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Science and Research Careers | Research Scientist

Research Scientist

What Does a Professional in this Career Do?

Responsible for designing, undertaking and analyzing information from controlled laboratory-based investigations, experiments and trials.

Job Outlook

There were 705 Research Scientist job postings in North Carolina in the past year and 21251 in the United States.

In combination with other careers in the Researcher / Research Associate industry, which includes the Research Scientist career, the following graph shows the number of people employed for each year since 2012:

Salary

Many new Research Scientist jobs have salaries estimated to be in the following ranges, based on the requirements and responsibilities listed in job postings from the past year.

National

The average estimated salary in the United States for this career, based on job postings in the past year, is $82,237.

State

The average estimated salary in North Carolina for this career, based on job postings in the past year, is $72,297.

Percentiles represent the percentage that is lower than the value. For example, 25% of estimated salaries for Research Scientist postings in the United States in the past year were lower than $64,044.

Education and Experience

Posted Research Scientist jobs typically require the following level of education. The numbers below are based on job postings in the United States from the past year. Not all job postings list education requirements.

Education LevelPercentage
Associate's Degree3%
Bachelor's Degree28%
Master's Degree46%
Doctoral Degree23%
Other0%

Posted Research Scientist jobs typically require the following number of years of experience. The numbers below are based on job postings in the United States from the past year. Not all job postings list experience requirements.

Years of ExperiencePercentage
0 to 2 years30%
3 to 5 years41%
6 to 8 years14%
9+ years14%

Skills

Below are listings of the most common general and specialized skills Research Scientist positions expect applicants to have as well as the most common skills that distinguish individuals from their peers. The percentage of job postings that specifically mention each skill is also listed.

Baseline Skills

A skill that is required across a broad range of occupations, including this one.

  • Research (67%)
  • Communication Skills (45%)
  • Teamwork / Collaboration (34%)
  • Problem Solving (21%)
  • Writing (21%)

Defining Skills

A core skill for this occupation, it occurs frequently in job postings.

  • Experiments (29%)
  • Biology (16%)
  • Biochemistry (16%)
  • Molecular Biology (14%)
  • Cell Culturing (8%)

Necessary Skills

A skill that is requested frequently in this occupation but isn’t specific to it.

  • Data Analysis (17%)
  • Chemistry (15%)
  • Python (14%)
  • Machine Learning (12%)
  • Biotechnology (12%)

Distinguishing Skills

A skill that may distinguish a subset of the occupation.

  • qPCR (6%)
  • Cell Biology (6%)
  • Chromatography (5%)
  • Biochemical and Cell-Based Assays (5%)
  • Drug Discovery (4%)

Alternative Job Titles

Sometimes employers post jobs with Research Scientist skills but a different job title. Some common alternative job titles include:

  • Scientist I
  • Scientist II
  • Senior Scientist
  • Associate Scientist

Similar Occupations

If you are interested in exploring occupations with similar skills, you may want to research the following job titles. Note that we only list occupations that have at least one corresponding NC State Online and Distance Education program.

Common Employers

Here are the employers that have posted the most Research Scientist jobs in the past year along with how many they have posted.

United States

  • Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc (911)
  • Amazon (773)
  • Oak Ridge National Laboratory (286)
  • Pfizer (244)
  • Facebook (242)

North Carolina

  • Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc (47)
  • Kbi Biopharma (29)
  • University of North Carolina (18)
  • Seqirus (16)
  • Pfizer (16)

NC State Programs Relevant to this Career

If you are interested in preparing for a career in this field, the following NC State Online and Distance Education programs offer a great place to start!

Not sure where to start?

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