The median annual base salaries of Federal scientists and engineers increased 21.9 percent during 1989-93, from $41,100 to $50,100. By contrast, the average annual weekly earnings in private nonagricultural industries rose only 12 percent during the same period (table 9).
Median annual base salaries for Federal scientists and engineers vary by occupation, work activity, and years of service. In 1993, median annual salaries for scientists ($48,100) were below those for engineers ($52,300), with the highest salaries reported for aerospace and civil engineers and the lowest salaries reported for life scientists. Among scientists, the highest median annual base salaries were paid to physical scientists, followed by computer and mathematical scientists, social scientists, and life scientists. The highest S&E salaries for engineers after aerospace engineers were reported for electrical, electronics, and computer engineers; chemical engineers; and civil engineers.
The median annual base salaries for engineers increased more rapidly (25.3 percent) than did the salaries of scientists (19.1 percent). In general, all engineering occupations (except for civil engineers) received higher than average annual base salary increases, and all scientific occupations received lower than average increases. The fastest growing median salaries were for chemical engineers (28.1 percent), and the slowest growing salaries were for social scientists (17.1 percent).
Federal scientists and engineers with a Ph.D. degree reported a median annual salary of $60,400 in 1993, 20.6 percent higher than the average for all degree levels. Employees with a master's degree reported a median annual base salary of $52,500-4.8 percent higher than the average-and those with a bachelor's degree reported a median annual salary of $48,300-3.6 percent less than the average for all Federal scientists and engineers.