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Salary, Wages, Pay: Chemists and Materials Scientists
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Median annual earnings of chemists in 2002 were $52,890. The middle 50 percent earned between $39,410 and $71,710. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $30,980, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $92,170. Median annual earnings of materials scientists in 2002 were $64,590. The middle 50 percent earned between $46,280 and $86,240. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $33,480, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $107,400. Median annual earnings in the industries employing the largest numbers of chemists in 2002 were:
Scientific research and development services
Pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturing
Architectural, engineering, and related services
The American Chemical Society reports that the median salary of all of its members with a bachelorís degree was $32,800 a year in 2002; for those with a masterís degree, it was $50,000; and for those with a Ph.D., it was $68,000. Median salaries were highest for those working in private industry; those in academia earned the least. According to an ACS survey of recent graduates, inexperienced chemistry graduates with a bachelorís degree earned a median starting salary of $31,000 in 2002; those with a masterís degree earned a median salary of $45,000; and those with a Ph.D. made median earnings of $67,500. Among bachelorís degree graduates, those who had completed internships or had other work experience while in school commanded the highest starting salaries.
In 2003, chemists in nonsupervisory, supervisory, and managerial positions in the Federal Government averaged $76,857 a year.