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As a staff scientist, you work on a science project team. There may be several scientists on the same team, from senior scientists to research supervisors. Your duty will be to conduct experiments, collate findings, and test hypotheses.

The day-to-day activities of a staff scientist are hands-on. You may clean equipment, prepare specimens, or go out into the field, when necessary. If there's a lab technician on the team, they'll assist with equipment and specimen preparation.

As a staff scientist, you'll need to specialize in a research field. These vary widely, from microbiology to geology. Your area also determines the daily tasks you'll face and the duration of experiments. Staff scientists are usually supervised by project scientists who oversee entire operations.

To become a staff scientist, you'll need a bachelor's degree in your field. You'll also need experience, usually from an internship position. The compensation of staff scientists depends on the area they explore.

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a staff scientist. For example, did you know that they make an average of $40.86 an hour? That's $84,998 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 Staff Scientist Do

When it comes to the most important skills required to be a staff scientist, we found that a lot of resumes listed 11.5% of staff scientists included data analysis, while 10.1% of resumes included procedures, and 6.5% of resumes included research projects. Hard skills like these are helpful to have when it comes to performing essential job responsibilities.

Learn more about what a Staff Scientist does

How To Become a Staff Scientist

If you're interested in becoming a staff scientist, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 59.7% of staff scientists have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 12.8% of staff scientists have master's degrees. Even though most staff 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 staff scientist. When we researched the most common majors for a staff scientist, we found that they most commonly earn bachelor's degree degrees or doctoral degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on staff scientist resumes include master's degree degrees or associate degree degrees.

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

Staff Scientist Career Paths

Average Salary for a Staff Scientist

Staff Scientists in America make an average salary of $84,998 per year or $41 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $127,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $56,000 per year.
Average Staff Scientist Salary
$84,998 Yearly
$40.86 hourly
$56,000
10 %
$84,000
Median
$127,000
90 %

What Am I Worth?

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Staff Scientist Education

Staff Scientist Majors

22.3 %
15.2 %

Staff Scientist Degrees

Bachelors

59.7 %

Doctorate

23.9 %

Masters

12.8 %

Top Colleges for Staff Scientists

1. Duke University

Durham, NC • Private

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

2. Harvard University

Cambridge, MA • Private

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

3. University of Southern California

Los Angeles, CA • Private

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

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. Johns Hopkins University

Baltimore, MD • Private

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

8. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Chapel Hill, NC • Private

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

9. Stanford University

Stanford, CA • Private

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

10. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA • Private

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

Top Skills For a Staff 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, 11.5% of staff scientists listed data analysis on their resume, but soft skills such as communication skills and observation skills are important as well.

Choose From 10+ Customizable Staff Scientist Resume templates

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

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Staff Scientist Demographics

Staff Scientist Gender Distribution

Male
Male
68%
Female
Female
32%

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

  • Among staff scientists, 32.2% of them are women, while 67.8% are men.

  • The most common race/ethnicity among staff scientists is White, which makes up 56.8% of all staff scientists.

  • The most common foreign language among staff scientists is Spanish at 27.8%.

Online Courses For Staff Scientist 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.
Microsoft Project ADVANCED: Project Management Technics 3PDU
udemy
4.5
(641)

MS PROJECT 2016 ADVANCED Project Management Techniques -incl Enterprise level. HANDS-ON from #1 BESTSELLING INSTRUCTOR...

R Data Science Capstone Project
edX (Global)

In this capstone course, you will apply various data science skills and techniques that you have learned as part of the previous courses in the IBM Data Science with R or IBM Data Analytics with Excel and R Professional Certificate Programs. In this capstone project, you will take on the role of a data scientist who has recently joined an organization and is presented with a challenge that requires data collection, analysis, basic hypothesis testing, visualization, and modeling to be performed...

Data Science with R - Capstone Project
coursera

In this capstone course, you will apply various data science skills and techniques that you have learned as part of the previous courses in the IBM Data Science with R Specialization or IBM Data Analytics with Excel and R Professional Certificate. For this project, you will assume the role of a Data Scientist who has recently joined an organization and be presented with a challenge that requires data collection, analysis, basic hypothesis testing, visualization, and modeling to be performed on r...

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Best States For a Staff Scientist

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a staff scientist. The best states for people in this position are California, Connecticut, Maine, and Rhode Island. Staff scientists make the most in California with an average salary of $111,047. Whereas in Connecticut and Maine, they would average $109,692 and $100,158, respectively. While staff scientists would only make an average of $99,591 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. California

Total Staff Scientist Jobs:
7,585
Highest 10% Earn:
$169,000
Location Quotient:
1.49 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 Staff Scientist Jobs:
238
Highest 10% Earn:
$146,000
Location Quotient:
1.13 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. Maine

Total Staff Scientist Jobs:
233
Highest 10% Earn:
$145,000
Location Quotient:
1.01 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
Full List Of Best States For Staff Scientists

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Top Staff Scientist Employers

Most Common Employers For Staff Scientist

Rank  Company  Average Salary  Hourly Rate  Job Openings  
1Broadcom$146,280$70.3341
2Covance$118,688$57.0664
3Codexis$118,156$56.8129
4Sanofi Genzyme$115,341$55.4555
5Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory$115,079$55.3373
6Regeneron$112,454$54.0635
7Thermo Fisher Scientific$107,427$51.6537
8Stanford University$91,305$43.9058
9WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA$84,998$40.86697
10California Institute of Technology$84,998$40.86154

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