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National Science Foundation National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics

General Notes

Data Tables

Technical Appendix

Acknowledgments, Suggested Citation

Steven Proudfoot,
Project Officer
(703) 292-4434
Human Resources Statistics Program

Characteristics of Scientists and Engineers in the United States: 2003 (SESTAT)


General Notes


During the production of this report, the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2010 was signed into law. Section 505 of the bill renames the Division of Science Resources Statistics as the National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (NCSES). The Center retains its reporting line to the Directorate for Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences within the National Science Foundation. The new name signals the central role of NCSES in the collection, interpretation, analysis, and dissemination of objective data on the science and engineering enterprise.

The Scientists and Engineers Statistical Data System (SESTAT) is a comprehensive and integrated system of information about employment, education, and demographic characteristics of scientists and engineers in the United States. It is intended to provide policymakers, researchers, and planners with high-quality data on the size, composition, and employment patterns of the nation's science and engineering (S&E) workforce.

SESTAT includes data from three national sample surveys supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF): the National Survey of College Graduates (NSCG), the National Survey of Recent College Graduates (NSRCG), and the Survey of Doctorate Recipients (SDR). Each survey is conducted every 2 to 3 years and is administered to a different sampled segment of the U.S. population having a bachelor's degree or higher, with an emphasis on graduates from U.S. institutions with a degree in science or engineering.

The 2003 SESTAT represents the population with a bachelor's degree or higher in an S&E field, an S&E-related field, or a non-S&E field but working in an S&E or S&E-related occupation. Although this designated target population is broad and includes many fields of study and many occupations, SESTAT does not represent other groups that can be considered part of the population of scientists and engineers, such as S&E technicians with less than a bachelor's degree.

The detailed statistical tables presented here provide information on the number and median salaries of scientists and engineers by field of highest degree and occupation; demographic characteristics, such as sex, race/ethnicity, citizenship, disability, and age; and employment-related characteristics, such as sector of employment and primary/secondary work activity. The technical appendix provides methodological information about SESTAT, including coverage, component surveys (and links to questionnaires), editing and imputation, sample weights, sampling error and standard error tables, and selected definitions and explanations, including links to degree and occupation classification taxonomies used in SESTAT.

Characteristics of Scientists and Engineers in the United States: 2003 (SESTAT)
Detailed Statistical Tables | NSF 11-315 | July 2011