Thursday, February 6, 2020

Tell me your job story

Dear blog friends:

Help allay my fears that I am falling behind in understanding the industrial job market. No matter your education level or your professional status (beginning, mid-career, etc), please tell me how you got your last job. 

Helpful details: 
  • Timeframe 
  • How you found the position
  • How you applied to it (LinkedIn? e-mail, etc) 
  • The process (phone interview? Skype interview? On-site?) 
  • The negotiation after an offer
  • Relocation packages
  • Sector of the economy
  • General idea of pay
Please do so in the comments, or if you would like, send me an e-mail. Confidentiality guaranteed, this is purely for my own edification. Or, if you would really like to, you can send me a text or call at (302) 313-6257.

Thank you so much - I really appreciate it.

Cheers, Chemjobber


  1. BS in Chemistry, 2007 (all jobs below are organic chemistry).

    2005, med chem internship, found & applied on Craigslist, phone then in-person interview, no offer negotiation, $10-12/hr (in high cost-of-living area). No relocation since I was already living there.

    2007, converted from internship to full-time med chem job at same company, gave 30 min talk and did one-on-ones, negotiated higher pay by having another job offer, $45,000-$50,000 (in high cost-of-living area). No relocation since I was already living there.

    2011, contract chemistry job, found & applied on Craigslist, 30 min in person interview with two people, no offer negotiation, $40,000-$45,000 (in high cost-of-living area). No relocation since I was already living there.

    2013, contract chemistry job, found online (likely Indeed), applied on company website, phone interview, then 1 hr in person interview with two people (in another state), no offer negotiation, $45,000-$50,000 (in low cost-of-living area). Somewhere around $10,000 maximum for the relocation, more than enough for me.

    2015, contract chemistry job, was referred to the job by somebody I know, 15 min presentation in front of three people, 1 hr interview, no offer negotiation, $55,000-$60,000 (in low cost-of-living area). No relocation since I was already living there.

    2017, converted from contractor to full-time med chem job at same company, did six one-on-one interviews, no offer negotiation, $70,000-$75,000 (in low cost-of-living area). No relocation since I was already living there.

  2. PhD in Organic Chemistry, 2016-May

    June 2016, Postdoctoral Research Associate; I sent direct emails to professors actively seeking postdoctoral researchers and sent full applications to two professors. I had onsite interviews with both, received one offer, and accepted that offer. Salary was ~$37,000, bumped up to $47,500 after the Obama executive order required the university to restructure the pay scale

    Jan 2018, Applied to numerous (probably 20-30) positions listed on various sites. Had 2 phone interviews, 2 onsite interviews, received offers from both. Accepted essentially an industrial postdoctoral position with the option to renew as a full employee after a year, salary of $60,000. Worked as an in-house contractor for a major pharma company.

    Dec 2018, position was eliminated, had to find a new job. Applied to numerous positions (20-30), although I had significantly more interest from prospective employers the second time around. Probably 5-6 phone interviews, 2 onsite interviews, offers from both, accepted a position as a research scientist at a CDMO. Offer initially of $85,000, countered with $95,000, and finally accepted at $90,000. Relocated across the country, my employer paid for 2 trips to my new job location for me and my spouse to find housing, provided a $2,500 monthly stipend for 3 months after signing a housing agreement, paid for relocation of all of our belongings including vehicles.

    1. Which job posting websites did you find most useful in your search?

    2. Linkedin, , and Indeed

    3. MSc. in Organic Chemistry, 2016

      Looking for Oversea Scholarship or position in Organic Chemistry to support my PhD dream

      2014-2017 Worked as Research Assistant in the University
      2018 worked as Front Desk Officer in a Hotel
      218-Present Teaching Organic Chemistry in a college.

  3. MS in Organic Chemistry, 2015

    2015- Mostly pharma CDMO. Two phone interviews and an on-site interview. Gave a 45 minute talk and had breakout interviews with groups of two people. Got an offer at the end of my on-site and it was $60k in med to med-low cost of living area a few states away, it was a full relocation package with a moving company packaging everything, loading and unloading all of my stuff and ship 1 car, house hunting trips, family visitation trips, and 1 month temporary housing in an extended stay type of hotel. I did not negotiate since I was desperate for a job.

    Early 2017- Interviewed at a mid-sized biotech, had one phone interview with a recruiter who was far too curious with what I was making at my job at that time, then an on-site interview with a 45-60 min presentation and one-on-one interviews for most of the day. I had many phone calls with the recruiter after the on-site interview while they were going through the background check and creating the offer and again, and she was far too obsessed with my current salary at the time. I lied and said I was making $65k and she said that was in the ballpark of their budget. I ultimately received an offer that was $50K in an extremely high cost of living living area across the country from where I was living, with only $300 cash up front for moving expenses. The company refused to negotiate so I declined the job. I got a call a few months later from the recruiter saying they would give me $65K and no relocation money but I still declined due to a better situation in the story below.

    Mid 2017- Interviewed with a very large biotech, one phone interview and one on-site interview with no presentation and a mix of behavioral-based interview questions and experience-related questions. Offer was $60K plus 5% bonus with zero relocation a few states away in a significantly lower cost of living area; I negotiated up to $65K and an extra 5 PTO days (20 total PTO days plus a few floating holidays), but they would not negotiate on relocation at all. The 401K was significantly better than what I had at the time so I took the job.

    2019- Interviewed with the same large biotech but at a different site on one of the coasts in a med to med-low cost of living area. Had one phone interview and one on-site interview with no presentation, interviewed with the director, a few of the managers and about 25% of the team and most of the interview was just BS-ing around, talking about property taxes, income taxes, and weather. The offer was $88.5K plus 8% bonus and $7K sign on bonus and keep the 20 PTO days plus floating holidays, full relocation package with a moving company packaging everything, storing those things up to 1 month, loading and unloading all of my stuff, shipping 1 car, house hunting trips, family visitation trips, they would buy my old house if I couldn't sell it, pay closing costs and down payment on a new house, but no temporary housing was offered. The company would not negotiate more money, bonus, sign on bonus, or PTO days. Offer was accepted.

  4. PhD Chemistry (org chem/biochem) graduated in Nov 2014, postdoc'd in two different countries until mid 2018.

    Since Oct 2018 I have worked as a senior scientist (chemistry team) in a small medical device company.

    Found and applied through Zip recruiter.

    Three step interview (phone screen with HR, phone interview with hiring manager followed by onsite). The on site was a day of 30 min one-on-ones with people I now work with. No presentation! From first contact with the company to accepting an offer was about 1-1.5 months.

    No negotiation on offer - they gave me what I asked for in the HR screen.

    No relocation offered, but since the salary was higher than I was expecting I let this go. They did pay interview expenses and for a hotel for the night when I came for my onsite.

    Pay and benefits are very good for the state I live in, but a little behind the household name chemical companies in the area (according to glassdoor). Total comp is (90-100k).

  5. MS Chem, 1995 (left grad school 1997) (Organic Chem, non lab position, not industrial but not academic).

    My advisor from undergrad saw the position and suggested it to me; he knew someone who worked here. I sent them my resume and applied (paper). They invited me for an on-site interview. I was offered the position about a week later (with two weeks to accept). There wasn't much negotiation on my part. They paid for my moving costs (I didn't have much, so I didn't need movers to pack, just to move things); if I left within a year, I would have to pay moving costs back. My salary then was (roughly) $35000 (yes, it has gone up since then; in a low-cost-of-living area). I have been here since.

  6. Timeframe : PhD O-Chem 2013
    How you found the position: Company website
    How you applied to it (LinkedIn? e-mail, etc): Contacted current employee working there and emailed my credentials. Was passed on to HR and sent them my resume.
    The process (phone interview? Skype interview? On-site?): Phone interview, and then on-site
    The negotiation after an offer: Phone conversation, where I negotiated a higher salary.
    Relocation packages: None. I was moving to the city anyway.
    Sector of the economy: Biotech/Engineering
    General idea of pay: Pay is competitive. Benefits are shit.

    1. "Competitive" is not a good descriptor of pay, in many people's opinions.

    2. Anon1103: It suffices for me. - CJ

  7. PhD organic chemistry, 2015

    Postdoc, 2 years, 2015-2017 (just cold emailed several profs I had met at conferences, 3 interviews, 1 offer, standard salary)

    Started interviewing with on-campus interviews (big pharma) and just applying from jobs I found on LinkedIn/chemjobber (all big pharma). Had several interviews, no offers from on-campus. Started applying small biotech, several interviews. Interview almost always consisted of call with HR, call/on-site with hiring manager (no more than an hour, only on-site for jobs in Boston where I was living), followed by on-site with 60 min. presentation, about 6-10 1-on-1 interviews with various scientists. 2 offers, both pretty similar. $100K offer (I didn't counter) with lots of benefits and good bonus structure, raise within 4 months. No relocation since I was living literally around the corner already.

  8. PhD Organic Chemistry, Dec 2014

    Took 2 years of job searching to find my first job, which started in Jan 2017. I applied to >1000 positions online, including postdocs, with absolutely no luck at all. Got my first job by referral from one of the employees at the company (who was a friend of a friend). Didn't negotiate the salary when I started (they offered me $50K) since I was desperate. It was management consulting, nothing related to chemistry, except for the fact that we did some projects for chemicals companies (but related to business and growth strategies). I quit that position in June 2018 due to a variety of reasons - father's health issues, and the company was relocating to the Bay Area with no adjustment to the pretty shitty salary (they bumped me up to $68k salaried, but with zero benefits).

    Was unemployed for one year (June 2018-June 2019) while looking for my next (now current) job. Online applications again turned out to be largely futile. Got my current job through a recommendation - reached out to a contact on LinkedIn (who also got his PhD at my school, my year, but different lab) at the company, we grabbed coffee, and he passed my resume on to the hiring manager. He opened my eyes to other positions besides the usual Scientist/R&D positions (namely Sales/BD) where they value and desire the technical background from a PhD - I had not considered those before. Interviewed over the phone and in person, and they made an offer. $85k WITH benefits, and hourly as opposed to salaried - took this in a heartbeat with no negotiation since this was a night and day difference from my previous job. Been here 8 months so far and it's been great. The commute sucks (>1 hr from home), but work is otherwise good, no complaints at all. Sales/BD is good, and it feels really good to be back in the chemical industry where my skills/background is relevant, useful, and valued (my current company is a chemicals company). I think it takes being in a shitty job/job situation to make you really appreciate what you currently have.

    1. If I may ask, did you have any names on pubs from your PhD? Just curious.

    2. What do you mean by "names on pubs"? I have 8 papers from my PhD, 2 first-author, and others where I SHOULD have been the first author but my PI bumped others to that since he said "they needed it more".

    3. That answers my question, thanks (mine is worse!). Sorry you had so much trouble, despite of a good record out of grad school (!)

  9. I spent all of 2017 job-hunting while employed, and started my current position in early 2018. My current position was not advertised, and the process started with me cold-contacting my current boss. I found his name and contact info in a professional society's directory, and I was interested in the company because it's in my sub-field (polymers/CASE industry) and within commuting distance. We had a few phone conversations, then he invited me to meet for lunch and we had another good conversation, but he wasn't ready to bring someone in just yet. Since I was employed in a secure job, leaving because of a lack of advancement opportunities and below-market pay, I had the luxury of being able to wait for the right opportunity. About 3-4 months after we met for lunch, I was invited in for an onsite interview.

    The onsite went well, and I was then invited for a second interview at a sister site in another state. The position was to be at my local site, but since the company's management team is split between two sites, the folks at the other site had to approve of me. It was an interesting experience - I had never done a travel interview because I had never applied to a job that would require relocation, so I was unfamiliar with the process. The company's HR person made the arrangements, and gave me the option of spending a night or doing it all same-day. I am personally not a fan of one-day fly-in-fly-out business trips, so I opted to spend the night. The HR person booked a flight, hotel, and rental car for me. Since it was on about a week's notice, I faked sick from work that day.

    I strongly recommend accepting a night in a hotel if offered. I flew in the night before, had some time to walk around and explore a small city I had never been to, and was well-rested and feeling great for the interview. I don't think I would have been feeling good if I had to wake up at 2 AM to catch a 5 AM flight. I would have preferred to drive rather than fly, as the location was close enough that I didn't save very much time versus driving to the airport and getting there two hours early, but I didn't want to be too much of a prima donna about making changes to the arrangements offered.

    I successfully avoided answering a question about my current salary, and said that I expect that the company pays competitively and would be happy with a competitive offer. It ended up being 83K versus 70K at my old job. I knew I was being paid below market at my old job because I saw a confidential document with everyone's salary and salary bands, and I was at the bottom of the band for my position despite excellent reviews (I started in 2010 when the economy was still in the ditch, and was wrapping up a temp gig and had little negotiating leverage at the time) I thought 83K was fair and didn't try to negotiate it higher (MS, ~15 years experience, semi-high COL area), but I did successfully negotiate three weeks of vacation after being offered two. An extra week of vacation is often an easier thing for a company to grant than more money.

    I ended up getting the offer letter shortly after the onsite interview, and the revision for an extra week of vacation took about a day. The whole process took about six weeks from the first onsite interview to the offer letter, and about five months from my first contact with the boss.

    I asked for a month to wrap things up at my old job, but I had an ulterior motive - under company policy, they had to pay out three weeks of vacation because I worked a few days into 2018. I was lucky that enough people were out for the holidays that nobody figured out they were on the hook for paying out my 2018 vacation until it was too late to just make my last day the end of December, plus there were plenty of transition activities to be done during my notice period.

    Anyone who started their current job during the apocalypse of 2008-10 should consider making a move. You are very likely underpaid.

  10. Synthetic chem master's (two years of PhD, realized it was not for me), 2015

    3 years as chemistry technician, ~80k outside major metro area. 9-5 drudgery with a 45 min commute. Interview was essentially checking if I was a breathing human. HR everywhere. No autonomy, no opportunity for growth. Annecdotally, everyone was jaded and pretty miserable.

    Taught myself coding at end of 2018

    Now, ~6 months at a tech company making 215k. Relocation to the other coast. Interviews are an all-day whiteboarding affair after several rounds of phone-based coding challenges. Presumably checking for apptitude and attitude. Very flat org structure. HR is essentially invisible. More autonomy than I can handle at the moment. Additionally, I can bike to work, work from home whenever, have very few meetings, and am generally evaluated by my peers.

    Leaving chemistry has been the best choice I've ever made. In retrospect, highly educated professionals are allowing themselves to be taken advantage of by these highly profitable oil and drug companies (don't even bother with the lunacy of the post doc system).

    1. FYI the 215k figure is TC. Salary is only 130k of that. It is Bay Area cost of living, so that can be factored in as well.

    2. wow, how much time did you devote in the evenings to teach yourself coding? How many hours would you say you put into that before you had the skill needed to find a job?

    3. I had a bit of Python experience, so the basics of JS/HTML/CSS didn't take long. Maybe 50 hours over a few weeks to get to a very junior level.

      From there I spent about a month surveying areas to get more familiar with (web with React/Angular, mobile with Android/iOS, server with C#/Spring/Node, data science with Python/Julia/R, maybe lower-level stuff). Ruled out the lower-level and server routes because they seemed to require a 4-year degree. Ruled out the data science because the field is saturated and pay is terrible compared to software engineering (this was surprising, considering the work is much more challenging, in my opinion).

      Settled on a mix of frontend development in web and mobile. Since what ultimately what I liked about chemistry was the fun of making things, frontend dev has been a great fit for me.

      Anyways, I quit my oil technician job at the beginning of 2019 and drained my funds learning as much as I could in 4 months. Contributed to a couple open-source projects and launched a little dev-tool of my own. Then, I spent a month learning algorithms and data structures for the coding interviews. Landed my first offers in July of 2019.

      Risky route if it turns out you don't like software development, but I found I was learning too slowly by only spending nights/weekends.

  11. Expected PhD in Chemistry in Aug 2020
    Timeframe: First Interview 11/01/2019, Offer Letter 11/11/2019, Given Until Feb 1, 2020 to accept, but accepted 11/19/2020
    How you found the position: Recommendation from professional connection
    How you applied to it: No formal application, just email
    The process: 2 in person interviews
    The negotiation after an offer: None, set post doctoral fellowship
    Relocation packages: None
    Sector of the economy: Economic Development, Technology Transfer at Biology Academic Institution in Midwest
    General idea of pay: $54K, health insurance, retirement, university holidays, plus 24 days of PTO

  12. PhD Organic Chemistry 2009; no postdoc

    The economy collapsed at the same time, lucky me! My labmate's good friend worked at Lehman Brothers so I felt like we were getting daily updates on the end of the world. Applied to almost 200 chemist jobs over a year (in several different industries: pharma, government, cosmetics, food, plastics, etc) mostly on the East Coast. ~10 interviews with medium and large pharma companies that did on-campus recruiting (none were actually hiring) Eventually had 2 on-site interviews (including one large pharma) that never told me yes/no. In addition to searching Indeed, ACS, and pharma organization sites (like Biospace), also searched for start ups in different geographical areas. Many of these small/new companies had jobs posted on their Careers page that didn't show up in any search engine. Ended up finding a small start up where I was already living. Onsite interview then received offer. Did not negotiate so started at $75K as a med chemist in a medium COL area.

    While I was desperate to find employment at the time, this job was very fulfilling, I learned a ton, met great people and a few years later, led to my current position as a med chemist at a larger company. Except for that first 1-2 years, I have not been underpaid.

  13. 2010, BS Chemistry
    2015, PhD Chemistry (biophysical chem)
    2015-2017, Postdoc associate in my graduate lab. About 6-8 months into the postdoc, started to apply for jobs outside academia, mostly from LinkedIn and company postings: no dice on that front.

    How you found the position: Postdoc listhost e-mail about company networking/info session; attended that; additional e-mail 1 month later to same listhost about open positions
    How I applied: E-mailed resume to HR
    The process: Phone interview with HR, followed by 2 timed written tests performed on my own time. Then there was an onsite written test and interviews with senior scientific staff
    Negotiation: Didn't bother; was just looking to get out of academia
    Relocation: N/A - already living/working in the same city
    Sector of the economy: Broadly, it's advertising. But specifically, it's mostly medical communications for pharmaceutical companies
    Pay: started at ~$70k, health/dental insurance, 401k, 10 days PTO. After 2-3 years, it's risen to ~$90k w/15 days PTO.

    Other: Definitely not an overtime job. It's very much M-F, 9-5. Not too much travel, and you get comp days if you work weekends

  14. PhD in Organic Chemistry (Asymmetric synthesis) from a top Canadian University (2017). Very mediocre thesis with just three papers (IF 3-6).

    Postdoc in method development from a US university(~50 rank, not so well known Professor), 2017-19. Much better performance; 2 papers (ACIE + ACS Catalysis).

    I have been networking from day one of my PhD. Do know I lot of people in various companies (Canada and the US). Most of them were from my University, some of them I met during Canadian conferences, few of them in ACS meetings. Have been in touch with them regularly.

    Friends forwarded my CV in many companies (8) in the US. No luck. Decided to come back to Canada. Again friends forwarded the CV to 7/8 companies. Got two positive responses. Both of them were of medium size (~100 employees) med. chem based CRO-s. Both of them interviewed over the phone and Skype. Asked me a bunch of synthesis and physical organic chemistry related questions. Both of them invited me for onsite interviews. Go offers from both of them. Chose the one which is in a relatively cheaper city.

    Salary: 74K + bonus (only 4%) + 25 days of vacation + health insurance. Work for 40-45 hours a week. Management is good so far. No unreasonable demands.

    The company organizes med. chem. workshops regularly. So honing med. chem. skills. We do collaborative drug discovery partnering with a biotech company.

    Advise: networking, networking, networking. It would have been very difficult to find a job such as this one without the help of friends.

  15. I forgot to add these two things:
    Timeline: Started looking for jobs in May, 2019. Telephone and Skype interviews in August, 2019. Onsite interviews in September and October. Offers came in November and December. Joined in Jan, 2020.

    I was offered 4K (CAD) for relocation.

  16. PhD in Chem from UC Santa Barbara 1986, Post Doc, U. of Minn 1988.
    When I started my post-doc, I took over the apartment of a previous post doc, so we kind of got to know each other. He got a job at the OxyChem research center, and by the time I was finishing he was on the recruiting team for them, so for the on campus interview I had a bit of an advantage since we knew each other.
    He invited me in for an interview at the site (for their discovery team, basic R&D research, this type of corporate research doesn't really exist much anymore) and I was hired, $42K (pretty good for 1988). And, in my first year Oxy gave everyone a 20% bonus (which didn't last). No real negotiation, they paid for my move (I literally had a pile of clothes and my stereo to move, that was about it!). The company also paid for a hotel while I found a place to live.
    In 2001 they closed the building, at that time I was making about $95K, with 4 weeks vacation. Went on for a year at AMRI in Syracuse (a bad fit for me), then back to the original building where OxyChem was (it was taken private and the owners wanted me back). Been there ever since and having a great time.

    Reading some of these other stories I feel fortunate in my career!

  17. B.S. in chem 2010, Started Ph.D. program in chem in 2010, changed groups in 2013, finished Ph.D. at the end of 2016. Was mildly jobless for a minute while waiting for postdoc offers, after having turned down one.
    2017, started academic postdoc, 2017 transitioned to a Director's Postdoc Fellowship at a national lab (which is my current position, ~$90K per year). Will be starting a tenure track job in the fall ($72K per year).

    Found my current postdoc position by emailing one of the organizers from the conference that I attended annually as a grad student. He recommended that I write a proposal for the fellowship. Wrote a proposal, got an on-site interview. Was originally denied the fellowship, but one of the winners turned it down and the position went to me.

    I did not negotiate postdoc salary. It was almost double the academic postdoc salary, so it's plenty. Was initially offered relocation money, but because of delayed start after the move, did not get any.

    For the academic job, found the listing here on chemjobber. Applied to 7 listings this year. Got phone interviews at all but one. Got on-site invites from 5. Went on 3. Got 2 offers. Accepted the one that was a better fit, and conveniently is located in a more affordable location.

    Negotiated the academic salary up by $4K, relocation up by $1.2K ($4.2K total), requested professional development funds of $3K, and a start-up package of $48K (this is a PUI).

    Overall, really happy and thankful for how my career is turning out. Seemed like a really rough start when I had to change groups during my Ph.D. Was kind of an emotionally crushing experience, thinking that my science dreams were dead, but thankfully had a great experience in the new group, and it opened doors to great opportunities. Another crushing stage of my career was applying to R1 schools in the second year of my postdoc. It was not a good fit, and I didn't get any interviews.

  18. Uk-based

    2005- BSc Chemistry
    2005-2006 Cleaner, minimum wage, hired by family
    2006-2008 Call Centre Drone, again Minimum wage, found through friends
    2008- Lab tech (maternity cover), through an agency, £7/hour
    2009- Office Administrator, minimum wage, Government job creation program
    2010- 2011 MSc Chemistry
    2011- 2015 Unemployed
    2015- 2016 MSc DNA Analysis (was paid for by government)
    2016- date Unemployed

    Get as far as Interview, about one every three months, (phone or in-person)- going through agencies, web sites- don't have network of contacts in Industry, hoping for any salary rather than per hour rate in a lab somewhere.

    1. In the US, there's no shortage of crappy temp jobs for chemists. Plenty of chemists having a hard time getting a good job, but someone with your educational background would probably be doing a temp job running routine HPLC's in a QC lab if their interviews for good jobs hadn't worked out.

      My last company posted an ad for a QC tech, and it was really depressing how many resumes like yours I saw, people with MS's in chemistry and not much to show for it.

  19. Grad 1985 BS molecular Biology
    1986-1991 High school teacher, burned out due to difficult kids
    1991-1997 PhD
    1997-2000 Post-doc, burned out due to horrible advisor
    2001 6 mos start up, $55,000/yr, lost job due to loss of funding from VC's
    2002-persent: permadoc at R1 university, currently $50,000/yr, but could lose job soon. Poorly paid, but continuous employment so far.

    My mistake was getting a phD in a bad field (protein crystallography). Hard to get pubs, few jobs. I did escape with a post-doc in enzymology, but had bad advisor, few pubs.

    Many in my position would try HS teaching after my experiences but I knew a low paid permadoc was far better than that!

  20. Ph.D. in 2015, postdoc for two years
    On-campus recruiting
    On-campus application and online application
    On-campus interview followed by phone screen followed by full day on-site interview
    Didn't negotiate
    Medicinal chemistry, big pharma, Boston
    135k after bonus

  21. Ph.D. in Chemistry in 2011, post-doc 3 times total, twice overseas.
    8 months looking for work overseas, 4 months in the States
    Got the position after about 80 applications and interviewing at 5-6 companies and 2 offers.
    Applied to a different company via staffing agency and they contacted me about a temp position at a different company.
    Had the staffing screening on a Monday, phone interview on Thursday, in-person interview following Monday, job offer by end of the week.
    No pay negotiations, but staffing agency bumped my rate by ~$20/hr before sending it to the company because my initial rate was too low!
    No relocation, minimal benefits due to contract nature, working in the Boston/Cambridge biotech field.
    ~150k/yr give or take

  22. December 2013 PhD (med chem) in Germany
    2014-2016 Postdoc in US (East coast)
    2016-2019 Research Chemist (Bay area)
    ~1 year applying for jobs, 2 on-site interviews, 1 offer
    Found via random connection from internet, applied through that same connection.
    The process: phone interview + Skype interview + On-site
    The negotiation after an offer - none
    Relocation packages - nope (but company paid for immigration expenses)
    Sector of the economy - biotech, not pharma
    General idea of pay - $100k, bumped up to $118k by the end of employment
    2019-present principal scientist
    ca. 4 months of casual sporadic applications, 2 on-site interviews, 2 offers
    Found via semi-random connection from internet (got recommended to prospective manager who reached out via LinkedIn)
    The process: phone interview + on-site interview
    Negotiation: was offered salary of 130k, asked $135, accepted at $137k
    Sector of the economy - biotech, not pharma
    No relocation needed

    1. Can I ask big company or small? I'm also in the bay, similar experience but different field, recently had an offer for 135k that I turned down for other reasons. Is that the going rate for PhD+postdoc + 3-5 years industry exp in the bay area?

  23. I am a mid-career PhD Analytical Chemist, FWIW.

    Timeframe: Applied Jan 2018, interviews in March and May, offer in June, started in July; the process was slow due to an internal re-org
    How you found the position: Indeed
    How you applied to it (LinkedIn? e-mail, etc): Employer's (awful) web application
    The process (phone interview? Skype interview? On-site?): Phone screen with HR, full-day interview (with seminar), second part-day interview, one additional phone interview (with a manager who was on travel both times).
    The negotiation after an offer: I asked if more PTO was possible, and I was told that it's entirely set by policy and can't be negotiated. Did not negotiate otherwise and confirmed acceptance the next day.
    Relocation packages: N/A (local)
    Sector of the economy: Government
    General idea of pay: ~k$135

  24. Early career process development chemist (~2 years)

    Helpful details:

    Timeframe - Interviewed Nov 2019, started January 2020
    How you found the position - A former coworker sent my resume to VP as well as head of process dev here
    How you applied to it - See above
    The process - quick phone screen followed by an on-site interview
    The negotiation after an offer - Minimal, simply looked for more PTO and was told that was set for everyone and can't be changed. Didn't attempt much other negotiation.
    Relocation packages - sign-on bonus $5000
    Sector of the economy - Private
    General idea of pay $88k

    1. Early career process chemist? I always thought this was something people gravitated towards in industry versus going to school for. Most of the ones I've known were people who earned a degree in chemistry and then picked up some chemical engineering skills on the job, or vice versa.

    2. Should mention: PhD awarded in 2016. Med Chem postdoc for a little more than a year. 1.5 year at a CRO in the greater boston area (salary $75k, which is poor for the area).

  25. Yes, my PhD was synthetic methodology, postdoc was medchem. Have moved into process route development due to industry/these being the jobs I've been offered. AFAIK it's a more stable job field than med chem.

  26. Ph.D. Organic synthesis Summer 2016 from un-prestigious univeristy. One publication. No post-doc. Female.

    2016- Within a week of my summer defense, a prof from a nearby PUI accepted another position leaving a hole one month before fall semester. A friend working there told me. I emailed the department head my CV. I interviewed onsite. $45,000 one year contract as Visiting Professor. Was told no negotiations allowed. LCOL area, but still abysmal salary. No relocation because I was local.

    2017- Applied to an industry position (specialty chemicals) as a development chemist found on Indeed. Had a phone interview within a month. On-site, day-long interview within 2 weeks. Was offered $67k, countered with $80k, and settled on $75k and $9k sign-on/relocation package. It was a 4 hour move to another LCOL area.

  27. Timeframe: PhD chemistry 2018 from a mid-atlantic P5 university (not necessarily known for chemistry). Applied to literally hundreds of jobs, had ~5 interviews but they went south as soon as I said I would need visa sponsorship. automatic rejections piled up as soon as non-citizen box was filled. Had a great time teaching in grad school.
    How you found the position: suggestion from a friend; now teaching at a private school in Florida
    How you applied to it (LinkedIn? e-mail, etc): created account on a private job search companies portal who matched me with interested schools.
    The process (phone interview? Skype interview? On-site?): started over phone, then on-site, travel paid by company
    The negotiation after an offer: On the spot low-ball offer of 40K, which I rejected; renewed interest the next day; agreed at ~50-55K (med COL). plus they would pay for immigration related expenses.
    Relocation packages: none offered/didn't ask.
    Sector of the economy: secondary education at a pretty good private school
    General idea of pay= $50-55K + 3 months of vacation time throughout the year+no bonuses but good health insurance
    Would have loved to join a industrial position, but this is a pretty good gig.


looks like Blogger doesn't work with anonymous comments from Chrome browsers at the moment - works in Microsoft Edge, or from Chrome with a Blogger account - sorry! CJ 3/21/20