Pharma pay outpaces U.S. private-sector wage

Are you above average? Well, a new survey from Battelle, presented this week at BIO, may not be able to gauge your individual worth. But it can tell you whether you're making as much moola as the average pharma worker.

The Battelle report looked at employment in biosciences and found some heartening news: Despite hard times that have claimed many jobs in Big Pharma, the overall biosciences sector has posted strong job gains. Employment growth in the biosciences actually outpaced overall U.S. employment growth from 2001 to 2008, with job growth over that period amounting to 15.8 percent. That's more than four times the overall growth rate for the private sector, which amounted to 3.5 percent.

Bioscience wages also put overall private-sector pay to shame. Sectorwide, the average annual wage came to $77,595 in 2008, up from $70,959 in 2006. Bioscience pay beat out the overall private sector by $32,366 on average.

But here's the bottom line for you pharma folk: The average annual wages per employee in drugs and pharmaceuticals amounted to $93,378 in 2008. That's more than twice the average private-sector wages, and some $15,000 more than the broader biosciences sector. So are you above average? Depends on which average you want to use as your baseline. And only you, your boss and HR know whether you fall above or below that line.

- see the Battelle report (.pdf)
- read the post at Pharmalot