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   another science guy?
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   Author  Topic: another science guy?  (Read 5915 times)
melwrc
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Re: another science guy?
« Reply #20 on: Apr 15th, 2005, 3:42pm »
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As I said, my info came from salary report sites (e.g. salary.com), not personal experience.  For any one looking at a career path, hard evidence is more reliable than tales of big bucks that come easy.  Yes, pharmacists make good money, but don't think that you are going to make big bucks easy because someone says they have a friend that has a cousin dating a pharmacist...and she makes 250k yr while working 40 hrs a week.  Look at the salary surveys, be honest with yourself about where you think you would fall on the curve, and don't pick a career based on the 95th percentile, unless you are just that awesome and are psychic.
And definitely don't make life decisions based on anonymous postings on a board.
« Last Edit: Apr 15th, 2005, 3:45pm by melwrc » IP Logged
Reality
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Re: another science guy?
« Reply #21 on: Apr 15th, 2005, 4:17pm »
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melwrc you are missing the boat entirely. This is not a rumor heard heard three degrees away. It is reality. You should call some of the pharmacy schools around your area and ask what the recent graduates are getting offered. It is likely that they are getting 3-4 offers making around $50/hour for each graduate. As a matter of fact, 8-9 years ago some schools were guaranteeing that you would make no less than $70k a year upon graduation. And that was 8-9 years ago.  
 
It is likely that the "urban legends" that you heard about pharmacists making $250k a year were probably true when they owned their own stores. Many pharmacists who had their own pharmacies (before the walgreeens, rite aid, eckard and vons explosion) were making $200-300k and more a year. Of course this was not everyone and you had to own your own store but that is why it was a desirable profession.  
 
You may even want to take a look at your local paper and see how many ads there are for pharmacists. The reality is that there are just not enough out there for the demand.
 
It is just a fact that the pharmacy profession has taken off. Pharamcists should be paid this way for the amount of school it takes (look at the previous posts for the USC curriculum description). And from experience I can say it is much more rigorous than law school .
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Reality
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Re: another science guy?
« Reply #22 on: Apr 15th, 2005, 4:21pm »
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Just to clarify.
 
Each graduate is probably getting 3-4 offers each and each offer is probably paying around $50/hr.
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melwrc
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Re: another science guy?
« Reply #23 on: Apr 16th, 2005, 3:41pm »
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I'm not sure whether guest, ha ha, and reality are the same person or not.  For "reality" in particular, if you have law school and pharmaceutical science, what are you doing now?  The numbers below are "apples to apples" except for NALP because salary.com didn't have entry level.
 
The earlier salary report on pharmacists was for the entire range of those with the pharmacist title, regardless of experience.  Become a manager and this is what you get.  http://swz.salary.com/salarywizard/layoutscripts/swzl_compresult.asp?job code=HC07000269&jobaltername=Pharmacist+Manager&jobtitle=Pharmacist+Manager&narrowdesc=Healthcare+%2D%2D+Practitioners&narrowcode=HC03&zipcode=&metrocode=&searchtype=2&geo=U%2ES%2E+National+Averages
 
If you want to see entry level for patent attys, go to www.nalpdirectory.com with "intellectual property" as the practice area.  Do well at a respected law school, and get easily over a 100k.  For example, I'm at University of Houston Law Center, which is ranked around 50th-60th.  The patent firms are offering as low as 80k to top 35% and as high as 125k to top 10%.  These are BASE salaries for billing the MINIMUM hrs.  With the carrot represented by getting as much as 35% of your bill rate (br~$200/hr) for extra hrs, you will most likely be tempted to work a bit extra, and at big firms it will be a requirement for moving up the ranks.  
For the 5-8 yr, this is the pay using the same survey.
http://swz.salary.com/salarywizard/layoutscripts/swzl_compresult.asp?job code=LE11000027&jobaltername=Level+III+Patent+Attorney&jobtitle=Patent+Attorney+III&narrowdesc=Legal+Services&narrowcode=LE01&zipcode=&metrocode=75&searchtype=2&geo=Houston%2C+TX
 
Get greater than 8 yrs experience and this is it.
http://swz.salary.com/salarywizard/layoutscripts/swzl_compresult.asp?job code=LE11000028&jobaltername=Level+IV+Patent+Attorney&jobtitle=Patent+Attorney+IV&narrowdesc=Legal+Services&narrowcode=LE01&zipcode=&metrocode=75&searchtype=2&geo=Houston%2C+TX
 
I work at a fairly small firm, but those that worked here as agents through law school (FT work, PT school) are making around 200k.  That's with 4-5 yrs agent experience at graduation.  Firms looking to poach our recent graduates offer greater numbers.  A yr and a half as an agent, half way through law school, and I'm getting the entry level pharmacist pay.
 
One big caveat with being a patent atty, if you have a technical degree at a low ranking school, you will have a hard time finding a job.  It's not for lack of demand, it's that firms won't think that you can do the job, and clients demand strong technical abilities for the sky high bill rates.  Get a 3.0 or better at a top 25ish school, and you will make excellent money and be primed to do well at law school because it will seem easy after the hard earned undergrad.  The high pay comes from the % of the population that has the ability, education, and knowledge of how great an option patent law can be.  There just aren't enough qualified people relative to the demand, and that's been the situation for a long time.  Yes, the number of hrs you work will be greater, but your hourly rate will be equal or greater than all but the rarest pharmacist.
 
For pharmacists, the pay is coming from demand relative to the current supply, but demand comes and goes over time.  Just ask all the IT people that flooded the market in the late 90's in response to the growing demand.  As a pharmacist, you can be pretty certain that the demand will be there bc of the baby boomers.  I can't comment on the supply because I have never looked into how hard it is to get into a school and how many schools are out there.  I'll leave that research to you.
 
Don't base your choice on how many postings you see in the local classifieds.  Patent firms don't advertise in newspapers because that's not the place to find qualified applicants.  
« Last Edit: Apr 16th, 2005, 4:51pm by melwrc » IP Logged
Wiscagent
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Re: another science guy?
« Reply #24 on: Apr 17th, 2005, 7:14am »
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Here's some free advice.  Remember, you tend to get what you pay for.  
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -  
Apparently some individuals participating in this discussion, who are considering their career opportunities are focused on their potential income far more than the type of work they will be doing for the next 40 years or so.  In my experience, lifestyle decisions - where to live, with whom to live, with whom to be friendly, whether or not to have children, the type of work you do, participation in community affairs, personal hobbies and habits - all will have greater impact on your feelings of success, personal satisfaction and happiness than your income.  
 
Obviously, some minimum income is necessary to live decently.  In the United States, most attorneys, patent agents, pharmacists, engineers, and scientists, meet this threshold.  And unless you are fabulously financially successfully you will never have as much money as you would like, regardless of your profession.  I encourage you young people making career decisions to consider what type of work would you like to do.  Speak to some pharmacists, some patent attorneys, some practicing engineers and scientists – develop a better understanding of what they do for 35 – 70 hours per week.
 
As your reading this note, I’m sure that some of you are thinking, “Thanks for the advice old guy, but show me the money!”   Well, life isn’t as simple as that.  These salary data are neither particularly accurate, nor relevant to you as an individual.
 
I looked at the salary links at http://swz.salary.com/ for Pharmacist Manager and Level III Patent Attorney and I compared those data to the American Chemical Society (ACS) salary survey information.  The ACS salary comparison program asks demographic and job information, then spits out salary ranges.  I entered that I graduated in 1990, I have a PHD, I work in a law firm with fewer than 50 employees, and I work in Fargo, ND; Chicago, IL; San Francisco, CA; Birmingham, AL; or Washington, DC.  (By the way, none of this information is my actual, personal information.)  The ACS data are different than the swz.salary information.  
 
The ACS data show a person with these credentials and at the 75th percentile of income earning $122,642 in Fargo, the swz.salary figure for the same situation is very close: $121,536.  According to the USPTO, there are only 6 patent attorneys in the whole state of North Dakota; so what is the significance of those numbers?
 
In Chicago the 25th percentile according to the ACS is $86,565, but according to swz.salary the number should be $118,275, 37% more.  The ACS doesn’t separately ask if you have a law degree - does Chicago have a higher fraction of patent agents working at lower salaries than elsewhere in the country?
 
Consider that AT BEST, these salary data are a snapshot of salary taken within the past year or so of those actually working.  These data have little relevance for (1) will you find a job and be regularly employed for the next 4 decades, and (2) what incomes will be 20 or 30 years from now.
 
Income is important, but don’t let the apparent dollars be the dominant factor in your career decision.
 
 
Richard Tanzer
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Richard Tanzer
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