Biotechnology combines science and industry to fight diseases and develop safer drugs, crops and livestock, according to the American Chemical Society. Vice presidents who work for these firms oversee various departments, including marketing, finance and research and development. They manage department budgets and implement strategies to increase sales and profits. If you want to become a biotech vice president, you need at least a bachelor's degree and extensive experience in business. In return, you can expect to earn a salary averaging more than $100,000 annually.
Salary and Qualifications
The average annual salary of a biotech vice president was $112,000 as of 2013, according to the job site Indeed. These vice presidents may also earn cash and stock bonuses that can increase their total incomes considerably. To qualify for this job, you need at least a bachelor's degree in business, marketing, public administration or liberal arts, and significant experience in business or the pharmaceutical or biotech industries. Some biotech companies may expect you to have 10 or more years of industry experience and a master's degree in business. Other essential requirements for the job are leadership, communication, management, problem-solving and time management skills.
Top Salaries and Factors
Top salaries for biotech vice presidents in the United States ranged from $475,000 to $756,000, according to 2011 data from Med City News. With cash and stock bonuses, these vice presidents made over $1 million annually in total income. Experience along with success are the primary factors that dictate your earning potential in this job. For example, biotech vice presidents may spend 20 or more years in the industry, implementing successful strategies that increase profits for their companies and shareholders. You may also earn more working for a large biotech company, as the larger company would likely have a larger revenue base to support your higher salary.
Salary by Region
In 2013, average salaries for biotech vice presidents varied the most within the West region, according to Indeed, where they earned the least in Hawaii and most in California -- $75,000 and $122,000, respectively. Those in the Midwest made $84,000 to $123,000 per year, respectively, in South Dakota and Illinois. If you worked as a biotech vice president in Maine or New York, you'd make $97,000 or $136,000, respectively, which were the lowest and highest salaries in the Northeast. In the South region, you'd make the most in Washington, D.C., or least in Louisiana at $133,000 or $96,000, respectively.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, which doesn't forecast jobs specifically for biotech vice presidents, predicts only a 5 percent increase in jobs for top executives from 2010 to 2020 -- a below-average growth rate. The number of jobs for top executives and vice presidents never increases at as fast a pace as jobs for lower-level employees. Still, the American Chemical reports a "very good" outlook for the biotech industry, as more entrepreneurs start biotech companies. This may increase job opportunities for biotech vice presidents.