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“In the clinical trials area, we still see a very high demand for talent and the salaries are still increasing with the cost of living,” Pennock says. Indeed, the greatest percent increase in salary over 2005’s survey went to those who work in patents, licensing, and trademarks (62.4%), followed closely by clinical research (57.3%). Salaries in both of these areas increased at approximately twice the rate of the salary for a laboratory researcher (30%).

“Discovery research [has been] particularly hard hit,” Freedman agrees. “Companies are focused more on their clinical trials because they’re closer to sales,” she says. The next greatest salary increases are seen in other areas that support clinical trials, such as safety and regulatory affairs, at 49.3% and 42.7% for government or nongovernment appointments, respectively.

Read more: 2009 Life Sciences Salary Survey - The Scientist - Magazine of the Life Sciences