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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.

Jef Akst
Jef Akst

Jef Akst was managing editor of The Scientist, where she started as an intern in 2009 after receiving a master’s degree from Indiana University in April 2009 studying the mating behavior of seahorses.

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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 CollegeMeasures.org’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...

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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