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Geoscientists' salaries jump 10-20% in a year

Geoscientists' salary juggernaut is rolling, says AGI

US Earth scientists are enjoying the fruits of a skilled labour shortage, according to the American Geological Institute. Dwain Eldred reports.

Geoscientist Online 12 March 2008

The American Geological Institute (AGI) Workforce Program reports on geoscientist salaries by years of experience in the most recent “Geoscience Currents.” AGI has found that between 2004 and 2005, geoscientist starting salaries jumped by nearly 10%. In comparison, salaries increased 20% among late career geoscientists in that same period.

As expected, with higher education comes higher pay. But because of continuing shortages of experienced geoscientists in industry, mid-career geoscientists who possess only a Bachelors degree can out-earn those with higher degrees. An average salary of $135,000 is the reward for 10-14 years' experience, compared to only $103,000 for doctoral geoscientists with the same experience.

“Geoscience Currents” provides data snapshots and short reports that shed light on the overall health of the geoscience profession. From scholarships to employment opportunities, the effect of retirements, to university enrolment trends, “Geoscience Currents” provides up to-the-minute glimpses into all areas of the geosciences, from academia, government, and industry to educational opportunities and university demographics.

To subscribe to this free service, go to and click “Register.” Also on the website are previous “Geoscience Currents” issues and other reports completed by the Workforce Program, as well as other resources pertaining to geoscience careers.

  • The American Geological Institute is a non-profit federation of 44 geoscientific and professional associations that represents more than 120,000 geologists, geophysicists and other Earth scientists. Unusually for a non-US body, the Geological Society of London is a member of AGI.