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Annual salary of a neuroscientist

Updated March 20, 2018

The brain is by far the most complex organ in the human body. From chewing and digesting food, to executing a well-timed kick during a soccer game, the brain and nervous system regulate every function of the body. Neuroscientists research and analyse the different components that make up the brain and nervous system. Their work is also used to produce biotechnology products and medications that help treat Lou Gehrig's disease and other illnesses. Average salaries for neuroscientists start in the low £45,500 range. However, neuroscientists with Doctor of Medicine degrees average wages within the six-figure range.

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The average salary for neuroscientists in the United States was £47,450, according to a June 2011 SimplyHired report. In addition to researching the brain and human nervous system, Neuroscientists conduct laboratory experiments with tissue and cell specimens. They analyse their results using dyes, antibodies and gene probes, as well as computer modelling software to electronically replicate the different components of the nervous system. Neuroscientists in universities and research organisations devote clinical research to improving our overall understanding of the human brain. However, professionals working in pharmaceutical firms apply their research in medicine, and develop treatments for disorders such as Alzheimer's and multiple sclerosis.


Neuroscientists earned varying salaries across different metropolitan cities in the United States, according to a June 2011 SalaryExpert report. For example, neuroscientists working in Chicago reported an average annual wage of £48,043. In New York City's Manhattan borough, neuroscientists averaged £69,819 per year. Workers in Miami and Los Angeles averaged £49,660 and £45,301 respectively. In Atlanta, neuroscientists made an average salary of £55,097 annually. Charlotte neuroscientists reported an average annual wage of £53,979 per year. Neuroscientists working in Orlando reported the highest average salary, earning £72,515 per year. Their counterparts in Houston averaged the lowest wages, earning £38,364 per year.


The Bureau of Labor Statistics classifies neuroscience professionals under biophysicists. A May 2010 BLS report showed that industry has an impact on average salaries for neuroscientists. For example, biophysicists, including neuroscientists, averaged a salary of £40,612 in the higher education sector. However, biophysicists employed in scientific research and development services facilities averaged an annual salary of £59,026. Workers in pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturing companies reported an average annual wage of £57,583.


Between 2008 and 2018, the biological science field is expected to rise 21 per cent due to significant growth within the biotechnology and pharmaceutical sectors. Increased research in areas such as genomics will drive demand for neuroscientists who can use advanced research to develop medical treatments for neurological and psychiatric conditions. Because competition for research grants is intense, applied research positions within pharmaceutical or scientific firms may be easier to obtain during this time period. Neuroscientists can also increase their earnings potential by earning a medical degree and becoming licensed neurologists or neurosurgeons. The BLS showed that surgeons, including neurologists, averaged £146,503 per year.

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About the Author

Bridgette Austin

Bridgette is an aspiring yogini, newbie coder and seasoned marketing writer in the higher ed space. She's written hundreds of articles on a wide range of topics including, entrepreneurship, K-12 pedagogy and information technology. Bridgette's work has appeared on Connect: IT at NYU, Noodle Pros, QuickBooks Small Business Center, Trails.com and USA Today.

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