Editor's Note: This article, which discusses the salaries of nonsupervisory research-and-development personnel, is the first of a two-part series. The second part, dealing with the salaries of supervisory R&D professionals, will appear in the July 22 issue.

The mean salary for research-and-development specialists--including a wide range of professionals in the physical and life sciences--fluctuated greatly in 1990 as compared with the prior year, according to a new survey by Abbott, Langer & Associates, a management consulting firm based in Crete, Ill.

In some cases, mean salaries rose to match cost-of-living adjustments. For other science professionals, salaries were stable owing to the recessionary economy. And in a few categories, mean salaries dropped, suggesting a greater percentage of new entrants in the job market.

The overall trend was toward slight increases for some research-and-development jobs, which also included engineering positions, although Abbott, Langer grouped these separately. Salary statistics for supervisory staffers, such...

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