratory management instructions and procedures for customer support.

Top Senior Scientist Employers

Senior Scientist Videos

Career Advice on becoming a Senior Scientist by Peter W (Full Version)

Non-Traditional Careers for Science Majors | Dr. Dwight Randle | TEDxMountainViewCollege

SR : Science & Technolgy - 1