Satisfied, Well Paid, and Secure

BioPharm International's second annual salary survey confirms that the biopharmaceutical industry is a great place to work
Jan 01, 2008
Volume 21, Issue 1

Laura Bush
The data from BioPharm International's second annual salary survey are in, and the results are clear: the biopharmaceutical industry is the place to be. Our respondents are paid well and like their work. And surprisingly enough, they feel pretty secure in their jobs, despite the constant ups and downs of small biotech companies, and the increasing pressures at some bigger biotechs this year.

BioPharm International's market research department conducted the survey in the fall of 2007. The survey was e-mailed to 24,276 readers around the globe, and generated 536 responses. To encourage participation, all survey respondents were entered into a drawing to win one of five $100 gift cards. The maximum statistical error of the survey, at a 95% confidence level, is +4.2%. (Some percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding.)


Figure 1 shows the breakdown of respondents' job functions. The functions best represented by the survey were research (20%), quality assurance (19%), process development (12%), and analytical development (10%).

The vast majority (74%) of survey respondents are from the US. Another 14% are from Europe, (including 3% from the UK), 4% are from India, and 4% are from Canada. About half work in publicly traded companies, 37% in privately held firms, 6% in academic institutions, 4% in government, and 2% in nonprofit organizations. About 1% are self-employed.

A little more than a third (37%) of respondents work in biopharmaceutical manufacturing companies, 21% in small-molecule pharmaceutical companies with a biotech focus, and 9% in research institutes. Most of our respondents work in fairly large companies: 52% work in companies with 1,000 employees or more, and another 10% work in companies employing between 500 and 1,000 people.

Highly Experienced

Figure 1
The industry experience levels of our respondents were fairly high: almost a third (28%) have been in the industry between 16 and 25 years. If we add to those the 19% who have worked in their field for 11 to 15 years, we see that 47% of our respondents have worked in their field more than 10 years. They haven't spent all that time in one company or job, however; only 17% have been with their current companies for 11 years or more. Another 20% have been with their current companies for six to 10 years. A little more than half of our respondents (54%) have worked with their current company or organization for five years or fewer.