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Life Science Salary Trends are in!

It’s no secret that the job market has been a boon for candidates but challenging for companies. My own executive search business has never been busier with new VC backed companies hiring and multibillion dollar firms requiring an expert recruiting partner to capture the interest of candidates who are inundated with job opportunities. To help quantify things, BioSpaces Life Science Annual Survey Salary Report (May 2022) is hot off the presses. The report is an easy 15 page read with informative graphs with trends. Short on time? Here are highlights from the report.

· Salaries rose an average of 8% between 2021 and 2022 vs 6% the prior year

· 70% of those surveyed reported receiving a bonus with the average of ~$29K

· The racial gap widened with black professionals earing 29% less than white professionals

· The gender gap persists with women earning ~15% less in compensation then men

· 40% of employees reported receiving equity up from 32% the year before

· Boston’s average compensation increased 16% vs Bay area at 4% year over year

· 75% of Life Science workers are working remote, at least part of the time

The rest of the report has information on Regional Average Salaries as well as Job Types/Roles with average salaries. This is particularly helpful for young companies and hiring managers who don’t have access to the Radford surveys. In my own practice, I have observed an increased allowance for C-Suite candidates to work remote, extras like $20,000 sign on bonuses for Sale Directors and the bulk of candidates having at least two offers.

No one has a crystal ball for what is in store for the rest of 2022. Will this continue or not? The Boston Globe featured an article last month on the Biotech “industry correction.” Examples included companies planning to reduce their workforce by 30-60%. And the microbiome firm Kaleido Biosciences shutting down altogether. But that seems to be in keeping with what I remember Flagship Pioneering Founder, Noubar Afeyan’s strategy of “taking many shots on goal.” Another factor in the correction may be that a record numbers of biotech startups went public during 2020 and 2021 - many of them without products on the market. So there is bound to be some ups and downs ahead.

For times like these, I like Warren Buffets advice from his 2022 Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholders meeting. “The best thing you can do is to be exceptionally good at something.”

Happy job hunting and call if you need a search partner to fill executive roles!


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