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Life, Physical, and Social Science - Microblog


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Distinct Groups (43): https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes190000.htm
Employment: 1,152,840
Mean Hourly Wage: $35.06
Mean Annual Wage: $72,930
Largest Employment Category--Medical Scientists (excluding Epidemiologists)—108,870
Smallest Employment Category--Industrial Organizational Psychologists—1,020
Wage Estimates for the entire group can be found here


The Life, Physical, and Social Science occupation profiles compiled by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (released in May 2016 and modified in March 2017) include specific information about 43 distinct occupational job types

Explore the qualifications and nature of each job type through links on this page and throughout the site. 

Astronomers Rapid Growth Video
Atmospheric and Space Scientists Rapid Growth Video
Biochemists and Biophysicists Rapid Growth Video
Biological Technicians Rapid Growth Video
Clinical, Counseling, and School Psychologists Rapid Growth Video
Environmental Science and Protection Technicians Rapid Growth Video
Forensic Science Technicians / Criminalist Rapid Growth Video
Geological and Petroleum Technicians Rapid Growth Video
Geoscientists Rapid Growth Video
Hydrologists  Rapid Growth Video
Life, Physical, and Social Science Technicians Rapid Growth Video
Medical Scientists Rapid Growth Video
Physicists Rapid Growth Video
Psychologists Rapid Growth Video
Urban and Regional Planners Rapid Growth Video

Fast Facts: The Bureau of Labor Statistics (“BLS”) estimates that 1,152,840 are employed in this occupational group earning the “mean annual wage” (as defined below) of $72,930.

If you are interested in assessing long-term trends and comparing the Bureau’s annual surveys beginning in 1988 see here

In general, the “mean” is the sum of the total values (e.g., wages) in the data set or survey divided by number of values (while the “median” is the middle value in same the sequence. The term “mean annual wage” (or “MAW”) is calculated by multiplying the mean hourly wage as determined by the BLS by a “year-round, full-time” hours figure of 2,080 hours. So, for example, the Installation, Maintenance, and Repair Life group’s mean hourly wage of $35.06, multiplied by 2,080, results in the mean annual wage of $72,930. 

Did you know? The nonmetropolitan area with the highest concentration of jobs in this occupation is Los Alamos County, New Mexico nonmetropolitan area with 2,590 workers creating a remarkable 171.17 per 1,000 jobs ratio. For perspective, Ann Arbor, MI represents the metropolitan area with the highest concentration, with 9,740 workers and a 46.17 per 1,000 jobs ratio. 

Highest Paid (mean annual wage) 


 Lowest Paid (from the lowest)

For the entire list of mean annual wages for this occupation (from highest to lowest), see here. 

Sources: In addition to specific citations noted, supplementary source materials include the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Highest to Lowest Paid Salary (Full List)

By the Numbers: The complete list from the Highest to the Lowest paid:

Job Title (# of members) Annual Mean Wage 
1.    Physicists (16,680) $121,770
2.    Economists (19,380) $112,860
3.    Political Scientists (6,350) $112,250
4.    Astronomers (1,830) $110,380
5.    Geoscientists, Except Hydrologists and Geographers (30,420) $106,390
6.    Industrial-Organizational Psychologists (1,020) $104,570
7.    Materials Scientists (7,750) $101,570
8.    Physical Scientists, All Other (18,960) $98,460
9.    Medical Scientists, Except Epidemiologists (108,870) $95,000
10.  Atmospheric and Space Scientists (9,800) $94,840
11.  Psychologists, All Other (13,310) $94,650
12.  Biochemists and Biophysicists (29,200) $94,340
13.  Sociologists (2,870) $86,840
14.  Hydrologists (6,300) $83,740
15.  Life Scientists, All Other (7,890) $83,150
16.  Social Scientists and Related Workers, All Other (36,380) $80,860
17.  Chemists (86,660) $80,820
18.  Clinical, Counseling, and School Psychologists (107,980) $78,690
19.  Biological Scientists, All Other (35,110) $77,830
20.  Nuclear Technicians (6,840) $77,820
21.  Epidemiologists (5,690) $77,720
22.  Microbiologists (21,670) $76,850
23.  Environmental Scientists and Specialists, Including Health (84,250) $75,360
24.  Geographers (1,370) $74,090
25.  Urban and Regional Planners (34,810) $73,060
26.  Animal Scientists (2,470) $72,890
27.  Food Scientists and Technologists (14,200) $71,270
28.  Soil and Plant Scientists (14,690) $69,290
29.  Anthropologists and Archeologists (6,470) $66,440
30.  Conservation Scientists (20,470) $65,130
31.  Zoologists and Wildlife Biologists (17,720) $64,890
32.  Geological and Petroleum Technicians (15,100) $62,240
33.  Historians (2,950) $60,990
34.  Forensic Science Technicians (14,800) $60,690
35.  Foresters (8,420) $60,300
36.  Survey Researchers (11,930) $59,950
37.  Chemical Technicians (65,510) $49,770
38.  Life, Physical, and Social Science Technicians, All Other (68,540) $49,270
39.  Environmental Science & Protection Techs, Including Health (32,950) $47,930
40.  Social Science Research Assistants (30,030) $46,820
41.  Biological Technicians (74,720) $46,130
42.  Agricultural and Food Science Technicians (20,420) $40,470
43.  Forest and Conservation Technicians (30,090) $38,630


What's Hot

What’s Hot: Although Physicists are the highest paid averaging $121,770, for the Astronomers (while small in number at 1,830), the ‘sky’s almost the limit’ as they average $110,380. Similarly, today’s Political Scientists have a lot to document and discuss and are well compensated in the process at $112,250. Also this occupation has two of the smallest categories in size in Geographers, who according to the Labor Bureau “study nature and use of areas of earth’s surface, relating and interpreting interactions of physical and cultural phenomena,” with 1,370 constituents at $74,090 and Industrial Organizational Psychologists, who “apply principles of psychology to personnel, administration, management, sales, and marketing problems”, with 1,020 members at a mean annual wage of $104,570.

What’s Not: In contrast, Forest and Conservation Technicians may have some difficulty seeing ‘the forest through the trees’ at $38,630 and both the Agricultural and Food Science Technicians at $40,470 and the Social Science Research Assistants at $46,820 face some difficulty ‘feeding’ their passions as their mean annual wage is less than $50,000.

Wage Estimates for the entire group can be found here

GPS Your Career

GPS Your Career: According to the BLS, the States with the highest employment level in the Life, Physical, and Social Science occupational group are:

California (177,540 workers)
Texas (82,370)
New York (67,870)
Massachusetts (49,070)
Pennsylvania (45,910)

States with the highest concentration of jobs are:

District of Columbia (36.26 per 1,000 jobs)
Alaska (18.89)
Maryland (15.85)
Montana (15.55)
Wyoming (15.22)

The top paying States for this occupation are below.  These States are all clustered in a narrow Northeast corridor.

District of Columbia ($102,210 annual mean wage)
New Jersey ($88,880)
Maryland ($87,780)
Virginia ($85,310)
Connecticut ($83,080)