Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) occupations, May 2009

June 15, 2011

In May 2009, STEM occupations—technical jobs in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics—represented about 6 percent of U.S. employment (nearly 8 million jobs).

The largest STEM occupations in May 2009 were related to computers. Computer support specialists, computer systems analysts, and computer software engineers (applications) each had employment of approximately 500,000. The largest STEM occupation that was not specifically computer related was sales representatives, wholesale and manufacturing, technical and scientific products, with employment of about 400,000.

Selected science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) occupations, employment and mean annual wage, May 2009
[Chart data]

Overall in May 2009, STEM occupations were high-paying occupations. The mean annual wage for all STEM occupations was $77,880, and only 4 of the 97 STEM occupations had mean annual wages below the U.S. average of $43,460.

The highest-paying STEM occupations in May 2009 had mean annual wages of $100,000 or more, and included all of the managerial STEM occupations, petroleum engineers, and physicists. Natural science managers was the highest-paying STEM occupation with a mean annual wage of $127,000.

These data are from the Occupational Employment Statistics program. To learn more, see "Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) occupations: a visual essay" (PDF), by Ben Cover, John I. Jones, and Audrey Watson in the May 2011 issue of the Monthly Labor Review.


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) occupations, May 2009 on the Internet at (visited September 27, 2016).


Recent editions of Spotlight on Statistics

  • A look at healthcare spending, employment, pay, benefits, and prices
    As one of the largest U.S. industries, healthcare is steadily growing to meet the needs of an increasing population with an increasing life expectancy. This Spotlight looks at how much people spend on healthcare, current and projected employment in the industry, employer-provided healthcare benefits, healthcare prices, and pay for workers in healthcare occupations.

  • Employment and Wages in Healthcare Occupations
    Healthcare occupations are a significant percentage of U.S. employment. Some of the largest and highest paying occupations are in healthcare. This Spotlight examines employment and wages for healthcare occupations.

  • Fifty years of looking at changes in peoples lives
    Longitudinal surveys help us understand long-term changes, such as how events that happened when a person was in high school affect labor market success as an adult.