Geoscience Workforce Changes 2018-2028

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Geoscience workforce projected to grow by 6.2%

Employment projections from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics indicate an overall 6.2% increase in geoscience jobs between 2018 and 2028, from 404,640 jobs in 2018 to 429,703 jobs in 2028. For comparison, the projected growth of the U.S. workforce over the same timeframe is expected to be 5.2%.

While growth rates for individual geoscience occupations range between 2.4% and 9.2% for all but geoscience engineering managers (-0.6%), those occupations projected to gain the greatest number of jobs are environmental scientists (7,000 jobs), environmental science technicians (3,200 jobs), and environmental engineers (2,900 jobs).

Data Brief 2009-010 chart01: Projected Geoscience Workforce Changes by Occupation (2018-2028)

The majority of geoscience job growth over the coming decade will be within the professional, scientific and technical services sector where approximately 36% of those in geoscience occupations currently work. This sector is projected to gain just over 17,000 jobs between 2018 and 2028, an 11.7% increase over this period. The finance and insurance sector, which is projected to grow by 37.3%, employs few geoscientists, and is projected to gain just over 100 jobs over this period, while the support activities for mining sector is expected to grow by 20%, gaining just over 2,300 jobs.

Of those industries that are projected to see a decline in total geoscience employment between 2018 and 2028, the oil and gas extraction industry is projected to contract the most with a reduction of just over 1,800 jobs, followed by manufacturing which is projected to shed just over 900 jobs. Wholesale trade and mining are projected to contract by 2.9%, reducing by approximately 100 jobs, and the information, utilities and federal government sectors are projected to contract by less than 25 jobs.

Data Brief 2009-010 chart02: Projected Geoscience Workforce Changes by Industy (2018-2028)