Top 14 Life Science Jobs in California

The life science industry in California continues to explode and is one of the leading employers in the state. According to the California Life Sciences Institute (CLSI), the industry has created jobs for over 280,000 professionals from Redding in the north to San Diego in the south. Specifically, in the San Francisco Bay Area, the City of South San Francisco is known as the “birthplace of biotechnology” and is home to some of the world’s leading biotechnology companies. The city is the epicenter of Stanford, UCSF & UC Berkeley research scientists and graduates.

“The City of South San Francisco is the largest biotech center in the world. SSF has more life science employees, more patents, more Venture Capital funding, more NIH funding, and more drugs actually developed – than any other city in the world,” Alex Greenwood, Director of Economic & Community Development told BioSpace. “The City of South San Francisco has 11 million sq. ft. of biotech space, and there is an additional 6.2 million sq. ft. being built over the next 3-4 years. In addition to worldwide biotech (Genentech, Amgen, Thermo Fisher, Theravance, etc.) and pharma (Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, etc.), South San Francisco also has the most dynamic, robust ecosystem of biotech start-ups in the world, as well as two silicon valley Google-owned life science firms (Calico and Verily).”

CLSI recently collaborated with the Biocom Institute to analyze data sets within the industry, interviews with more than 30 life science employers, survey responses from nearly 250 hiring managers and HR professionals, and over 16,000 life science job postings. Among their findings were California’s 14 most in-demand life science jobs. Below, you can view a table of these positions along with the entry-level and national average salary ranges.

Top 14 Life Science Jobs in California with Salary Ranges

Salary is always influenced by a number of factors. These include the industry, the size of the company, the geographic location of the company, the employee’s degree level and years of experience. This usually means that even if you start in a lower-paying role in your field as a new grad, your earnings will naturally increase as the years go by. Larger pay gains can often be made by moving from a smaller to larger employer and from smaller cities to life science hotbeds, like that of San Francisco.

Salary negotiation can also increase your annual earnings—whether you use negotiation tactics as a job seeker or a full-fledged employee. Unfortunately, many workers don’t bother. To get the most out of your salary negotiation efforts, consider the following:

1. Let the employer bring up the topic of compensation.

2. Be gracious about every offer.

3. Ask for time to consider it.

4. Spend that time doing research.

5. Consider additional monetary and nonmonetary perks as well.

6. Make a reasonable counteroffer.

Come join our team and start making a meaningful impact alongside industry respected names! We regularly provide opportunities for many of these exact positions here in the San Francisco Bay Area life sciences hot bed. Contact us at or by calling (925)884-3811. Feel free to browse our current opportunities by clicking here.

Read why Compass Consulting Group has earned 4.8/5 stars on Glassdoor.

Searching for your next great opportunity in California’s life science sector? Explore top jobs with Compass. Our expertise will secure you a role in this exciting industry. Start your career journey with us today and make your mark in the biopharma world!

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*Salary data from and the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Data covers the entire occupation or a specific group within the occupation. Originally published by Angela Rose of