Mercer Life Sciences Compensation Survey (MLS)

The key to design competitive pay packages worldwide

Mercer Life Sciences Survey image

The Mercer Life Sciences Compensation Surveys (MLS) provide you with comprehensive and reliable insight on trends in compensation and benefits practices within the Life Sciences sector, using a globally harmonized survey methodology and comprehensive job catalog, to facilitate your rewards planning.

Register Your Interest in Participation! View Brochure Mercer Life Sciences infographic
  • Product Overview
  • Product Details
  • Pricing/Schedule
  • Life Sciences Supplement
  • Asia Pacific MLS
  • Canadian MLS
  • Contact Information

Product Overview

Mercer Life Sciences Compensation Survey (MLS) is made up of five components providing a complete picture of total remuneration data.


Monthly base salary times the number of months guaranteed


Base salary plus the annualized value of guaranteed allowances


Total guaranteed cash compensation plus the annualized value of short-term incentive, sales incentive, profit sharing or other incentive awards


Total cash compensation plus the annualized value of any long-term incentive awards, valued using Black-Scholes methodology for appreciation-based awards


Total direct compensation plus the annualized value of benefits

An extensive catalogue of Life Sciences specializations are surveyed, including:

  • Animal Care
  • Biopharmaceutical R&D
  • Clinical Education
  • Clinical Research
  • Clinical Trial
  • Discovery Biology
  • Discovery Chemistry
  • Engineering
  • Field Sales & Account Management
  • Manufacturing Quality
  • Market Access Strategy
  • Medical Affairs
  • Medical Information
  • Medical Representation
  • Medical Scientific Liaison
  • Medical Writing
  • Nutritional Product Education
  • Patient Education
  • Pharmacokinetics
  • Pharmacovigilance
  • Product Marketing & Management
  • Regulatory Affairs
  • Sales
  • Sales Effectiveness Control/Measurement
  • Science R&D Analytics
  • Science Research & Quality Laboratory Services
  • Translational Medicine

Data for a full range of general infrastructure/ support functions are collected and published alongside that of the industry-specific functions.

Country Coverage

Mercer Life Sciences Compensation Survey (MLS) covers over 80 countries around the world!

map of MLS countries

Mercer SIRS (underpinned by separate survey methodology)

Mercer Life Sciences

Mercer Life Sciences Supplement

Using Mercer MLS, get accurate, high-quality data covering the full rewards package — everything from base salary, total cash, and total remuneration — for a complete picture … at your fingertips.

In today’s talent-demand economy, ensuring your compensation plans are aligned to the market – locally, regionally, and globally – is critical to securing the talent you need to be successful. Mercer provides most comprehensive compensation and benefits databases in the world to assist you with compensation planning and policies development.

The Mercer Life Sciences Compensation Survey provides comprehensive market data on compensation and benefits around the globe. Results are easily accessible through our online platform, Mercer WIN®, to help you optimize your compensation plans. With Mercer MLS, you will benefit from:

  • Global coverage: MLS covers over 8000 cross-industry jobs from executives to para-professional levels in more than 80 countries, covering the full remuneration package.
  • Consistency: MLS provides market data on compensation and benefits around the globe with the same methodology applied in all countries. MLS is underpinned with Mercer Job Library position coding and International Position Evaluation (IPE) systems for global consistency.
  • Reliability: Consistent participation each year which creates a solid representation of the market trends.
  • Versatility: Through Mercer WIN you can analyze the survey results according to your needs and conduct “what if” analysis to instantly measure your competitiveness against the market.

Product Details


The survey results are delivered through Mercer WIN® which allows you to create custom views, analyze data across markets simultaneously, create unlimited peer groups, refine the market, compare your data vs. the market*, combine jobs, export to Excel, and much more!


With new aggregated roll-ups, relationships between jobs becomes clearer – with data that best reflects your jobs and labour markets. From deeply specialized industry roles to combinations of related jobs within the broader talent pool, analyze competitive compensation industry levels, across related industries, or across an entire labour market.


An overview of the market pay trends relative to the prior year as well as a summary of the economic, political and labor trends in the country.


A summary of organizations’ remuneration policies, which includes salary budget forecasts, compensation mix by employee groups, short-term and long-term incentive practices, as well as benefits.


Market analysis by job including all remuneration values, helping you determine which jobs are more competitive within the market.


Market analysis by Position Class (Mercer’s International Position Evaluation (IPE) methodology for job evaluation) for each of the major components of total remuneration.


Custom statistics tailored to your needs, based on peer groups, industry, revenue size, total employees, and more, using Mercer WIN®.

*only available for participants


Pricing varies by country and by an organization’s participation status (did or did not submit data for the survey). View available countries and pricing.

Life Sciences Supplement

Life Sciences Industry Supplements provide quantitative information on positions specific for the Life Sciences industry. As opposed to standard Total Remuneration Survey (TRS) suites which aggregate data for general jobs that can be found across multiple markets, Life Sciences Supplements present additional information with a special focus on roles that can be identified only in the industry. Common roles such as Corporate Financial Planning & Analysis or General Human Resources are available in a standard cross-industry TRS. Industry Supplements do not cover policy information. Compensation data is published in MercerWIN®; with full system functionality.

Life Sciences Industry Supplements are available in 20 countries across Europe, Middle East & Africa and Asia to supplement markets where Mercer Life Sciences Compensation Surveys (MLS) are currently not available. The schedule (data submission, effective dates and delivery of results) for the Supplements is the same as for TRS, so there is no need for additional steps! Find out more here.

We encourage you to contact your Mercer representative to discuss your needs.

Asia Pacific MLS

PURPOSE – Connecting Life Sciences

Mercer’s Life Sciences Consulting offering in Asia Pacific takes a unique and holistic approach to providing your industry specific needs. Since 2005, Mercer is proud to be the selected vendor of the Pharmaceutical Human Resources Association (PHRA).

At the heart of Mercer’s Life Sciences Consulting offering stands the PURPOSE Survey (legacy APHSS). With the aim of connecting Rewards Leaders across the region, PURPOSE holds two signature Life Sciences Forum meetings annually. Over the years, the forums have continued to evolve to include leading Medical Device companies. These forums provide a comprehensive overview of the Pharma, Biotech, and Medical Devices industries, identifying common trends across the industries, while also deep diving into talent trends specific to Asia Pacific. This year’s Forums in particular focus trends in Therapeutic Areas such as Oncology, Rare Diseases or In-vivo versus in-vitro diagnostics on the devices side.

What does PURPOSE entitle you to?

  • Two face-to-face regional meetings per year
  • Two spot polls – key topics proposed by members and agreed to by the Steering Committee
  • Gain exclusive access to the membership lounge for up to two persons per company
  • Special discounts

Join the LinkedIn Mercer Life Sciences Industry – Asia group - an online Community exclusively for our clients

Local Country Forums

Canadian MLS

We are proud to partner with MEDEC, the national association created by and for the Canadian medical technology industry, to bring you high quality, industry-specific data. For more information about MEDEC contact or visit

MEDEC logo

The Canadian edition of the MLS survey position matrix can be found here. This survey does not collect policies and practices information nor does it contain benefits information. 

Contact Information

+27 11 048 14 15

+65 6398 2324

+612 8864 6985

+1 800 333 3070

+48 22 434 5383

+48 22 434 53 83

+54 11 4000 0954

+1 800 333 3070

  • Sub TitleThe key to design competitive pay packages worldwide
  • Ordering TypeHard Copy
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  • Compensation GridShow
  • Short DescriptionComprehensive and reliable insight on trends in compensation and benefits practices within the Life Sciences sector.
  • RegionUS