Bureau of Labor Statistics

Life, Physical, and Social Science Occupations

Employment of life, physical, and social science occupations is projected to grow 7 percent from 2018 to 2028, faster than the average for all occupations, which will result in about 97,400 new jobs. Increasing demand for expertise in the sciences, particularly in occupations involved in biomedical research, psychology, energy management, and environmental protection, is projected to result in employment growth.

The median annual wage for life, physical, and social science occupations was $66,070 in May 2018, which was higher than the median wage for all occupations of $38,640.

  Occupation Job Summary Entry-Level Education 2018 MEDIAN PAY
Agricultural and food science technicians

Agricultural and Food Science Technicians

Agricultural and food science technicians assist agricultural and food scientists.

Associate's degree $40,860
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.

Bachelor's degree $64,020
Anthropologists and archeologists

Anthropologists and Archeologists

Anthropologists and archeologists study the origin, development, and behavior of humans.

Master's degree $62,410
Atmospheric scientists, including meteorologists

Atmospheric Scientists, Including Meteorologists

Atmospheric scientists study the weather and climate.

Bachelor's degree $94,110
Biochemists and biophysicists

Biochemists and Biophysicists

Biochemists and biophysicists study the chemical and physical principles of living things and of biological processes.

Doctoral or professional degree $93,280
Biological technicians

Biological Technicians

Biological technicians help biological and medical scientists conduct laboratory tests and experiments.

Bachelor's degree $44,500
Chemical technicians

Chemical Technicians

Chemical technicians use special instruments and techniques to assist chemists and chemical engineers.

Associate's degree $48,160
Chemists and materials scientists

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.

Bachelor's degree $78,330
Conservation scientists and foresters

Conservation Scientists and Foresters

Conservation scientists and foresters manage the overall land quality of forests, parks, rangelands, and other natural resources.

Bachelor's degree $61,340
Economists

Economists

Economists collect and analyze data, research trends, and evaluate economic issues for resources, goods, and services.

Master's degree $104,340
Environmental science and protection technicians

Environmental Science and Protection Technicians

Environmental science and protection technicians monitor the environment and investigate sources of pollution and contamination.

Associate's degree $46,170
Environmental scientists and specialists

Environmental Scientists and Specialists

Environmental scientists and specialists use their knowledge of the natural sciences to protect the environment and human health.

Bachelor's degree $71,130
Epidemiologists

Epidemiologists

Epidemiologists are public health professionals who investigate patterns and causes of disease and injury in humans.

Master's degree $69,660
Forensic science technicians

Forensic Science Technicians

Forensic science technicians aid criminal investigations by collecting and analyzing evidence.

Bachelor's degree $58,230
Geographers

Geographers

Geographers study the Earth and the distribution of its land, features, and inhabitants.

Bachelor's degree $80,300
Geological and petroleum technicians

Geological and Petroleum Technicians

Geological and petroleum technicians provide support to scientists and engineers in exploring and extracting natural resources.

Associate's degree $53,300
Geoscientists

Geoscientists

Geoscientists study the physical aspects of the Earth.

Bachelor's degree $91,130
Historians

Historians

Historians research, analyze, interpret, and write about the past by studying historical documents and sources.

Master's degree $61,140
Hydrologists

Hydrologists

Hydrologists study how water moves across and through the Earth’s crust.

Bachelor's degree $79,370
Medical scientists

Medical Scientists

Medical scientists conduct research aimed at improving overall human health.

Doctoral or professional degree $84,810
Microbiologists

Microbiologists

Microbiologists study microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, algae, fungi, and some types of parasites.

Bachelor's degree $71,650
Nuclear technicians

Nuclear Technicians

Nuclear technicians assist physicists, engineers, and other professionals in nuclear research and nuclear energy production.

Associate's degree $79,140
Physicists and astronomers

Physicists and Astronomers

Physicists and astronomers study the ways in which various forms of matter and energy interact.

Doctoral or professional degree $119,580
Political scientists

Political Scientists

Political scientists study the origin, development, and operation of political systems.

Master's degree $117,570
Psychologists

Psychologists

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 $79,010
Sociologists

Sociologists

Sociologists study society and social behavior.

Master's degree $82,050
Survey researchers

Survey Researchers

Survey researchers design and conduct surveys and analyze data.

Master's degree $57,700
Urban and regional planners

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.

Master's degree $73,050
Zoologists and wildlife biologists

Zoologists and Wildlife Biologists

Zoologists and wildlife biologists study animals and other wildlife and how they interact with their ecosystems.

Bachelor's degree $63,420
Suggested citation:

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Life, Physical, and Social Science Occupations,
on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/home.htm (visited September 04, 2019).

Last Modified Date: Wednesday, September 4, 2019

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