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Women, Minorities and Persons wiht Disabilities
in Science and Engineering: 2002
Introduction Chapter 2: Undergraduate Enrollment Chapter 3: Undergraduate Degrees Chapter 4: Graduate Enrollment Chapter 5: Graduate Degrees Chapter 6: Employment Technical Notes Appendix Tables
Chapter Contents:
Trends in S&E employment, 1993-99
Labor force participation, employment, and unemployment
Occupations of scientists and engineers
Sector of employment
Nondoctoral scientists and engineers
Professional development activities
Salaries of employed scientists and engineers
Initial labor force experiences of recent graduates
A demographic profile: Age and family characteristics
Appendix Tables
List of Figures
Presentation Slides


Salaries of employed scientists and engineers

Minority women
Persons with disabilities

Many factors explain the various differences that exist between the annual salaries of men and women, among racial/ethnic groups, and between persons with and without disabilities employed full time in S&E occupations. Three of the most important of these factors are length of experience, occupation, and highest degree level. Other reports (NSF/SRS 1996 and NSF/SRS 1999) provide more detailed explanations of the variety of factors influencing salaries for men and women.

Women  top of page

Women employed full time in S&E occupations earn less than men on average, but these salary differentials are due primarily to differences in age, length of experience, occupation, and highest degree attained. Female scientists and engineers are younger and have less experience, on average, than male scientists and engineers and are less likely than men to be computer scientists or engineers—occupations that command higher salaries. The 1999 overall median salary for those employed full time in S&E occupations was $50,300 for women and $64,000 for men. Within occupations and by degree levels and for younger age categories, the median salaries of men and women are generally more similar. (See appendix table 6-13.) For example, in 1999, among engineers aged 29 or younger with a bachelor's degree, the median salary was $46,000 for men and $45,000 for women.

Minorities  top of page

Salaries for those in S&E occupations differ across racial/ethnic groups. Among all who were employed in S&E occupations, the median salaries by racial/ethnic group in 1999 were $63,000 for Asians, $61,000 for whites, $55,000 for Hispanics, $53,000 for blacks, and $50,000 for American Indians. Within S&E occupations and within age and highest degree categories, median salaries are often similar across racial/ethnic groups. (See appendix table 6-14.)

Minority women  top of page

Median annual salaries of females employed in S&E occupations of all racial/ethnic groups are generally lower than those of male scientists and engineers. (See appendix table 6-15.) Differences in highest degree (as well as other factors; see NSF/SRS 1996) are also likely to influence salaries; however, small sample size did not permit adjustment by highest degree for this analysis.

Persons with disabilities  top of page

Median salaries of scientists and engineers with disabilities are similar to those for scientists and engineers without disabilities. For example, in 1999, among all those employed full time in S&E occupations, the median salary was $60,000 for those without disabilities and $61,600 for those with disabilities. Salaries also differ little within occupations and age groups. For example, the median salary for 30- to 39-year-old computer scientists with a bachelor's degree is $60,000 for those with disabilities and $61,000 for those without disabilities.(See appendix table 6-16.)

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