Salaries for all geoscience-related professions continue to exceed the national mean salary for all other science occupations in 2008. Petroleum engineering salaries averaged $119,400, and salaries for geoscientists (except hydrologists and geographers) averaged $89,300. Salaries for environmental scientists and specialists averaged $65,280, just $1,000 over the national average for other science occupations.
Petroleum engineering salaries, along with geoscientist salaries are strongly driven by the oil and gas industry. The growth in atmospheric and space science salaries tracks the increase in federal funding of atmospheric research. The increase in geographer salaries can be traced to the increased use of GIS technology in the private sector over the past five years.
Change in mean annual salary of geoscience professions (1999-2008). Source: AGI Geoscience Workforce Program, data derived from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, National Occupational Employment Wage Estimates, 1999-2008.