Employment in life, physical, and social science occupations is projected to grow 8 percent from 2020 to 2030, about as fast as the average for all occupations, and will result in about 113,800 new jobs. Increasing demand for expertise in the sciences, particularly in occupations involved in biomedical research, psychology, and environmental protection, is projected to result in employment growth.
The median annual wage for life, physical, and social science occupations was $72,740 in May 2021, which was higher than the median wage for all occupations of $45,760.
BLS provides summary data, including employment projections, for life, physical, and social science occupations not shown in the table on this page. That information is available on the Data for Occupations Not Covered in Detail page.
|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.
|Associate's degree||The annual wage is not available.|
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: Monday, April 18, 2022