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Old 01-14-2016, 12:20 PM   #4
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Location: Montreal

Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 367

In Canada, with a Master's and between 2 and 5 years experience, a good salary is about 60,000 CAD/year.
As a comparison, many computer science graduates with just a bachelor's degree, will be making 80,000 CAD/year. I know system administrators who made 100,000 CAD/year just out of school, although this is exceptional.
The average salary for a Canadian doctor is over 300,000 CAD/year !
So, there aren't too many medical doctors switching from medicine to bioinformatics.

The salaries in the U.S. are slightly higher, even without taking into account the exchange rate.
I think a bioinformatician doing the equivalent job in the U.S. could hope to make 70,000 USD/year.

Also, the hours are long, the work hard, and the respect low.
Some researchers consider bioinformaticians to be glorified technicians.

There are definitely worse jobs.
Skilled bioinformaticians are very much in demand, and their working conditions are somewhat better than a run-of-the mill molecular biologist.
If I had my choice of careers, as a medical school graduate, I just wouldn't pick bioinformatics.
I would pick up some basic skills, and aim to lead a research group where I could just pay a bioinformatician to do all the bioinformatics.
I know several M.D.s leading their own research group, without a PhD, so there does appear to be a path for a medical doctor to leave medicine for fundamental research without a PhD.

I would add that I do work on occasion with medical doctors.
Basically, they get all the money, and the credit for my work.
To be fair, they do have to design the research projects, and apply for the funding.

Last edited by blancha; 01-14-2016 at 12:56 PM.
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