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Employment: Environmental Scientists and Geoscientists




Environmental scientists and geoscientists held about 101,000 jobs in 2002. Environmental scientists accounted for 65,000 of the total; geoscientists, 28,000; and hydrologists, 8,000. Many more individuals held environmental science and geoscience faculty positions in colleges and universities, but they are classified as college and university faculty. (See the statement on teachers—postsecondary elsewhere in the Handbook.)

About 47 percent of environmental scientists were employed in State and local governments, 14 percent in architectural, engineering and related services, 13 percent in management, scientific, and technical consulting services, and 9 percent in the Federal Government. About 1,900 were self-employed.

Among geoscientists, 30 percent were employed in architectural, engineering, and related services, and 15 percent worked for oil and gas extraction companies. In 2002, the Federal Government employed about 3,000 geoscientists, including geologists, geophysicists, and oceanographers, mostly within the U.S. Department of the Interior for the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and within the U.S. Department of Defense. Another 3,400 worked for State agencies, such as State geological surveys and State departments of conservation. Nearly 3 percent of geoscientists were self-employed, most as consultants to industry or government.

Approximately 32 percent of hydrologists worked in the Federal Government in 2002, another 21 percent in architectural, engineering, and related services, 17 percent worked in management, scientific, and technical consulting services, and 16 percent for State governments.