Stem cell research is one of the most fascinating, potential and controversial areas of science today. At the head of the discovery and development process are the scientists. Stem cell scientists not only research the possibilities of using stem cells for modern treatment of disease and injury, but also try to understand how diseases occur and develop and test new drugs for safety and effectiveness. The average salary of a stem cell scientist can be dependent on several factors.
The amount of formal education and experience required to work in the field of stem cell science depends on the type of position desired and the demands of the employer. Most researchers have a bachelor's and master's degree in a related field, and scientists and biotechnology experts will likely posses one or more doctorates. Stem cell researches must possess a very strong background in mathematics, physics, engineering, computers and biology, as well as experience with medical and scientific equipment. Certain certifications or licenses may also need to be acquired to be considered for a position in a laboratory or medical facility.
The cost of living where a stem cell scientist is based may be an influence on his salary. For example, in Texas, the average stem cell researcher makes $35,493 a year. In a high cost-of-iving state, such as California, the average is significantly higher at $59,520. However, the demand for such a specific and unique type of science also has an effect on salaries. Maryland's stem cell scientists get paid an average of $77,000, but in New York the average is only $40,000 a year despite a higher cost of living. The national average salary for stem cell researchers in the United States ranges from $50,868 to $97,000 a year, according to January 2011 data published on Payscale.
Title or Level of Qualification
The type of expertise or level of tasks being performed can have a great effect on salaries in the stem cell research field of science. Research technicians typically make the least, averaging $34,441 a year. Those same technicians specializing in biotechnology make $39,000 a year. Higher on the pay scale are the research associates, earning around $52,000 annually. Frequently the highest paid are the research scientists themselves, bringing in a national average of $68,824 a year, according to January 2011 statistics published on Payscale.
Type of Employer
The largest range in salaries for a stem cell scientist is seen when looking at the type of employer she works for. Non-profit organizations and colleges typically pay a salary ranging between $41,252 and $42,000 a year. The biggest earners are those who work for a private firm, perhaps funded by a medical or pharmaceutical corporation. Payscale states that as of January 2011, stem cell scientists employed in this area can average $111,500 a year.
2016 Salary Information for Biochemists and Biophysicists
Biochemists and biophysicists earned a median annual salary of $82,180 in 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. On the low end, biochemists and biophysicists earned a 25th percentile salary of $58,630, meaning 75 percent earned more than this amount. The 75th percentile salary is $117,340, meaning 25 percent earn more. In 2016, 31,500 people were employed in the U.S. as biochemists and biophysicists.