Despite the U.S. economy’s downturn, geoscience salaries increased by 3.1 percent between 2008 and 2009, which is slightly more than the salary growth for other science occupations (2.1%) and for all U.S. occupations (2.8%). In 2009, the top geoscience salaries were for management positions (Natural Science Managers: $127,000, Engineering Managers: $122,810), petroleum engineers ($119,960), and geoscientists (excluding hydrologists and geographers) ($92,710). Mean annual salaries for environmental scientists ($67,360) were $1,700 greater than national average for other science occupations.
Salary growth between 1999 and 2009 for environmental scientists, environmental engineers, hydrologists, and mining and geological engineers lagged the national average salary growth for other science occupations. However, mean annual salaries for the majority of geoscience occupations increased more than the national average for other science occupations between 2008 and 2009.