Hosted By

Isaiah Hankel, PhD
Isaiah Hankel, PhD
Chief Executive Officer Cheeky Scientist

Join Isaiah as he reveals the average salaries of the most popular PhDs-level industry roles 

Here’s a quick rundown of this week’s episode…

  • First, Isaiah explains why PhDs need to know which are the high paying PhD salaries
  • Next, Isaiah reveal why PhDs shy away from these high paying roles 
  • Finally, Isaiah discusses the average salaries of some popular industry PhD-level roles

From This Week’s Show… 

Why PhDs Should Compare Salaries

Salary is not everything but it can help you in terms of a reference point. I’m going to talk about salaries across the categories of jobs that are available to you. Our research team compared salaries for different industry positions across currencies. They made sure that the reference point between any two salaries were as accurate as possible for as many countries as possible.

Sometimes, the roles are called something different. An MSL in one country might be called a super rep in another country. So, we looked at five major categories, 40+ different high-paying positions. We don’t want PhDs making less that what they made as a postdoc.

We want PhDs to be hired in high-paying PhD-level industry positions. These are great starting salaries; a range from around 70,000 to 140,000 at the high end. Salaries are not everything, but it can help you understand the value of that position in the marketplace. When it comes to value, the supply of good candidates for the jobs that are paying the most is going to be lower than the lower salaried positions. But the demand for them is higher. So, that ratio is going to change: lower supply, higher demand. The ratio will change as the salary increases.

Why PhDs Are Intimidated By High-Paying Industry Jobs

The demand for PhDs as data scientists or MSLs is huge. These are some jobs with high salaries, there’s not as many PhDs who actually take the time to learn about what they need to do to get those jobs. None of those jobs requires industry or clinical experience. Several PhDs count themselves out for those jobs because they’re intimidated. So, there is a demand but these PhDs don’t apply for those jobs, which lowers the supply. 

You don’t need to become an expert in machine learning to get a data scientist job. MSLs don’t have to have a strong clinical or signaling background, or experience in clinical trials. You can learn this from other PhDs who have transitioned in the field. 

PhDs either have that imposter syndrome, or they’re just too lazy. They don’t want to learn. Some PhDs will even show a disdain for these higher salary positions as they don’t care about money. Others give the excuse that their background is so different. It doesn’t matter. I’ve seen PhDs with engineering, forestry, zoology backgrounds get into MSL jobs and data scientist jobs.

The job market will tell you how valuable you are, just like academia has told you. But if you are so valuable in academia, why is your salary  just $33,000 a year as a postdoc? Because there’s an over supply of academic PhDs, which affects that supply and demand ratio. So, your academic employers don’t have to pay a lot for you. They know they can probably just get you to work for them for free 

Average Salaries Of Some High Paying PhD Roles

I want you to know exactly what you’re worth. Don’t work for free in academia because you are valuable in industry. We break down the positions in industry with high salaries into five categories.

Let’s start with information, aggregation patents. The three sub categories are intellectual property, writing and editing, and information and data management. Intellectual property has four positions. One of them is an IP lawyer. It pays $117,360 on average. There are incredible roles in this space that you can get into without an extra degree that pay nearly as much: a patent agent or scientific consultant. 

The average annual salary for a patent agent or scientific consultant is $98,080.  A technology transfer officer is paid $85,863 annually. It is an academic position where PhDs work for a university. Patent examiner or patent analysts earn $89,205 per year. You need information to be hired into jobs with high salaries.

You’re trying to figure out your job search on your own, after being in academia, your entire life. That’s not a great strategy. They don’t just hand out jobs that pay these salaries. 

A PhD level job search is very different from a non-PhD job search, recognize your worth as a PhD. 

** for the full podcast, check out the audio player above.

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