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How much do you/did you make as a research assistant??

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by mac_kin, Mar 4, 2007.

  1. mac_kin

    mac_kin Senior Member 5+ Year Member

    Mar 14, 2006
    I'm looking for a summer job in a lab because I'm fairly lacking in research experience. However, I also have to think about paying rent and saving money for school. The jobs offered at my campus for research positions pay on average $9.00/hour....which is very very low.

    Should I just suffer through it and do it for the experience??
    How much were you paid for doing research??
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  3. braluk

    braluk SDN Surgerynator Moderator Emeritus 5+ Year Member

    Apr 30, 2006
    The Big Easy
    Ask them what you'll be doing in the position. When I first started researching in college, all I could find that was paid were fairly minor tech related issues. Instead I decided to volunteer in another lab and was given much more responsibilities as a volunteer, on the tenet that I wouldn't cost them any pay. Next semester, after demonstrating competency I was asked to sign on at around 12/hour and got paid to continue what I was doing working for free.

    If you think you can continue working in this lab and produce something worthwhile (i.e. a publication) then by all means go for it. However, given that it is only a summer job, you will most likely be unable to. Since money is a concern take a look around and see where it takes you to.
  4. mrs.smith

    mrs.smith 7+ Year Member

    Nov 6, 2006
    Some people don't even get paid, they do it as volunteers/interns during the school year.

    I got $12/hr but I've heard some as low as $6.50. It will vary widely by area and program.

    You need to decide if it's worth it for you to be poor for the summer.
  5. eekonomics

    eekonomics 2+ Year Member

    Dec 22, 2006
    I got $15/hour for my first year, then $17.50, and now $20, but I live in a city with very high living expenses. I think $9 is a little low though!
  6. msundi83

    msundi83 Chilled Out Entertainer 5+ Year Member

    Nov 15, 2006
    You gotta get your finances in order before you worry about anything else. If you can't pay rent you won't have much fun going to school living out of your car. Find a job first, and while you have that job find another one that gives you some research or clinical experience.
  7. Robizzle

    Robizzle 1K Member 2+ Year Member

    May 28, 2006
    Boston & NYC
    Try to get a research stipend.. I don't know if programs like UROP exist at your school but you should look into it.. I had a program called IRFP (for BMEs) and it paid 3500 for 10 weeks full time + 3000 (1 big check) for "housing." It was freakin awesome.

    ^Sorry, this is assuming you're still in school...
  8. psipsina

    psipsina Senior Member 5+ Year Member

    Jun 24, 2005
    If you have no experience then yes $9 is pretty normal for an undergrad. Once you get a degree you only make around 30K here, but then again New Orleans once had low cost of living and our salaries reflect that era so it might be a bit higher in places like NYC etc. It does feel pretty craptastic though to be paid little more than a burger flipper doing high end bio research, lol.
  9. As opposed to what you'd make working fast food or a waiting tables? You're lucky they are even offering to pay you.
  10. Critical Mass

    Critical Mass Guest

    Feb 23, 2007
    At my place with a degree and no experience, 20-30K. A little bit of experience will get you into the 30's. A decade or more will push 40's.

    Undergrad? Just negotiate with your PI. They can afford more than minimum wage if they're not giving you any beneifts.
  11. kidthor

    kidthor meep 10+ Year Member

    Dec 5, 2005
    In undergrad I didn't get paid anything to do research, and that was for two years!
  12. Disinence2

    Disinence2 Emergency Medicine Physician 7+ Year Member

    Aug 11, 2006
    Not a single cent....
  13. radiologydoctor

    radiologydoctor Banned Banned

    Feb 17, 2007
    I only got paid $6.50 an hour. I was in a situtation where I wanted to get some laboratory experience so I was willing to work for pathetic wages for a little while. Well, the lab I worked in was out of state and I had just enough money to rent out a room for 2 months, but my checking acount was starting to get empty so I left the lab three weeks before I was expected to because the pay was just pathetic and I need money to pay the utility bill and eat. So I left the lab and went back home and babysat for some doctors and made more money doing that the last month of the summer then I did for the first two months X2. That is how bad it was.

    I worked for about 55 hours a week in that lab and I would only get paid for 25 hours a week of work. It was a total rip off.

    But I can't complain to the PI about it because I chose to take the internship position on my own choice.

    I am still glad I did the internship as it was a great experience and exposure.
  14. MDsomeday22

    MDsomeday22 Guest 7+ Year Member

    Mar 2, 2007
    In college, I got $10.50 an hour as an undergrad research assistant. I've also worked in biotech and got paid $12 an hour. After I graduated, I got a job working as an academic research assistant for $24 an hour.

    It really depends on where you live and how much experience you have. Academia generally pays less than biotech.
  15. Davjc2009

    Davjc2009 2+ Year Member

    Jan 2, 2007
    3500$ stipend for ten weeks over the summer. which turns out to be about 9$ but housing(electricity, water, TV, and internet) and food is paid for.
  16. 12604077

    12604077 2+ Year Member

    Jan 4, 2007
    44K entrance level
  17. riverwoman1040

    riverwoman1040 5+ Year Member

    Jan 18, 2007
    During undergrad I worked in a lab for $6.50/hr. It was a little frustrating, but I didn't work there for the money. I ended up with an excellent LOR and two years of research experience, so it was definitely worthwhille. After I graduated the jobs I found were in the range of $12-$15, so I've decided to take a break from science :)
  18. etf

    etf Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Apr 27, 2005
    i'm a college graduate and am making $0 an hour at my lab - i didn't have any experience, so it was hard for me to find a paying job. meanwhile my sibling, who is a junior in college, is getting paid $10k this summer to intern at goldman sachs. life's not fair...
  19. shantster

    shantster Eye protection! 10+ Year Member

    My two summers I got paid $4k for 10 weeks and just over $3k for 12 weeks. Neither paid for housing or food, but the $3k job set me up with a retirement account rather than having me pay social security on my income.
  20. eikenhein

    eikenhein my cat is awesome Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

    Apr 9, 2006
    I got paid $6000 for 16 weeks of field research, divided by the number of hours worked = less than minimum wage.
  21. nataly1313

    nataly1313 Junior Member 7+ Year Member

    Aug 10, 2006
    Tampa, FL.
    I made $16 an hour working part-time. I also got to travel to San Francisco and Philadelphia with all expenses paid.
  22. etf

    etf Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Apr 27, 2005
    do any of you guys or gals know how to get like some type of independent funding/stipend when you're doing research as a volunteer?
  23. Critical Mass

    Critical Mass Guest

    Feb 23, 2007
    Most schools have some small grants available tucked away in corners to fund projects like this even though it's usually not very much dough. My best advice is to ask your department head, advisor, or unit secretary.
  24. etf

    etf Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Apr 27, 2005
    oh, i forgot to mention that i graduated last year.
  25. gotmeds?

    gotmeds? 5+ Year Member

    Oct 9, 2006
    $15/hr. And I got free tacos one day. And a salad. Oh, the perks!
  26. future_dr_house

    future_dr_house . 7+ Year Member

    Sep 8, 2006
    I was making 12/hr
  27. future_dr_house

    future_dr_house . 7+ Year Member

    Sep 8, 2006
    mmm tacos, I could go for some right now.
  28. epigastric

    epigastric Stewart U. Class of '11 2+ Year Member

    Nov 8, 2006
    Just in case the OP is thinking of moving to NYC to capitalize on higher tuition rates...I was offered 19k at a job interview in Manhattan. The PI saw the look on my face and quickly said that he might be able to scrounge an extra 2k or so.

    In terms of post-undergrad entry level positions, pay tends to run around 24-28k for bench research, with some privately-affiliated hospitals willing to pay the princely sum of nearly 30k. The problem with NYC is that it suffers from a glut of people who rely on parental rent assistance, leaving them able to take a job for nearly poverty-level income.
  29. Captain Fantastic

    Captain Fantastic Physician 10+ Year Member

    Mar 28, 2005
    Mizzou Med
    $9.00/hr part-time, which was low even around here. It was a clinical research study and the PI specifically hired pre-med undergrads.

    I made more per hour ten years ago as a research assistant during my first degree program, but I needed clinical and recent research experience. I would have volunteered my time if they hadn't offered $9.00/hr. Typical pre-med I suppose: will do anything for medically related experiences.
  30. $20/hr was my highest paying research position, but I had significant experience prior to that job.
  31. yalla22

    yalla22 Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Jan 6, 2003
    Not enough to support myself after graduating :(
  32. microgal

    microgal NYC's Finest 2+ Year Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    New York City
  33. sheepgoto7

    sheepgoto7 2+ Year Member

    Oct 5, 2006
    I made $7.50/hour when I worked through the university, but $18/hour when I worked as a research intern in a nearby industry during undergrad.

  34. It's higher than I made. I did it for $0 and would love to find something that actually pays.
  35. Any ideas how to get research jobs in NYC or LI? Please help me with where to look without any experience.
  36. lovexn

    lovexn The Devil who wears Panda 2+ Year Member

    Jan 28, 2007
    :eek: $500 for three years at undergrad (i have to tutor like crazy to make up my rent), $4000 for a summer at a med school (summer research is always awesome)
  37. Porcelain16

    Porcelain16 2+ Year Member

    Sep 13, 2006
    30K in nyc, living with the parentals is the only thing allowing me to save right now.
  38. nbp.medlaw

    nbp.medlaw 10+ Year Member

    Jun 22, 2005
    around $42,000 last year. pay rate is something like $21-$22/hr, for 37.5 hrs/wk. they might have only been offering that to me when i started b/c i came in w/ a Master's degree (was the only degree HR wanted for its records).

    since this lab's in the NYC vicinity, w/ cost of living it's just enough to cover rent, utilities, 10% for retirement, application fees, and flights/hotels for interviews. good thing my fiancee moved in and we're splitting rent!
  39. Haemulon

    Haemulon Slippery When Wet Moderator Emeritus 7+ Year Member

    Jun 1, 2006
    On SDN
    Back when I was in grad school, I averaged about 12-13 dollars an hour for part-time RA positions. First one started at 10 something, but then went up. Had one for a few months making 15, but then I switched to a full time employment elsewhere.
  40. nbp.medlaw

    nbp.medlaw 10+ Year Member

    Jun 22, 2005
    great place here on LI is The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research in Manhasset (Nassau County), an affiliate of the North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System.

    if you're interested, try contacting our lab coordinator:

    Dee Prieto
    [email protected]

    i would only contact her if you're really interested in working here in Nassau County, Long Island. people do commute from Manhattan by the LIRR or by driving, but it's easiest if you live right here on LI or are close by in Queens or in Brooklyn.

    if our lab (Kevin Tracey) is not interested, Dee might be able to direct you to somebody else's lab who might be.

    pm me if you have any interest in doing research at UMDNJ-Newark - an associate investigator is leaving our lab to set up shop there and is hiring. i can give you links to his CV and bio, as well as his e-mail address.
  41. kerplunk112

    kerplunk112 7+ Year Member

    Jun 23, 2006
    **** that i make min wage...but this job got me into medical school so i dont care.
  42. Shpamme

    Shpamme status pages confuse me. 5+ Year Member

    Dec 14, 2005
    as part time, 20 hours a week, got $10 per hour no benefits
    then worked full-time and got 33k, some benefits
  43. BuckeyeForBass

    BuckeyeForBass Ready, Steady, Go. 2+ Year Member

    15.98 per hour, no benefits. But ... ive been there for 3 years. I started out at 9.50 and worked my way up.
  44. wisguy

    wisguy 2+ Year Member

    Sep 26, 2006
    As an undergrad, part time 10->14 per hour, no benefits. Now I don't want to know what my hourly wage is, but I have health.
  45. HamburgerHelper

    HamburgerHelper Member 7+ Year Member

    Feb 15, 2006
    How/Where have all of you attained these positions? I've been applying for months to various hospitals/universities and I rarely ever get feedback (if I do, it's a statement indicating that the position was filled).
  46. sirus_virus

    sirus_virus nonsense poster 2+ Year Member

    Nov 6, 2006
    Taco bell pays more.
  47. wisguy

    wisguy 2+ Year Member

    Sep 26, 2006
    My school also threw in free housing (in a hot, hot dorm) for the summer, which helped make up for the decreased earnings. I've heard of this other places as well, so looking into reduced rate or free housing for summer employees couldn't hurt.
  48. R-35

    R-35 Member Physician 10+ Year Member

    Jun 3, 2006
    9$ / hour is indeed not bad.
  49. Stolenspatulas

    Stolenspatulas 2+ Year Member

    Sep 5, 2006
    12.50$ (currently)
  50. grinchick5

    grinchick5 7+ Year Member

    Jul 26, 2006
    It took me nearly 12 months of consistently applying to various research hospitals before I got my CRA position.
  51. HamburgerHelper

    HamburgerHelper Member 7+ Year Member

    Feb 15, 2006
    Oh my.

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