Geoscience Workforce Age Distribution

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The majority of geoscientists in the workforce are within 15 years of retirement age. Data from federal sources, professional societies, and industry indicate the imbalance of the age of geoscientists in the profession. The percentage of geoscientists between 31 and 35 years of age is less than half of geoscientists between 51-55 years old.

Age distribution of geoscientists in industry. Data Sources: Society of Exploration Geophysicists (SEG), US Office of Personnel Management (OPM), National Groundwater Association (NGWA); USGS Workforce Demographics and Trends, Peter T. Lyttle 33rd IGC, Oslo, Norway, August 10, 2008 (USGS)

Even in oil & gas companies, which typically offer the highest salaries of all geoscience employing industries, the supply of new geoscientists is short of replacement needs. The number of younger geoscientists in their early 30’s is approximately half the number of those nearing retirement age. This number is more than the data reported from federal agencies and professional societies.

Typical age distribution for an oil & gas company