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Research and development manager

Alternative titles for this job include R&D manager, industrial scientist

Research and development (R&D) managers lead teams of scientists and engineers to create new products and improve existing ones.

Average salary (a year)

£25,000 Starter


£65,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

37 to 39 a week

You could work

evenings / weekends away from home

How to become

Explore the different ways to get into this role.

How to become a research and development manager

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course


You'll need a degree or postgraduate qualification to become a research and development manager. The subject you take will depend on which research area you want to work in but common examples include:

  • engineering
  • science
  • medicine
  • healthcare
  • mathematics

You'll also need several years' relevant experience in industry, with an understanding of research methods, data analysis and development processes.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree
  • a degree in a relevant subject for postgraduate study

More Information

More Information

Professional and industry bodies

You'll usually be a member of a professional body relevant to your particular line of work.

Further information

You can get an overview of research and development across different industries from UK Research and Innovation.

What it takes

Find out what skills you’ll use in this role.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • thinking and reasoning skills
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • persistence and determination
  • maths knowledge
  • the ability to think clearly using logic and reasoning
  • analytical thinking skills
  • the ability to use your initiative
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages confidently

What you’ll do

Discover the day to day tasks you’ll do in this role.

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

Your day-to-day duties will depend on the sector you work in. You will oversee the preparation and delivery of research projects and could:

  • write project plans and proposals
  • recruit and train staff teams
  • monitor staff performance
  • manage the development of small scale samples or prototypes
  • analyse and interpret data
  • write progress reports and present results to senior managers
  • make sure work meets safety standards and other relevant legislation
  • manage budgets

Working environment

You could work at a university, in a laboratory or in a factory.

Career path and progression

Look at progression in this role and similar opportunities.

Career path and progression

With experience in industry, you could become a senior project manager or research director.

In higher education, you could become a senior research fellow or professor.

Current opportunities

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Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

We can't find any apprenticeship vacancies in England for a research and development manager right now.

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Courses In England

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Jobs In the United Kingdom

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