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The Starting Salary of Genetic Engineering Research Scientists

Growth Trends for Related Jobs

Genetic engineering research scientists are on the forefront of medical and agricultural research. Scientists involved in genetic engineering are concerned with genetic modification and the creation of products, such as foods and medicines, designed to make the world a better place. The Bureau of Labor Statistics includes salary information for both medical and agricultural and food scientists involved in genetic engineering within the larger pay scale of medical and agricultural scientists.

Starting Salaries

The Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that those in the lower 25 percent of all salary earners in the medical science field made salaries at or below $53,860 per year in 2010. The lowest 10 percent made less than $41,560 per year. Starting salaries for those in this field typically fall toward the lower end of the pay scale. This information is corroborated by the National Human Genome Research Institute, which indicates that the low salary for those in this field was about $44,000, as of 2011. Those working is food science tended to make $44,200 or less, with the lower 10 percent earning salaries of $34,330 or lower.

Earning Potential

The earning potential for medical and food scientists is much greater than the starting salary range. Those working in the medical science field made a median salary of $76,700 per year in 2010, according to the BLS. The median salary for agricultural and food scientists was $60,180 per year. The middle 50 percent of medical scientists earned between $53,860 and $105,530, with the highest paid scientists earning more than $142,800 annually. Food scientists in the middle of the pay scale, on the other hand, made between $44,200 and $82,020. The highest paid scientists earned salaries of $106,160 or higher per year.


Who the medical scientist or food scientist works for also plays a role in how much he can expect to make. For instance, the BLS indicates that medical scientists in scientific research and development earned an average salary of $92,720 in 2010. Those in pharmaceutical and medical manufacturing made an average of $101,900 per year. Average salaries for those in food science also vary. For instance, those working in scientific research and development made $74,800 per year, while those in food manufacturing made $66,450.

Job Outlook

The job market for medical scientists is expected to be positive through 2018, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The bureau projects an increase of 40 percent in terms of the number of new jobs in this field above the 2008 total that it reported. The job market for agricultural and food scientists is not expected to grow as rapidly, but the expected 16 percent job growth in this field is still above average when compared to all other professions.