Top 10 Industries that Hire Research and Development Employees

Shelby Rogers

Want to know where your best chances are for getting hired in an R&D department?

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The National Science Foundation recently released its list of the industries that hire the most for R&D.

The top 10 list can be grouped into two categories: manufacturing and nonmanufacturing.

Here are the top 5 manufacturing industries for R&D hiring:

1.Chemical manufacturing

Chemical manufacturing companies like Dow Chemical, Exxon and PPG Industries hire over 1.2 million in research and development alone. Chemical manufacturing hires the most R&D employees by a huge margin on this list.

2. Computer and electronic products

This shouldn't be a surprise that computer R&D would come in at number two on the list. Computer and electronics companies hire 395,000 developers and researchers, according to the list.

3. Pharmaceutical and medicines

Pharma companies like Novartis, Pfizer and Sanofi bring on significantly fewer R&D employees at 229,000 each year. However, this sector pays the most for its employees, averaging $251,000 each year.

4. Transportation

Of course getting here, there and everywhere requires fresh ideas. Transportation companies (both auto and aerospace) hired 215,000, but expect that number to increase with the push toward environmentally-friendly technologies on the road and in the air.

5. Machinery

Some of machinery's largest companies include Dover, Parker-Hannifin, and other construction machinery producers hire 113,000. This sector also gets paid the least compared to other full-time R&D employees at $105,000.

Here are the top 5 nonmanufacturing:

1. Software publishers

Software takes up the largest chunk of the information sector. This segment hires 290,000 in research and development.

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2. Data processing, hosting and related services

Data hosting and processing (like Cisco) hire only 51,000 R&D employees, and the industry has seen some cutbacks in recent years, especially Cisco.

3. Computer systems design

This sector hires 113,000 yearly, with nearly a third being internationally-based employees.

4. Scientific R&D services

Science-based lab research and development hired 106,000 employees on average.

5. Other

Ah, what's any list without the catch-all category of "other." This includes everything from textiles to more technical and professional services. The "other" industries" hire 91,000 in research and development.

What about the companies that spend the most on research and development? Some of the biggest spenders include Volkswagen, Microsoft, Intel, Novartis, and Roche.

SEE ALSO: Top 3 Industries for Highest Electrical Engineer Salary

Even though R&D jobs only account for 1 percent of all jobs in the US, those gigs are definitely some of the most important for a company. They continually keep companies competitive and looking to innovate technologies to spur economic growth.

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