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What is a Senior Scientist

As a senior scientist, you will be in charge of proposing new projects on products and processes. You will provide technical leadership to the organization by identifying and developing new technologies. You will also develop and execute experiments, create laboratory test methods and perform chemical analyses, analyze data, and write and summarize technical reports. Besides that, you'll manage lab equipment and facilities, collaborate with other technical personnel, train junior scientists, and lead project teams.

For this job, you need a doctorate in life or physical sciences with over two years of industrial experience. You must possess communication, technical, leadership, organization, teamwork, and interpersonal skills. You must also be familiar with project planning, process updates, and experimental design. Plus, you must be proficient in Microsoft Office. Senior scientists earn a large sum of $110,349 on average per annum. This ranges from $78,000 to $155,000.

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a Senior Scientist. For example, did you know that they make an average of $53.21 an hour? That's $110,673 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 Senior Scientist Do

When it comes to the most important skills required to be a Senior Scientist, we found that a lot of resumes listed 12.3% of Senior Scientists included PHD, while 7.9% of resumes included R, and 7.0% of resumes included Data Analysis. Hard skills like these are helpful to have when it comes to performing essential job responsibilities.

Learn more about what a Senior Scientist does

How To Become a Senior Scientist

If you're interested in becoming a Senior Scientist, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 51.1% of Senior Scientists have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 17.0% of Senior Scientists have master's degrees. Even though most Senior Scientists 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 Senior Scientist. When we researched the most common majors for a Senior Scientist, we found that they most commonly earn Bachelor's Degree degrees or Doctoral Degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on Senior Scientist resumes include Master's Degree degrees or Associate Degree degrees.

You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become a Senior Scientist. In fact, many Senior Scientist jobs require experience in a role such as Scientist. Meanwhile, many Senior Scientists also have previous career experience in roles such as Research Scientist or Research Assistant.

What is the right job for my career path?

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

And if you’re looking for a job, here are the five top employers hiring now:

  1. Microsoft Jobs (148)
  2. Abbott Jobs (105)
  3. Pfizer Jobs (541)
  4. Halliburton Jobs (74)
  5. Merck Jobs (452)
Average Salary
$110,673
Average Salary
Job Growth Rate
8%
Job Growth Rate
Job Openings
58,849
Job Openings
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Senior Scientist Career Paths

Top Careers Before Senior Scientist

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Average Salary for a Senior Scientist

Senior Scientists in America make an average salary of $110,673 per year or $53 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $156,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $78,000 per year.
Average Salary
$110,673
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How much should you be earning as an Senior Scientist? Use Zippia's Salary Calculator to get an estimation of how much you should be earning.
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12 Senior Scientist Resume Examples

Learn How To Write a Senior Scientist Resume

At Zippia, we went through countless Senior Scientist resumes and compiled some information about how to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

View Senior Scientist Resume Examples And Templates

And if you’re looking for a job, here are the five top employers hiring now:

  1. Microsoft Jobs (148)
  2. Abbott Jobs (105)
  3. Pfizer Jobs (541)
  4. Halliburton Jobs (74)
  5. Merck Jobs (452)

Choose From 10+ Customizable Senior Scientist Resume templates

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

Senior Scientist Resume
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Senior Scientist Resume
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Senior Scientist Resume
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Senior Scientist Demographics

Senior Scientist Gender Distribution

Male
Male
70%
Female
Female
30%

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

  • Among Senior Scientists, 29.9% of them are women, while 70.1% are men.

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

  • The most common foreign language among Senior Scientists is Spanish at 18.9%.

Job Openings

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Senior Scientist Education

Senior Scientist Majors

33.2 %
14.3 %

Senior Scientist Degrees

Bachelors

51.1 %

Doctorate

29.9 %

Masters

17.0 %

Top Colleges for Senior Scientists

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
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Online Courses For Senior Scientist That You May Like

Drug Discovery & Medicinal Chemistry
edX (Global)

Drug discovery is a challenging field, but the pathway most drugs navigate from concept to market is predictable and based upon repeated experimentation. The process requires scientists with expertise in chemistry, biology, and medicine. This course focuses on four aspects of drug development. regulation - approval protocols for government regulatory agencies pharmacodynamics - how a drug affects the body pharmacokinetics - how a drug flows through the body lead discovery/optimization - the...

Drug Development
coursera

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...

The Beginners Course for Clinical Research
udemy
4.3
(475)

The Essentials of Clinical Trials - Clinical Research for Beginners...

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Top Skills For a Senior Scientist

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, 12.3% of Senior Scientists listed PHD on their resume, but soft skills such as Communication skills and Observation skills are important as well.

Best States For a Senior Scientist

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a Senior Scientist. The best states for people in this position are California, Hawaii, Maine, and Arizona. Senior Scientists make the most in California with an average salary of $151,433. Whereas in Hawaii and Maine, they would average $122,603 and $122,022, respectively. While Senior Scientists would only make an average of $118,364 in Arizona, 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 Senior Scientist Jobs:
4,187
Highest 10% Earn:
$213,000
Location Quotient:
1.64
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. New Jersey

Total Senior Scientist Jobs:
1,110
Highest 10% Earn:
$161,000
Location Quotient:
1.6
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. Connecticut

Total Senior Scientist Jobs:
321
Highest 10% Earn:
$160,000
Location Quotient:
1.11
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 Senior Scientists

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Top Senior Scientist 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 Senior Scientists and discovered their number of Senior Scientist opportunities and average salary. Through our research, we concluded that Pfizer was the best, especially with an average salary of $115,111. Merck follows up with an average salary of $108,851, and then comes Glaxosmithkline Plc with an average of $106,149. 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 Senior Scientist. The employers include Amgen, Autodesk, and NVIDIA

Most Common Employers For Senior Scientist

RankCompanyZippia ScoreAverage Senior Scientist SalaryAverage Salary
1$199,236
2$119,310
3$115,111
4$111,729
5$108,851
6$108,218

Senior Scientist Videos

Becoming a Senior Scientist FAQs

Do you need a Ph.D. to be a senior scientist?

Yes, you typically need a Ph.D. to be a senior scientist. A senior scientist is generally seen as a leader within their department. This requirement means they should have a significantly advanced degree in their field.

How long does it take to become a senior scientist?

It typically takes at least eight to ten years to become a senior scientist. The time it takes depends on the specific career path a person chooses and the time spent gaining educational qualifications.

How much money does a senior scientist make?

A senior scientist makes around $100,000 per year. The top ten percent of senior scientists make approximately $150,000 a year, while the bottom ten percent make around $80,000.

Salary ranges can vary widely depending on many important factors, including education, industry, and years of experience in the profession.

What are the qualifications of a senior scientist?

The qualifications of a senior scientist are a Ph.D. and good leadership skills. A senior scientist is generally seen as a leader within their department. This role means they should have a significantly advanced degree in their field.

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