The Reed Scientific Salary Guide 2021 has tracked salary bandings in six different scientific disciplines across Great Britain, highlighting a number of interesting trends and developments. Here are seven findings from our guide which may come as a surprise to you...
1. Science’s answer to remote working
Unlike many other professions, it is almost impossible for scientists to replicate their working environment at home. Given the need for scientists to be present in laboratories, they have missed out on the benefits of remote working which many have experienced during the pandemic.
However, many companies have looked to compensate for this by providing employees with greater flexibility. This often revolves around a ‘core hours’ model, where staff are required in the lab between 10am and 3pm, but have flexibility over their start and finish times. With scientists increasingly in demand, firms who offer increased flexibility to their workforce can separate themselves from competitors when trying to attract new employees.
2. Cost of living impacts roles in East Anglia
East Anglia, particularly the area around Cambridge, is a scientific hub. However, the cost of living in and around some cities in the region means professionals spend almost as much on rent/mortgages and other costs as they would in London.
However, our guide reveals that salaries have not yet caught up with this, with scientists in London and the South East earning more than their counterparts in East Anglia. For example, a clinical data manager can earn between £42,500 and £46,900 in London and the South East, as opposed to between £35,100 and £38,000 in East Anglia.
3. Practical lab experience a missing ingredient in the South West
The shift towards laboratory testing roles has created demand for scientists with practical lab experience across the whole of the country.
In the South West, there is a shortage of scientists with these skills. While there are a significant number of graduate scientists in the region, many do not have the lab experience which organisations desire. With laboratory managers in the region earning maximum salaries of £39,600, this could encourage those still studying to garner as much lab experience as they can before graduation.
4. More than just COVID-19-related roles in the North East
There has been an explosion in the number of roles available in the sector thanks to the pandemic. However, COVID-19 is not the only factor in scientific job creation.
Research into climate change and clean energy is driving scientific recruitment in the North East. Given the government’s plans for a move towards a greener economy, businesses will continue to create jobs relating to these disciplines in the region.
5. Pharma and biotech headline strong Midlands science sector
While the nature of the pandemic has boosted all scientific businesses in the Midlands, it is pharmaceutical and biotech firms who have really excelled over the past 12 months. This has created a need for professionals with experience and skills in these disciplines.
Average salary bandings for QA managers in the region do vary between the disciplines. In biotechnology, scientists in this role can expect to earn between £33,700 and £37,000, while in pharma businesses salaries fall anywhere between £45,400 and £55,500.
6. Flexibility is the key in the North West
Graduates entering the workforce in this region have quality control, quality assurance and product development experience, allowing them to hit the ground running. This consistent influx of new talent has created an excellent balance between the number of qualified candidates and the number of available roles.
Given this balance, scientists in the region should be flexible about the sectors they choose to work in. Transferrable skills mean they can operate across roles at a high standard in pharmaceuticals, chemical, materials, FMCG, food, cosmetics, and medical devices. This flexibility will increase the number of opportunities available to them.
7. The upskilling of Scottish scientists
Demand for scientific professionals has rapidly increased in Scotland, particularly in sectors related to the pandemic. Organisations are increasingly seeking scientists with a combination of experience and niche skills.
There is only a limited of supply of these candidates at present. If firms are to fulfil this increased demand, they will need to invest in upskilling programmes to give junior scientists the skills and experience they need fill these available roles.
For more information on salaries and benefits in the scientific sector, download our free Reed Scientific Salary Guide 2021. The guide contains industry insight and salary banding from across the UK and will help you make informed decisions in the year ahead.