From a recently hired entry-level PhD organic chemist (let's call them HQN), this helpful information:
Small/med pharma - med chem, SF: was quoted at 110-120k typical base pay, plus relocation (amount unknown)
Small pharma Boston, med chem and process: 90-100k (medium confidence on this one, this is thru the grapevine for previous hires within past few years, but nothing current right now)
Large pharma companies, med chem or process positions, Boston, Philly, Bay Area, Chicago: 115-120k base for very competitive applicants. Offers also typically included some type of sign-on bonus (10k+), as well as relo. I know a few people that fell into this category, and they were really lucky because they had multiple offers in hand and let companies actively ‘bid’ against one another.
Before receiving offers, these individuals were quoted at “97-115k” for typical base salaries.
CMO, [redacted], process: (90k?)-100k base, plus very generous relocation. (100k base was my offer, but i got stuck in the “whoever goes first, loses” camp. I did get to name my price and they met it. Glassdoor said that the range was more like 80-90k, so I thought my ask was decent. Probably could have gotten more but alas… idk how much more I could have actually gotten anyway, and without another offer immediately in hand, I kinda felt I didn't have good leverage to ask for more now. I am assuming that 90k is actual low end of the range here, but not confident on that.
Small pharma NJ, med chem: ~92k base, 5k signing bonus in lieu of relocation.
For context, I would suggest that those who are entertaining offers really consider relocation vs signing bonus (ideally, one could negotaite for both, but if foregoing relo, think VERY hard about the actual relocation costs associated). I've heard general murmurings that sometimes companies will forego relocation packages (something to do with setting a precedent for them? idk), in lieu of a sign on bonus. I had originally thought that the NJ offer was decent, but i turned it down just because it wasnt the right company for me. In hindsight, my current relo is lavish, and the 'signing bonus' from other company would have basically ONLY covered my lease break and nothing else.
CMO, Boston suburbs, salary range quoted was around ~80-85k iirc. I had originally asked HR for 100-110, and they said that salary would be for someone 1-2 levels above entry level PhD - their rationale was “we’re in the suburbs so CoL is different” but that still struck me as low for the greater Boston metro area.
Thanks to HQN for their kind contribution! Readers, would you like to contribute? You can add in the comments, or e-mail me at email@example.com