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What am I worth?

Chuck Gasser csgasser at ucdavis.edu
Tue Jun 27 18:14:56 EST 1995

In discussions with those in other companies during my five years as an
industrial scientist I observed that the location of the company had a
significant effect on starting salaries.  Companies in expensive parts
of the country (e. g. Boston, San Francisco Bay area) had higher
starting salaries than those in less expensive areas (e. g. Research
Triangle, Missouri, Seattle).  Based on friends of mine who have more
recently joined companies the current range for Ph. D.'s with
significant postdoctoral experience seems to be mid 40's to upper 50's
depending on how perfectly one fits the position and how much initial
supervisory responsibility is expected.
It is best to ask your friends about the going rate for people in
industrial positions.  Those interviewees who asked too many salary
questions were often seen as being too concerned with this.  We wanted
to hire people who were interested in science and research.  Many
people are sensitive about their salaries so don't ask the scientists
who interview what they are paid.  Sometimes they will be making less
than new people are being offered!  Often during the interview process
you will have a chance to talk with a Personnel/Benefits
representative.  This person is perfectly safe to talk to about any
financial concerns you might have and will usually provide you with a
salary guess, or a salary range for the position for which you are
interviewing.  Best of luck on your interview!  Be sure to show
interest in the work of all the scientists you talk to!

Chuck Gasser
csgasser at ucdavis.edu

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