These workers use scientific research to help solve problems and expand knowledge.
Overall employment in life, physical, and social science occupations is projected to grow 7 percent from 2021 to 2031, about as fast as the average for all occupations; this increase is expected to result in about 98,700 new jobs over the decade. In addition to new jobs from growth, opportunities arise from the need to replace workers who leave their occupations permanently. About 147,900 openings each year, on average, are projected to come from growth and replacement needs.
The median annual wage for this group was $72,740 in May 2021, which was higher than the median annual wage for all occupations of $45,760.
BLS employment projections, wage, and other data for related occupations not shown in the following table are available on the Data for Occupations Not Covered in Detail page. Information highlighting physical demands, cognitive and mental requirements, and other qualifications for workers in this group are available in a BLS Occupational Requirements Survey (ORS) profile.
|OCCUPATION||JOB SUMMARY||ENTRY-LEVEL EDUCATION||2021 MEDIAN PAY|
|Agricultural and Food Science Technicians||
Agricultural and food science technicians assist agricultural and food scientists.
|Agricultural and Food Scientists||
Agricultural and food scientists research ways to improve the efficiency and safety of agricultural establishments and products.
|Anthropologists and Archeologists||
Anthropologists and archeologists study the origin, development, and behavior of humans.
|Atmospheric Scientists, Including Meteorologists||
Atmospheric scientists study the weather and climate.
|Biochemists and Biophysicists||
Biochemists and biophysicists study the chemical and physical principles of living things and of biological processes.
|Doctoral or professional degree||$102,270|
Biological technicians help biological and medical scientists conduct laboratory tests and experiments.
Chemical technicians conduct laboratory tests to help scientists analyze the properties of materials.
|Chemists and Materials Scientists||
Chemists and materials scientists study substances at the atomic and molecular levels and analyze the ways in which the substances interact with one another.
|Conservation Scientists and Foresters||
Conservation scientists and foresters manage the overall land quality of forests, parks, rangelands, and other natural resources.
Economists collect and analyze data, research trends, and evaluate economic issues for resources, goods, and services.
|Environmental Science and Protection Technicians||
Environmental science and protection technicians monitor the environment and investigate sources of pollution and contamination.
|Environmental Scientists and Specialists||
Environmental scientists and specialists use their knowledge of the natural sciences to protect the environment and human health.
Epidemiologists are public health workers who investigate patterns and causes of disease and injury.
|Forensic Science Technicians||
Forensic science technicians aid criminal investigations by collecting and analyzing evidence.
Geographers study the Earth and the distribution of its land, features, and inhabitants.
|Geological and Hydrologic Technicians||
Geological and hydrologic technicians support scientists and engineers in exploring, extracting, and monitoring natural resources.
Geoscientists study the physical aspects of the Earth.
Historians research, analyze, interpret, and write about the past by studying historical documents and sources.
Hydrologists study how water moves across and through the Earth’s crust.
Medical scientists conduct research aimed at improving overall human health.
|Doctoral or professional degree||$95,310|
Microbiologists study microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, algae, fungi, and some types of parasites.
Nuclear technicians assist physicists, engineers, and other professionals in nuclear research and nuclear energy production.
|Physicists and Astronomers||
Physicists and astronomers study the interactions of matter and energy.
|Doctoral or professional degree||$147,450|
Political scientists study the origin, development, and operation of political systems.
Psychologists study cognitive, emotional, and social processes and behavior by observing, interpreting, and recording how individuals relate to one another and to their environments.
|See How to Become One||$81,040|
Sociologists study society and social behavior.
Survey researchers design and conduct surveys and analyze data.
|Urban and Regional Planners||
Urban and regional planners develop land use plans and programs that help create communities, accommodate population growth, and revitalize physical facilities.
|Zoologists and Wildlife Biologists||
Zoologists and wildlife biologists study animals and other wildlife and how they interact with their ecosystems.
The wage at which half of the workers in the occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. Median wage data are from the BLS Occupational Employment Statistics survey.
Typical level of education that most workers need to enter this occupation.
Last Modified Date: Wednesday, September 14, 2022