What is the job availability like in research? What is the salary like for a research position? What are the working conditions like? Are there any informational resources you would suggest?
You have to be willing and able to think outside of the box to pursue a career in research. For example, I am currently in a position at a school of medicine and active in health services research. There are job opportunities outside of dental schools and industry—you just have to look for them. First, you need to decide what type of position you are interested in. Compensation depends on the level of position and credentials. I use the following as a quick guideline (ranges/estimates only): Research Coordinator $40 to $50k; Research Analyst $50 to $65k; Research Manager $65 to $80k; Principal Investigator $80k and up, depending on level of education and field. This also depends on your position. As a PhD researcher, I have a great work environment. I do work a lot (upwards of 50 + hours per week) but it is very self-directed. My research coordinator and research analyst work 40 hours per week. Both are salaried (meaning they don’t punch a clock). I would recommend contacting a researcher that you are interested in working with (near to you) to set up a mentoring meeting. Having a mentor is key to creating a plan for career development in research (and any field)!
Salary depends on your experience, the research setting (eg, academic, private industry, contract research organization [CRO]), or funding source. For example, some research projects in academia rely on grant money, which is commonly referred to as “soft money” and funds go away when the project is over. Salaries are difficult to predict, but try “google” or other search engines for research assistant/examiner positions. The Society of Clinical Research Associates (SOCRA) published a 2015 salary survey at https://www.socra.org/.