Science Salaries Lag Behind

Of the STEM fields, biology and chemistry positions tend to pay less than jobs in technology, engineering, and math, according to a new survey.

By | September 27, 2013

FLICKR, JMR PHOTOGRAPHYWhen it comes to the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM)—an area of education that the current presidential administration has on several occasions called for increased investment—science seems to be the least rewarding, at least financially. Texas graduates in biology  and chemistry earn median salaries of just $26,430 and $36,090 annually, less than their peers working in the other STEM fields (computer science, $58,483; engineering, $74,818; and math, $48,875), according to a new report from’s Economic Success Metrics (ESM) Program, which works with state agencies to make public information about earnings of graduates from their higher education programs. Biologists in the state, in fact, are taking home less than graduates in sociology ($32,994), psychology ($29,141), and English ($31,770). The ESM report, released earlier this month (September 3), found similar trends in the data for Colorado and Virginia.

“Politicians, policy makers, governors, and many others trumpet the need for STEM education to feed the STEM workforce,” the report read, but put simply: “The S in STEM is oversold.”

Stay tuned for The Scientist’s November issue, which includes the results of this year’s Salary Survey. For the first time in the survey’s more than 10-year history, The Scientist has invited life scientists from around the world to respond. Next month’s report includes transcontinental comparisons, along with discussions of the data as they vary by gender, sector, and specialty. In the meantime, you can check out last year’s Salary Survey results, which revealed a continued plateau in earnings across most disciplines in the life sciences.

(Hat tip to Fast Feed)


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Avatar of: Hashim


Posts: 1

September 30, 2013

Similar studies should be undertaken in Malaysia to see the difference in income with graduates of diversified discipline...I would not be surprised similar trend exist here.

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