What Is Really the Salary of a Bioinformatician/Computational Biologist?

What Is Really the Salary of a Bioinformatician/Computational Biologist?

Every day we get many many search hits from those who ask the above question. Unfortunately, we do not have a blog post on the topic and would like to help. Readers from academia and industry, please feel free to chime in with any information you can provide. In the meanwhile, here is what we got from indeed.com -



Glassdoor supposedly has more accurate information based on personal data provided by employees of companies -

Salaries in USD

Bioinformatics Scientist Monsanto Company

9 Salaries



Bioinformatics Analyst Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

8 Salaries



Senior Bioinformatics Engineer J Craig Venter Institute

7 Salaries



Bioinformatics Scientist III Applied Biosystems

7 Salaries



Bioinformatics Scientist I The Broad Institute

7 Salaries



Software Engineer/SAS Bioinformatics American Solutions Inc

6 Salaries



Bioinformatics Specialist Howard Hughes Medical Institute

6 Salaries



Staff Scientist, Bioinformatics Applied Biosystems

6 Salaries



Bioinformatics Analyst II SAIC

5 Salaries



Bioinformatics Analyst Dow AgroSciences

5 Salaries



Bioinformatics Analyst Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research

5 Salaries



Bioinformatics Scientist I Illumina

5 Salaries



Bioinformatics Associate/Scientist Genentech

5 Salaries



Bioinformatics Scientist II Illumina

4 Salaries



Bioinformatics Specialist University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey

4 Salaries



Bioinformatics Scientist Illumina

4 Salaries




Biostar has an informative post titled -

Economics of a career in bioinformatics

I am a software developer looking for a new set of challenges. I am therefore seriously considering undertaking study towards a Masters of Science in Bioinformatics (I have a bachelor degree in Comp Sci).

My background in industry (and what I love doing) is working with large databases / datawarehouses, data visualization and performance optimizations, which on the surface of it looks like a good fit for bioinformatics. I do enjoy working in a commercial setting.

I have done extensive reading on the field and find it fascinating. In a perfect world this would be the only consideration. However, I am a little concerned about the economics of such a move.

From talking with people associated with the degree, it looks like salaries in Bioinformatics are about half as much as one would make as an experienced software developer in industry. This would amount to a halving of my wage and all the lifestyle changes that entails.

The people I have spoken to have quoted $50k - $60k for entry level (Masters) positions. To go much higher seems to require a phd or post-doc research. Does this sound accurate?

The answers were from 3 years back and seem to be quite negative in contrast with the salary figures mentioned in indeed.com and glassdoor. The most interesting answer came from Istvan Albert, who said -

The economics of your question needs to account for the freedom that comes with the position. Most academic type positions have a large degree of freedom for choosing interests and problem domains. I suspect most industrial type jobs have less freedoms but in return people are paid better.

The disparity between the salaries is likely to be a reflection of the value people associate with this freedom therefore it is likely to persist over long term and it is not just a temporary situation.

Needless to point out that three years back NIH was ramping up its various stimulus packages. The ‘free’ academics appear a bit less happy these days, and one prime reason is NIH not allowing any food and refreshment during its grant reviews, thanks to an useless branch of government wasting thousands of dollars on coffee and donuts. We found that somewhat funny, because the waste was minuscule compared to what the bankers and warmongers got so far.


Our commentary that gets people here is -

Top N Reasons NOT to do a Ph.D. in Bioinformatics/Computational Biology

It was written to provide counterbalance to the following commentary by Casey Bergman, who does very respectable research on Drosophila.

Top N Reasons To Do A Ph.D. or Post-Doc in Bioinformatics/Computational Biology

We later wrote a follow-up here -

To Do (PhD in Bioinformatics) or Not To Do? That is the Question

Written by M. //