A new survey based on a range of benchmark jobs shows that research directors and other top administrators earn up to twice as much as laboratory scientists.

The survey of 5,000 employees in 116 industrial and academic research settings divides the work force into categories based on job responsibility. It ranges from those who direct 100 or more persons and whose duties are primarily managerial to laboratory scientists who work on a specific project.

The survey found, on average, that pay increases with the level of responsibility (see accompanying tables). It also found that physicists uniformly earn higher salaries than colleagues in other fields. Stephen Langer, president of Abbott, Langer and Associates of Chicago, said his survey differs from a similar one conducted for many years by the Department of Energy because it emphasizes job descriptions. “We looked at the DOE proposal,” Langer said about the origins of his company’s...

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