SOURCE: Cutting Edge Information

Cutting Edge Information

January 19, 2015 09:30 ET

Medical Science Liaison Salaries Range Between $103,000 and $180,000

Experience Level Has Biggest Impact on Compensation

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC--(Marketwired - January 19, 2015) - Average salaries for medical science liaisons (MSLs) working in the United States in 2014 ranged between $103,000 and $180,000, according to a recent benchmarking report by pharmaceutical intelligence provider Cutting Edge Information. Among surveyed companies, MSL experience level had the largest impact on salaries. 

Average MSL salaries typically increase dramatically based on experience level. For example, an MSL with no experience will make an average salary of $107,000 at a Top 10 pharmaceutical company. That amount, however, increases to $133,000 with two years of experience and $160,000 with five or more years of experience. 

"While factors like therapeutic area and company size impact MSL salary, nothing outranks experience," said Ryan McGuire, Research Team Leader at Cutting Edge Information. "Some companies don't distinguish between MSL job titles, regardless of experience level. When it comes down to it, everything is pretty much the same across the board, except that the more seasoned employees make more money." 

According to Capture and Communicate the Full Value of Medical Science Liaisons: Refining Global MSL Strategy with Compelling KPIs, a new report by Cutting Edge Information, MSLs with two years of experience receive an average salary that is 22% more than entry-level MSLs. MSLs with five years of experience receive an average salary that is almost 20% more than those with two years of experience and roughly 46% more than entry-level MSLs.

Capture and Communicate the Full Value of Medical Science Liaisons, available at provides MSL teams with KPIs they can benchmark against, as well as best practices that top pharmaceutical companies use to demonstrate liaison value to company stakeholders. Other key questions answered by this benchmarking study include:

  • How do MSL teams justify their existence?
  • How do MSL teams make a case for maintaining or increasing annual budgets?
  • What are some interteam communication strategies between MSLs and sales reps at top companies?
  • What activities should MSLs focus on prior to/post product launch? 

To learn more about Cutting Edge Information's medical affairs research, please visit

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