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4th Jan, 2023

Victoria Sartain
Victoria Sartain
Job Title
Senior Content Writer

Despite the exciting roles out there, there’s an acute shortage of candidates, exacerbated by Brexit, Covid and other economic factors.

However, the scientific market is essential to the UK economy, so will weather any storm. Initiatives to encourage take-up of STEM subjects will soon see a rise in school leavers and graduates entering the market, and as such, it’s a great time for businesses to invest in talent.

Fields of interest

Cambridge, a city renowned as a scientific hub, has seen an increase in data vacancies, specifically bioinformatics and cheminformatics, and though there isn’t high demand for any particular role, there’s overall demand for research and manufacturing talent across chemicals, pharmaceuticals, biotech and food.


Bioinformatics is a relatively new and evolving field of study that uses computer science to analyse and interpret biological data. Bioinformaticians can create and run programs that will identify key information that can be used by medical staff to help patients with complex diseases.

Professionals in biotechnology in London and the South East can expect annual salaries of between £24,300 (laboratory assistant/technician) to £61,900 (principal scientist).


Cheminformatics blends the worlds of computer science with chemistry – to enhance knowledge around the sustainable creation of a host of products needed on a daily basis, from medicines and household items to industrial products.

Chemistry professionals in the Midlands can expect salaries of between £26,000 (material scientist/metallurgist) to £51,600 (QA manager).

Green energy

As global enterprises finally face up to tackling environmental challenges, scientists with the vision to find fast, affordable solutions are in demand. One of the most pressing issues is the creation of renewable energy, including biofuels and alternative fuels. With the recent breakthrough in nuclear fusion promising to ‘revolutionise the world’ with clean energy, it is likely that research and development vacancies for this alone will skyrocket.

Professionals in biotechnology in East Anglia can expect salaries of between £23,000 (laboratory assistant/technician) to £59,700 (laboratory manager/study manager).

Next-generation battery development

Storing energy through the creation of more efficient batteries is another hot topic, with developers looking to improve upon current lithium-ion technology. The science is already well underway for lithium-sulphur and so-called solid-state batteries that have a reduced environmental impact and give better output for consumers. With the recent news that scientists have created ‘game-changing’ electric car batteries that never lose charge capacity, the demand for expertise in this field will grow.

Chemistry professionals in the North West can expect salaries of between £27,100 (QA assistant) to £51,600 (QA manager).

Food research and development

The need to find sustainable food production methods continues apace, with a focus on innovation in an industry shaped by increased consumer demand and anticipated changes to the type of consumables of the future. Nutrition, production costs, sustainability, safety, commercialisation are all part and parcel of tomorrow’s food scientist roles.

Professionals in food research in the North East can expect salaries from £21,300 (laboratory technician) up to £50,600 (technical manager).

In summary

In-depth skills will always be valued, especially when combined with an understanding of how and why equipment works as opposed to operator knowledge only. In addition, scientific skills in support roles are highly sought after in marketing, sales and customer support – ideal for those looking to move away from lab work.

With the cost-of-living crisis and a sharp rise in inflation, salaries have been a huge area of discussion in the employment market, for both professionals and businesses alike. As the likelihood of a lasting recession becomes stronger, getting professionals’ take on their salaries is critical for businesses when looking to benchmark what they can offer.

Get the guide

For more information on salaries and benefits in the scientific sector, download our free 2024 scientific salary guide. This guide will give you all the tools you need to effectively benchmark salaries against your competitors, giving you the edge when it comes to recruiting in this challenging climate.

Reed salary guide 2024