chapter 7

life sciences.

Employment in the life sciences has nearly recovered to pre-pandemic levels, and the industry's resilience isn't surprising — after all, prescription drug spend in the U.S. hit an all-time high of $358.7 billion in 2020. But the race for securing top talent in the life sciences will begin moving at unprecedented speeds as pricing pressures, ever-evolving regulatory pathways and expanding development portfolios continue to challenge how the industry adapts to meet global healthcare needs.

With so much change afoot, 2021 is proving to be a pivotal year in the life sciences arena. And for those leaders not prioritizing personnel and emerging tech in their organizations, it's going to be harder than ever to keep up.

2021 outlook

As the industry fields rising demand for new drugs and an increasing focus on efficiency, transparency and innovation, competition for top talent will continue to be fierce in the year ahead. And when hiring outcomes are so inextricably linked to business outcomes as they are in this arena, building a strong candidate pipeline becomes even more critical. Forward-thinking companies have already recognized the actions they need to take to get qualified talent to join their ranks — but for those lagging behind, there's a lot of work to be done in 2021 and beyond.

salary key

This guide presents nationwide pay information for today's most prevalent and in-demand life sciences positions. 

Compensation data for these roles is organized by annual salaries across three levels of professional experience:

entry-level
one year of experience

mid-level
five years of experience

senior-level
10 years of experience

clinical entry-level mid-level senior-level
biometrics
biostatistician $85,428 $105,768 $136,278
clinical data analyst $54,918 $85,428 $108,819
clinical data manager $60,003 $82,377 $112,887
clinical SAS programmer $70,173 $89,496 $114,921
clinical trial management and operations
clinical documentation specialist (eTMF) $54,329 $70,304 $92,350
clinical outsourcing manager $85,428 $111,870 $140,346
clinical project manager (CPM) $86,445 $123,057 $174,924
clinical research associate (CRA) $56,952 $111,870 $144,414
clinical trial associate (CTA) $54,918 $82,377 $105,768
clinical trial manager (CTM) $81,360 $117,972 $230,859
medical director $175,941 $276,624 $356,967
drug safety/pharmacovigilance
drug safety physician $111,870 $151,533 $242,046
drug safety specialist $54,918 $77,292 $108,819
medical director $175,941 $276,624 $356,967
medical monitor/reviewer $91,530 $134,244 $170,856
medical and scientific affairs
commercial trainer $48,816 $65,088 $95,598
medical affairs project manager $73,224 $105,768 $142,380
medical information specialist $54,918 $79,326 $114,921
medical science liaison $131,193 $161,703 $198,315
medical writing
document manager $44,748 $55,935 $66,105
editor/formatter $71,190 $84,411 $93,564
medical writer $76,275 $117,972 $148,482
quality control reviewer $46,782 $67,122 $103,734
quality, process and validation
process development engineer $75,258 $110,853 $136,278
quality assurance auditor $61,020 $105,768 $128,142
quality assurance specialist $41,400 $62,000 $74,600
quality control analyst $51,867 $72,207 $99,666
quality engineer $54,918 $91,530 $118,989
regulatory affairs
regulatory advertising and promotions associate $47,799 $63,054 $84,411
regulatory affairs CMC associate $43,731 $72,716 $93,564
regulatory affairs labeling associate $73,224 $105,768 $142,380
regulatory affairs operations associate $54,918 $77,292 $101,700
regulatory affairs publishing associate $43,731 $72,716 $93,564
regulatory affairs strategy associate $91,530 $116,955 $137,295
research and design systems
business analyst $69,156 $91,530 $118,989
clinical database programmer $66,105 $87,462 $110,853
clinical systems project manager $76,275 $99,666 $146,448
validation analyst $69,156 $90,513 $117,972
supply chain management
clinical trial supply manager $70,173 $86,445 $111,870
inventory management specialist $48,816 $61,020 $88,479
material documentation coordinator $45,765 $62,037 $81,360
packaging requirements specialist $70,173 $88,479 $106,785

clinical

biometrics

entry-level

mid-level

senior-level

biostatistician

entry-level

$85,428

mid-level

$105,768

senior-level

$136,278

clinical data analyst

entry-level

$54,918

mid-level

$85,428

senior-level

$108,819

clinical data manager

entry-level

$60,003

mid-level

$82,377

senior-level

$112,887

clinical SAS programmer

entry-level

$70,173

mid-level

$89,496

senior-level

$114,921

clinical trial management and operations

entry-level

mid-level

senior-level

clinical documentation specialist (eTMF)

entry-level

$54,329

mid-level

$70,304

senior-level

$92,350

clinical outsourcing manager

entry-level

$85,428

mid-level

$111,870

senior-level

$140,346

clinical project manager (CPM)

entry-level

$86,445

mid-level

$123,057

senior-level

$174,924

clinical research associate (CRA)

entry-level

$56,952

mid-level

$111,870

senior-level

$144,414

clinical trial associate (CTA)

entry-level

$54,918

mid-level

$82,377

senior-level

$105,768

clinical trial manager (CTM)

entry-level

$81,360

mid-level

$117,972

senior-level

$230,859

medical director

entry-level

$175,941

mid-level

$276,624

senior-level

$356,967

drug safety/pharmacovigilance

entry-level

mid-level

senior-level

drug safety physician

entry-level

$111,870

mid-level

$151,533

senior-level

$242,046

drug safety specialist

entry-level

$54,918

mid-level

$77,292

senior-level

$108,819

medical director

entry-level

$175,941

mid-level

$276,624

senior-level

$356,967

medical monitor/reviewer

entry-level

$91,530

mid-level

$134,244

senior-level

$170,856

medical and scientific affairs

entry-level

mid-level

senior-level

commercial trainer

entry-level

$48,816

mid-level

$65,088

senior-level

$95,598

medical affairs project manager

entry-level

$73,224

mid-level

$105,768

senior-level

$142,380

medical information specialist

entry-level

$54,918

mid-level

$79,326

senior-level

$114,921

medical science liaison

entry-level

$131,193

mid-level

$161,703

senior-level

$198,315

medical writing

entry-level

mid-level

senior-level

document manager

entry-level

$44,748

mid-level

$55,935

senior-level

$66,105

editor/formatter

entry-level

$71,190

mid-level

$84,411

senior-level

$93,564

medical writer

entry-level

$76,275

mid-level

$117,972

senior-level

$148,482

quality control reviewer

entry-level

$46,782

mid-level

$67,122

senior-level

$103,734

quality, process and validation

entry-level

mid-level

senior-level

process development engineer

entry-level

$75,258

mid-level

$110,853

senior-level

$136,278

quality assurance auditor

entry-level

$61,020

mid-level

$105,768

senior-level

$128,142

quality assurance specialist

entry-level

$41,400

mid-level

$62,000

senior-level

$74,600

quality control analyst

entry-level

$51,867

mid-level

$72,207

senior-level

$99,666

quality engineer

entry-level

$54,918

mid-level

$91,530

senior-level

$118,989

regulatory affairs

entry-level

mid-level

senior-level

regulatory advertising and promotions associate

entry-level

$47,799

mid-level

$63,054

senior-level

$84,411

regulatory affairs CMC associate

entry-level

$43,731

mid-level

$72,716

senior-level

$93,564

regulatory affairs labeling associate

entry-level

$73,224

mid-level

$105,768

senior-level

$142,380

regulatory affairs operations associate

entry-level

$54,918

mid-level

$77,292

senior-level

$101,700

regulatory affairs publishing associate

entry-level

$43,731

mid-level

$72,716

senior-level

$93,564

regulatory affairs strategy associate

entry-level

$91,530

mid-level

$116,955

senior-level

$137,295

research and design systems

entry-level

mid-level

senior-level

business analyst

entry-level

$69,156

mid-level

$91,530

senior-level

$118,989

clinical database programmer

entry-level

$66,105

mid-level

$87,462

senior-level

$110,853

clinical systems project manager

entry-level

$76,275

mid-level

$99,666

senior-level

$146,448

validation analyst

entry-level

$69,156

mid-level

$90,513

senior-level

$117,972

supply chain management

entry-level

mid-level

senior-level

clinical trial supply manager

entry-level

$70,173

mid-level

$86,445

senior-level

$111,870

inventory management specialist

entry-level

$48,816

mid-level

$61,020

senior-level

$88,479

material documentation coordinator

entry-level

$45,765

mid-level

$62,037

senior-level

$81,360

packaging requirements specialist

entry-level

$70,173

mid-level

$88,479

senior-level

$106,785
scientific
chemical
analytical chemist $47,799 $79,326 $99,666
applications engineer $68,139 $89,496 $114,921
biochemical engineer $57,969 $85,428 $106,785
chemical engineer $73,224 $94,581 $130,176
compounder $36,612 $46,782 $54,918
formulator $61,020 $82,377 $113,904
ISO auditor $52,884 $74,241 $95,598
laboratory manager $53,901 $80,343 $116,955
laboratory technician $35,595 $45,765 $67,122
materials engineer $73,224 $89,496 $110,853
metallurgist $73,224 $86,445 $103,734
plant manager $87,462 $130,176 $181,026
process engineer $67,122 $94,581 $124,074
product development chemist $50,850 $84,411 $109,836
product development scientist $50,850 $84,411 $109,836
quality control engineer $57,969 $79,835 $106,785
environmental science
analytical chemist $47,799 $79,326 $99,666
biochemical oxygen demand specialist $55,935 $73,224 $86,445
elemental analyst $53,901 $68,139 $94,581
environmental engineer $69,156 $88,479 $108,819
environmental health and safety specialist $44,748 $69,156 $98,649
environmental microbiologist $52,884 $64,071 $85,428
environmental scientist $61,020 $79,326 $106,785
field monitor/sampler/tester $33,561 $47,799 $70,173
industrial hygienist $60,003 $78,818 $103,734
laboratory technician $35,595 $45,765 $67,122
nondestructive tester $45,765 $52,884 $74,241
quality assurance technologist $53,901 $73,224 $84,411
safety coordinator $51,867 $58,986 $80,343
water quality technician $43,731 $61,020 $88,479
food science
analytical chemist $47,799 $79,326 $99,666
biochemical engineer $57,969 $85,428 $106,785
bioengineer $55,935 $71,190 $90,513
chemical engineer $73,224 $94,581 $130,176
flavorist $51,867 $73,224 $98,649
food scientist $52,884 $83,394 $117,972
food technologist $49,833 $96,615 $126,108
HACCP compliance manager $62,037 $88,479 $123,057
ISO auditor $52,884 $74,241 $95,598
laboratory technician $35,595 $45,765 $67,122
materials engineer $73,224 $89,496 $110,853
microbiologist $44,748 $64,071 $91,530
plant manager $87,462 $130,176 $181,026
process engineer $67,122 $94,581 $124,074
project manager $84,411 $110,853 $146,448
quality engineer $54,918 $91,530 $118,989
formulation and drug development
analytical chemist $47,799 $79,326 $99,666
microbiologist $44,748 $64,071 $91,530
molecular/cell biologist $43,731 $58,986 $84,411
research assistant $32,544 $45,765 $67,122
research associate $56,952 $82,377 $111,870
research scientist $68,139 $121,023 $141,363
personal care
analytical chemist $47,799 $79,326 $99,666
cosmetic chemist $41,697 $55,935 $84,411
formulation scientist $61,020 $93,564 $147,465
fragrance technician $35,595 $42,602 $66,105
laboratory technician $35,595 $45,765 $67,122
materials engineer $73,224 $89,496 $110,853
microbiologist $44,748 $64,071 $91,530
organic chemist $47,799 $63,054 $86,445
process engineer $67,122 $94,581 $124,074
product development chemist $50,850 $84,411 $109,836
product development manager $72,207 $110,853 $164,754
quality assurance inspector $35,595 $51,867 $76,275
quality engineer $54,918 $91,530 $118,989
regulatory affairs specialist $70,173 $97,632 $127,125
regulatory compliance chemist $50,850 $84,411 $109,836
sensory evaluator $52,884 $74,241 $95,598
toxicologist $60,003 $91,530 $128,142

scientific

chemical

entry-level

mid-level

senior-level

analytical chemist

entry-level

$47,799

mid-level

$79,326

senior-level

$99,666

applications engineer

entry-level

$68,139

mid-level

$89,496

senior-level

$114,921

biochemical engineer

entry-level

$57,969

mid-level

$85,428

senior-level

$106,785

chemical engineer

entry-level

$73,224

mid-level

$94,581

senior-level

$130,176

compounder

entry-level

$36,612

mid-level

$46,782

senior-level

$54,918

formulator

entry-level

$61,020

mid-level

$82,377

senior-level

$113,904

ISO auditor

entry-level

$52,884

mid-level

$74,241

senior-level

$95,598

laboratory manager

entry-level

$53,901

mid-level

$80,343

senior-level

$116,955

laboratory technician

entry-level

$35,595

mid-level

$45,765

senior-level

$67,122

materials engineer

entry-level

$73,224

mid-level

$89,496

senior-level

$110,853

metallurgist

entry-level

$73,224

mid-level

$86,445

senior-level

$103,734

plant manager

entry-level

$87,462

mid-level

$130,176

senior-level

$181,026

process engineer

entry-level

$67,122

mid-level

$94,581

senior-level

$124,074

product development chemist

entry-level

$50,850

mid-level

$84,411

senior-level

$109,836

product development scientist

entry-level

$50,850

mid-level

$84,411

senior-level

$109,836

quality control engineer

entry-level

$57,969

mid-level

$79,835

senior-level

$106,785

environmental science

entry-level

mid-level

senior-level

analytical chemist

entry-level

$47,799

mid-level

$79,326

senior-level

$99,666

biochemical oxygen demand specialist

entry-level

$55,935

mid-level

$73,224

senior-level

$86,445

elemental analyst

entry-level

$53,901

mid-level

$68,139

senior-level

$94,581

environmental engineer

entry-level

$69,156

mid-level

$88,479

senior-level

$108,819

environmental health and safety specialist

entry-level

$44,748

mid-level

$69,156

senior-level

$98,649

environmental microbiologist

entry-level

$52,884

mid-level

$64,071

senior-level

$85,428

environmental scientist

entry-level

$61,020

mid-level

$79,326

senior-level

$106,785

field monitor/sampler/tester

entry-level

$33,561

mid-level

$47,799

senior-level

$70,173

industrial hygienist

entry-level

$60,003

mid-level

$78,818

senior-level

$103,734

laboratory technician

entry-level

$35,595

mid-level

$45,765

senior-level

$67,122

nondestructive tester

entry-level

$45,765

mid-level

$52,884

senior-level

$74,241

quality assurance technologist

entry-level

$53,901

mid-level

$73,224

senior-level

$84,411

safety coordinator

entry-level

$51,867

mid-level

$58,986

senior-level

$80,343

water quality technician

entry-level

$43,731

mid-level

$61,020

senior-level

$88,479

food science

entry-level

mid-level

senior-level

analytical chemist

entry-level

$47,799

mid-level

$79,326

senior-level

$99,666

biochemical engineer

entry-level

$57,969

mid-level

$85,428

senior-level

$106,785

bioengineer

entry-level

$55,935

mid-level

$71,190

senior-level

$90,513

chemical engineer

entry-level

$73,224

mid-level

$94,581

senior-level

$130,176

flavorist

entry-level

$51,867

mid-level

$73,224

senior-level

$98,649

food scientist

entry-level

$52,884

mid-level

$83,394

senior-level

$117,972

food technologist

entry-level

$49,833

mid-level

$96,615

senior-level

$126,108

HACCP compliance manager

entry-level

$62,037

mid-level

$88,479

senior-level

$123,057

ISO auditor

entry-level

$52,884

mid-level

$74,241

senior-level

$95,598

laboratory technician

entry-level

$35,595

mid-level

$45,765

senior-level

$67,122

materials engineer

entry-level

$73,224

mid-level

$89,496

senior-level

$110,853

microbiologist

entry-level

$44,748

mid-level

$64,071

senior-level

$91,530

plant manager

entry-level

$87,462

mid-level

$130,176

senior-level

$181,026

process engineer

entry-level

$67,122

mid-level

$94,581

senior-level

$124,074

project manager

entry-level

$84,411

mid-level

$110,853

senior-level

$146,448

quality engineer

entry-level

$54,918

mid-level

$91,530

senior-level

$118,989

formulation and drug development

entry-level

mid-level

senior-level

analytical chemist

entry-level

$47,799

mid-level

$79,326

senior-level

$99,666

microbiologist

entry-level

$44,748

mid-level

$64,071

senior-level

$91,530

molecular/cell biologist

entry-level

$43,731

mid-level

$58,986

senior-level

$84,411

research assistant

entry-level

$32,544

mid-level

$45,765

senior-level

$67,122

research associate

entry-level

$56,952

mid-level

$82,377

senior-level

$111,870

research scientist

entry-level

$68,139

mid-level

$121,023

senior-level

$141,363

personal care

entry-level

mid-level

senior-level

analytical chemist

entry-level

$47,799

mid-level

$79,326

senior-level

$99,666

cosmetic chemist

entry-level

$41,697

mid-level

$55,935

senior-level

$84,411

formulation scientist

entry-level

$61,020

mid-level

$93,564

senior-level

$147,465

fragrance technician

entry-level

$35,595

mid-level

$42,602

senior-level

$66,105

laboratory technician

entry-level

$35,595

mid-level

$45,765

senior-level

$67,122

materials engineer

entry-level

$73,224

mid-level

$89,496

senior-level

$110,853

microbiologist

entry-level

$44,748

mid-level

$64,071

senior-level

$91,530

organic chemist

entry-level

$47,799

mid-level

$63,054

senior-level

$86,445

process engineer

entry-level

$67,122

mid-level

$94,581

senior-level

$124,074

product development chemist

entry-level

$50,850

mid-level

$84,411

senior-level

$109,836

product development manager

entry-level

$72,207

mid-level

$110,853

senior-level

$164,754

quality assurance inspector

entry-level

$35,595

mid-level

$51,867

senior-level

$76,275

quality engineer

entry-level

$54,918

mid-level

$91,530

senior-level

$118,989

regulatory affairs specialist

entry-level

$70,173

mid-level

$97,632

senior-level

$127,125

regulatory compliance chemist

entry-level

$50,850

mid-level

$84,411

senior-level

$109,836

sensory evaluator

entry-level

$52,884

mid-level

$74,241

senior-level

$95,598

toxicologist

entry-level

$60,003

mid-level

$91,530

senior-level

$128,142

For salary information and titles specific to your region, contact your local Randstad representative today.

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