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A number of factors can play a role in the salary a biochemist earns. Some of these factors can be controlled by the biochemist, while others may be more subject to industry-wide influences which a biochemist cannot control. The biochemist salary range can vary widely, and it's important to consider the influences on a salary when evaluating an employment offer to determine whether or not the salary is reasonable.
One of the biggest determining factors in a biochemist salary is where a biochemist works. Different nations have radically different pay scales and costs of living. A biochemist working in Britain, for example, will probably make more than a biochemist working in India, simply because of differing costs of living. Likewise, a biochemist working for an international company may earn more than one employed by a domestic one. The type of company a biochemist works for also matters. Pharmaceutical companies tend to pay very high salaries, while government agencies have less funding available for salaries.
Another factor in a biochemist salary is the amount of training a biochemist has had. The higher the college degree, the higher the salary, as a general rule. More experience as a working biochemist can also increase a biochemist salary, as can special certifications and training. For example, a biochemist who has worked in a high level and very secure lab will be viewed as a more appealing job candidate than a biochemist who has not, which means that the more experienced biochemist can demand and receive a higher salary.
The size of the company may also matter when it comes to a biochemist salary, as can the nature of the company. Nonprofits pay less, while for profit organizations pay more. In part, this is due to available funding, and in part, it is due to the nature of the organization. The type of work being performed also matters. Advanced research will result in a higher biochemist salary, while routine processing of lab materials will pay less. A history of publication in research journals will also increase a biochemist salary, as will participation in conferences and other forms of professional development.
Job titles also matter. The more advanced the job title, the higher the salary, even if two people with differing titles perform much the same work. This is one reason why people are very careful when it comes to negotiating job titles, paying attention to other titles used in the company and within the lab. Contractual commitments can also matter. If a biochemist signs agreements which indicate that she or he will spend a long time with the company and will not work for rival companies, the company will pay more, in acknowledgment of the employee's high level of commitment.