Toxicologist Salary: Your 2023 Guide

Written by Coursera • Updated on

Toxicologists ensure that chemicals, pharmaceutical drugs, and consumer products are safe to use. Learn more about what you can expect to earn in this impactful career.

[Featured image] A toxicologist in a white lab coat holds a laptop computer while working in a medical lab

In this article, you’ll explore the salary ranges that you can expect to earn as a toxicologist, including how common factors like years of experience, education level, and geographic location impact your earning potential. 

Average salary for a toxicologist 

According to various pay aggregation websites, toxicologists earn an average salary of $75,601 to $123,820 a year. Here’s the average salary a toxicologist in the United States earns, according to five popular sites [1,2,3,4,5]:

GlassdoorZipRecruiterPayScaleZippiaSalary.com
$123,820$93,910$88,783$75,601$82,708

The exact amount that you can expect to earn will likely depend on several factors, including your work experience, education level, geographic location, and the industry in which you work. Below, we break down each factor to give you a better idea of what you will earn. 

Toxicologist salaries by experience 

The exact amount that you can expect to earn as a toxicologist varies by experience. Here’s the estimated total pay, including base salary and additional compensation, you can expect to earn as a toxicologist based on your work experience, according to Glassdoor [1]. Additional pay can include cash bonuses, commissions, tips, or profit sharing. 

  • 0 - 1 years: $77,558

  • 1 - 3 years: $86,847

  • 4 - 6 years: $97,487

  • 7 - 9 years: $112,724

  • 10 - 14 years: $134,859

  • 15+ years: $154,002

Note: Total pay is the combined amount of Glassdoor users’ reported average salary and additional pay, which could include profit sharing, commissions, cash bonuses, or tips. 

Toxicologist salary by education level

Education is extremely important in the field of toxicology. According to the American College of Toxicology’s 10th Triennial Toxicology Salary Survey, for example, 84.3 percent of respondents possessed a doctoral degree, while only 10.8 percent possessed a master’s degree, and 4.8 had a bachelor’s degree [6]. Unsurprisingly, then, the degree you possess can impact how much you can expect to earn. According to Salary.com, the pay range for toxicologists of different educational levels is as follows [7]: 

  • Bachelor’s degree: $76,861 - $85,272

  • Master’s degree: $77,944 - $86,553

  • Ph.D. or equivalent: $79,460 - $88,348

A higher level of education will likely improve your chances of obtaining more senior roles in the field that pay even higher salaries. In some cases, employers may only consider applicants with doctoral or master’s degrees for specific roles. 

Toxicologist salaries by location 

One of the biggest factors impacting the pay you will receive as a toxicologist is the location in which you work. 

While larger cities tend to pay more due to a high cost of living and local market factors, smaller cities and more rural areas tend to pay a bit less due to their lower living costs. Wherever you live, though, you can expect to make a higher-than-average salary as a toxicologist. 

Here are the total pay toxicologists make annually in ten different cities in the United States, according to Glassdoor [1]: 

LocationMedian total pay a year
San Francisco, CA$140,182
New York City, NY$122,217
Seattle, WA$137,125
Los Angeles, CA$116,895
Washington, DC$124,763
Des Moines, IA$121,996
Chicago, IL$130,782
Cincinnati, OH$123,519
Boston, MA$125,977
Houston, TX$122,074

Top toxicologists industries 

Toxicologists are employed by a wide number of industries and organizations. According to the Society of Toxicology’s Job Market Survey, 53 percent of recent Ph.D. graduates in toxicology were employed by industries like pharmaceuticals and chemicals, while 34 percent were hired by academic institutions, and 12 percent found jobs in the government [8]. If you’re a recent toxicology graduate, then you may consider looking for employment in one of the above sectors.

Toxicologist job outlook 

There are no official statistics on the job outlook for toxicologists. Nonetheless, the job data for related positions suggest a positive trajectory for the profession in the coming years. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), for example, job openings for medical scientists are expected to increase by 17 percent between 2021 and 2031, adding about 10,000 new jobs each year throughout the decade [9]. Job openings for forensic science technicians, meanwhile, are projected to grow by 11 percent during the same period, resulting in about 2,500 new jobs each year [10]. 

Get started with Coursera 

Toxicologists use their expertise in chemistry and biology to determine if chemicals are either safe or toxic to human beings. If you’re a science-minded individual who wants to use your knowledge to ensure the safety of others, then you might consider preparing for a career in toxicology by taking a cost-effective course through Coursera. 

In Johns Hopkins’ Evidence-based Toxicology, you’ll explore emerging evidence-based efforts and address opportunities and challenges to expanding the use of new toxicology tools.

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Article sources

1

Glassdoor. “How much does a Toxicologist make?, https://www.glassdoor.com/Salaries/toxicologist-salary-SRCH_KO0,12.htm?clickSource=careerNav.” Accessed December 14, 2022. 

Written by Coursera • Updated on

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