A virologist studies viral infections and their effects on the body. In the US, virologists earn more than $83,000 per year compared to AU$111,000 ($87,485 USD) in Australia. In US dollar currency, annual incomes in New Zealand and Canada are similar at NZ$93,000 ($69,972 USD) and C$81,000 ($64,886 USD), respectively, followed by the UK at £43,000 ($57,843 USD). Virologists in South Africa earn about R489,000 ($39,728 USD) compared to those in India who receive about Rs4,92,000 ($7,770 USD) per year. Earning potential for virologists varies by geographic region, professional experience, and work setting. The virologist salary determinants are further explained in this guide.
How Much Does a Virologist make per Year?
The chart below provides average annual and hourly wages, along with US dollar conversions, for virologists in select countries worldwide.
|Virologist Salary||US||Canada||UK||Australia||New Zealand||India||South Africa|
Factors that Influence the Virologist Salary
While geographic region is a strong influencer of earning potential for virologists, professional experience and work setting also affect salaries. This guide provides additional information on earning potential as well as career insight for virologists in select countries.
1. Geographic Area
Virologist Salary in US
In the US, virologists see annual base salaries top $83,000, plus another $2,000 in additional bonus pay. Hourly wage earners receive an average of $40 per hour. Early career virologists earn nearly $59,000 per year while annual salaries for those at the senior level can reach $103,000.
Virologist Salary in Canada
Virologists in Canada receive roughly C$81,000 per year, or C$39 per hour, with an additional C$1,900 in bonus income potential. Early career virologists, or those with up to three years’ experience, earn about C$57,000 in annual income compared to senior level pay of roughly C$100,000 per year.
Virologist Salary in UK
The average annual salary for virologists in the UK is nearly £43,000 per year, or £20 per hour. Bonus income can potentially boost overall pay another £1,000. Newly trained virologists earn more than £30,000 per year, increasing with experience and responsibility to nearly £53,000 per year.
Virologist Salary in Australia
Annual compensation for virologists in Australia averages more than AU$111,000 in base salary, plus an additional AU$2,600 in bonus income potential. Hourly wage earners receive AU$54 per hour. Entry level virologists earn nearly AU$79,000 per year while senior level professionals see annual earnings exceeding AU$138,000.
Virologist Salary in New Zealand
In New Zealand, the average annual salary for virologists is more than NZ$93,000, and bonus income can add another NZ$2,200 or more to overall earnings. On average, the hourly wage is roughly $45. During the first three years’ of experience, virologists earn roughly NZ$66,000 per year, and see annual earnings increase with experience and responsibility to nearly NZ$116,000 annually.
Virologist Salary in India
The average annual pay for virologists in India exceeds Rs4,92,000, or Rs237 per hour, plus nearly Rs12,000 in additional bonus income pay. Entry level virologists earn about Rs3,54,000 per year compared to their senior level colleagues with an average annual salary of nearly Rs6,20,000.
Virologist Salary in South Africa
In South Africa, virologists earn well over R489,000 per year, or an hourly wage of about R235 per hour. Bonus income incentives can add close to R12,000 in additional pay. Upon entering this career, annual pay averages roughly R349,000 while those with the most experience and responsibility at the senior level earn well over R611,000 per year.
Earning potential for virologists increases between about 73% and 77% with additional professional experience in this career field. The widest gap between entry level and senior level pay is found in the UK where senior level professionals earn roughly 77% more than their entry level counterparts, an increase of £23,000 per year while the smallest salary growth of 73% is found in South Africa, equating to about R262,000 more per year. While the US and Australia experience the highest salaries for this position, senior level pay is about 75% more than entry level pay.
Virologists most often work in medical and research laboratories that are associated with universities, hospitals, and government agencies. Many of these organizations are within the public sector or nonprofit, and those in the public sector and for-profit may see higher salaries and greater potential for bonus income.
Most virologists work a full-time schedule of 40 or more hours per week; however, part-time employment opportunities are available. Typically, schedules span during normal business hours, Monday through Friday, though there may be times when additional hours or weekend work is necessary. It is not common for work to occur in the evenings or on holidays unless travel for field work is necessary.
Bonuses and Benefit Packages
Benefits packages typically include healthcare coverage and paid time off for vacation, holidays, and sick time. Additional benefits may include retirement plans, health savings accounts, and reimbursement for necessary work travel. Part-time employees may be ineligible for benefits and bonus packages or they may receive a small package.
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates a growth of 8% for microbiologists, including those working as virologists between 2016 and 2026. A career in this field requires a bachelor’s degree, most often in biology, with coursework in chemistry, physics, virology, and hematology. Most working in this career have earned a PhD, which may be required for some positions.
Virologists earn solid incomes with comprehensive benefits and bonus packages. Many work in the public sector or nonprofit organizations due to the funding for their work, and most work full-time schedules. Future growth for virologists is expected to remain stable at a slightly higher rate than all occupations, which should support salaries and provide ample employment opportunities for those newly trained.