Welcome to the second annual Contract Pharma salary survey. We’ve polled 100 of our readers to determine their attitudes toward their jobs, their levels of education, and, most importantly, their salaries. In order to provide an even broader view of the pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical industry, we’ve also invited other organizations to contribute their own salary surveys and economic impact reports. In the following pages, you’ll find employment and salary information from the HealthCare Institute of New Jersey (HINJ, p. 76), and the American Asso-ciation of Pharmaceutical Scientists (AAPS, p. 80).
Our respondents, 68% of whom were male, break down into the following job function categories: R&D (21%), Quality Assurance/Quality Control (14%), Corporate Management (10%), Business Development (10%), Project Manager (7%), Purchasing (6%), Production/Manufacturing/Packaging (5%), Contract Manager (5%), Sales/Marketing (4%), Regulatory Affairs (4%), Lab Manager/Technical Services (3%), Clinical Research (3%), Engineering (2%) and Other (6%).
The mean annual base salary for all respondents in 2000 was $88,190, down 2% from 1999. The top earners were in Regula-tory Affairs, earning a mean base salary of $134,750, a pretty whopping increase from last year’s $78,030 (credit it to statistical skew). Corporate Management followed, with a mean base salary of $131,100, up 2% from $128,588 in 2000. Sales/Mar-keting staff followed, earning $104,500, followed by Produc-tion/Manufacturing/Packa-ging at $92,460 (up 6%), R&D at $82,764 (up 6%), Contract Manager at $82,561 (up 27%), Business Development at $78,420 (down 9%), QA/QC at $78,107 (up less than 1%), Purchasing at $77,595 (up 18%), Clinical Research at $77,300, Engineering at $66,750 (down 9%), Lab Manager/Tech Service at $55,667 and Project Manager at $55,014 (down 5%), while Others earned $105,171 (up 16%) in 2000.
Plenty of Options
Despite the financial recession that may or may not be over by the time this issue sees print, stock options were actually worth more this year than they were in 1999. Respondents who received stock option packages had an average of $71,745 in options in 2000, up from $58,450 in 1999. Two Corporate Management personnel (both men, one a contract service provider, the other a biopharma sponsor), received stock options in excess of $500,000 this year. The top stock package ($830,000) was gained by a woman who serves as a Contract Site Manager. Respondents also received an average of $10,413 in bonuses and $12,609 in other benefits.
Respondents with bachelors degrees (35%) earned a mean salary of $105,951, base salary of $84,381 and stock options worth $5,194. Those with a masters degree (35%) averaged a total salary of $172,012, with a base salary of $90,824 and options worth $40,627. Respondents with doctorates (27%) earned a mean salary of $112,984, base salary of $94,579 and stock options worth $3,828. There were twice as many respondents with masters degrees to those with doctorates in the area of Corporate Management, which explains the lower average pay for doctorate-level staff (insofar as doctorates tend to be employed in the lower-paying R&D sector, rather than Corporate Management where, it seems, an MBA goes a long way).
On average, women drew 18% less than men did. Men took in a mean base salary of $92,981 (up 4%), compared to $76,608 for women (down 4%). Men reported several more years of experience in the industry (16.5) than women (12.5). On average, women in the industry are younger (38.0) than men (42.7). In addition, men have been with their current job for an average of 5.26 years, compared to 4.82 years for women. It should be noted that this is down from last year’s "current job tenure," in which men were at the same job for 5.43 years, women for 4.37.
In what must have been another statistical anomaly, no women listed Corporate Management as their job function, as opposed to 25% of the personnel in that high-paying category last year. In categories where women were better represented, they tended to earn less than men. Women working in R&D, for example, earned $74,657 in base salary, compared to $85,917 for men. The disparity grows worse when options, bonuses and benefits are measured in: women in R&D earn a total of $87,414, while men take in $114,688.
The same story holds true in QA/QC, which is fairly evenly split between men and women. Female QA/QC staff earn $61,917 for a base and $84,180 total, while men earn $90,250 in base pay and $129,025 in total. This stands in comparison to 1999, when women in the QA/QC field fared better than their male counterparts, earning a mean base salary of $81,842, compared to $75,228 for men.
Location, Location and Location
Geographically, our respondents hailed mainly from the Midwest (29%) and New York/New Jersey (23%). Other regions included Other East Coast (11%), Other Mid-Atlantic (7%), North Carolina (7%), Southern California (7%), New England (6%), Northern California (4%) and Other (6%).
It remains a good time to be working on the West Coast. The mean annual compensation for respondents in Other West Coast areas was $340,400, primarily due to several large stock option plans. Without these options, the annual salary drops to $89,400. Base salary for Other West Coast is $84,000. Both total and base salaries in 2000 dropped from 1999 levels ($408,250 total and $105,000 base). The next highest paid region is Northern California ($195,425 total salary, $170,425 base, compared to $99,250 total, $84,250 base in 1999). The third highest earners came from the Midwest ($149,529 total, $87,695 base, compared to $213,425 total, $95,850 base in 1999), followed by Southern California ($135,830 total, $92,250 base, compared to $150,000 total, $126,000 base in 1999), New York/New Jersey ($132,943 total, $98,557 base, compared to $139,368 total, $91,146 base in 1999), Other Mid-Atlantic ($108,600 total, $83,663 base, compared to $235,687 total, $80,612 base in 1999), North Carolina ($93,057 total, $74,129 based, comapred to $159,350 total, $111,000 base in 1999), Other East Coast ($88,179 total, $64,708 base, compared to $65,333 total, $48,666 base in 1999), trailed by New England ($84,050 total, $71,500 base, with none reporting from the region in 1999.
But money’s hardly the only measure of man (and woman). We also asked our respondents about their attitudes toward work, job security and compensation. For the second year running, "Internal Politics" was mentioned more than twice as often (30%) as any other factor in contributing to worker frustration. Other elements that frustrate employees include: regulatory process (14%), lack of advancement (13%), inadequate project funding (8%), inadequate compensation (7%), Wall St./shareholder expectations (6%) and merger/acquisition fears (5%). One respondent wanted to note that "Inadequate project funding means that I’m sick of sponsors who want to outsource projects on a shoe-string budget and expect the world!!"
In a rather odd trend, 7% of respondents indicated there is no frustrating aspect of their jobs, the same proportion that reported this last year. We’re starting to wonder what these 7% of personnel are like.
Statistical analysis was performed by Christina A. Rohde and Leslie A. Baxter.