Friday, March 15, 2019

"We offer competitive salary based on qualifications."

Via friends on Twitter, this perplexing ad:
Organic Synthetic Chemist with PhD Degree
Sun Innovations Inc - Fremont, CA 94539  
$50,000 - $60,000 a year 
A Silicon Valley high-tech company has an opening for a Material Chemist with the following qualifications:
  1. Advanced (e.g. Ph.D.) degree on Organic Chemistry or Material Chemistry, with good synthesis training and skills
  2. Some R&D or product development experience on synthesizing organic and organometallic molecules or materials;
  3. Familiar with the various organic synthesis methods and processes, experts in using and keeping/running chemistry lab and tools.
  4. Knowledge of fluorescent materials and dyes, familiar with relationship of molecular structure and optic properties of molecules
  5. Good communication skill, both verbal and writing;
  6. Energetic, highly motivated and independent in conducting R&D
  7. 2-3 relevant references
We are developing advanced optical materials and devices for the display technologies of the future. We offer a very pleasant and excited small working environment along with the opportunity to be exposed to cutting edge science and technologies. We also offer the potential of significant career growth as a leader in a high tech company, as well as great entrepreneur experience in developing and commercializing advanced technologies in Silicon Valley. 
We offers excellent benefits, including medical insurance, paid holidays and vacations, retirement saving with company matching. We offer competitive salary based on qualifications. 
Job Type: Full-time
Salary: $50,000.00 to $60,000.00 /year
That's... not very much money for the Bay Area.  

14 comments:

  1. Non-tenure-track positions in flyover country typically pay 50-55 kUSD. Why would anyone put up with Fremont when they could earn the same in Columbia, SC?

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  2. I got more coming out of grad school into a startup company. I got equity as well.

    Hopefully whoever is applying really needs the job.

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  3. I'm guessing this is already somebody's job, perhaps someone's spouse or a postdoc friend of an employee desperate for a real job, and the public posting is just to make things look good

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  4. They'll probably find someone desperate enough. 50-60K in SF is terrible for an entry-level PhD, but for someone who didn't get any other job offers, it's either this or a postdoc (which would still mean living with roommates like a college kid if you're in a high COL area).

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  5. I remember getting an offer of $55,000 right out of school with a BS in chemistry for a med chem job with a large company in the San Francisco area. That was in 2007.

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  6. If I had to guess I would say the lowball salary is intentional. They will keep this posting up for a month or so, get no takers, and then say "See? There are no US citizens with the expertise to do the job. We need an H1B from China."

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    Replies
    1. Of course there are no US citizens who can do the job. I am teaching an introductory chemistry course right now, and out of 40 or so students maybe 5 have sufficient grasp of algebra to do the most basic stoichiometric calculations.

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  7. They probably don't even need to import someone. All they need is someone from Chindia on a student visa who's close to finishing their PhD, desperate to stay in America, and hasn't gotten any job offers yet. Ideally, someone who's too timid to complain about poor or illegal working conditions.

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    Replies
    1. I fully endorse your view. When I was laid off from big pharma (a decade back!) I offered myself as a chemist in just advertised small company in NJ. When I went for an interview I realized that the owner was Chinese individual and that he offered me a salary that was an insult. Bonus no benefits! Cruel dotard!

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  8. "We offer you the chance to find a cardboard box to call your very own. If you succeed, perhaps you can upgrade to a rowboat and anchor, or even a hovel next door to an oil refinery."

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  9. Well, if I had to choose between this or a post-doc, I'd take this position. I did a post-doc at LBL and was paid low 40's. Why not just take a so-called "real job" and make a little more.

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    Replies
    1. C'mon...1) LBL is a great place to work, 2) it looks better on a resume than some scammy "startup". Play the long game...

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    2. @anon: True, but sometimes the long game doesn't work. In the end I went for the long game and chose doing a second post-doc at LBL over a tenure-track position at a community college (which did pay more than LBL).

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