Demographic trends within academia, government, and industry indicate that approximately half of the geoscience workforce will be retiring over the next 10-15 years, and a much smaller number of younger geoscience professionals will be ready to step into these positions. Geoscience degree data from the American Geological Institute (AGI) indicate that in 2009, 2,832 undergraduate and 1,683 graduate students earned geoscience degrees. However, only 32 percent of geoscience graduates work in the core profession.
Despite the lagging U.S. economy, salaries for aggregated geoscience-related occupations increased by 1.1 percent between 2009 and 2010, while aggregated salaries for all life, physical and social science occupations decreased. Salaries for all U.S. occupations only increased by 0.2 percent between 2009 and 2010. Over the past decade, geoscience salaries have increased between 8 and 27 percent, with the largest increases occurring in natural science manager salaries and petroleum engineering salaries, and the smallest increases in environmental engineering. In 2010, mean annual salaries for geoscience occupations ranged from $129,320 for natural science managers to $67,810 for environmental scientists. Although environmental scientists have the lowest salary of all geoscience occupations, their mean annual salary still exceeds the national average for other science occupations by $1,420. (Note all salaries were normalized to 2010 dollars for year-to-year comparisons). In addition to competitive salaries, geoscience occupations are expected to grow by 23 percent between 2008 and 2018, adding just over 60,000 jobs to the U.S. economy. The majority of the job growth will be in the professional, scientific and technical services sector. This webinar covers the information presented in Geoscience Currents #49-53.
The American Geological Institute (AGI) Workforce Program has released the third chapter, entitled Geoscience Employment Sectors, of the Status of the Geoscience Workforce report. Chapters 1, 2, and 3 of this report are now available through the AGI website at http://www.agiweb.org/workforce/.