AAAS jobs survey shows continuing salary growth in the life sciences sector, but women still earn less

Median salaries for U.S. life scientists increased 7 percent between May 2000 and May 2001, but women earn nearly one-third less than men, according to a survey completed by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

By comparison, real average weekly earnings for all U.S. workers rose 3.6 percent, seasonally adjusted, between August 2000 and August 2001, suggesting that salary increases within the life sciences sector continue to outperform raises for many other jobs.

The AAAS survey of 19,000 life scientists describes current compensation trends and identifies key issues affecting job satisfaction among researchers. Completed as a service for members of the non-profit AAAS, the world's largest general scientific organization, the jobs survey should prove useful to university administrators, corporate personnel directors and others working to improve recruitment and retention of U.S. life scientists.

An analysis of the findings, included in the 12 October issue of the AAAS weekly journal, Science, describes the survey as "the largest and most comprehensive examination yet attempted of salaries and job satisfaction among life scientists in the United States."

Life scientists are clearly among the nation's top earners: In August 2001, real average earnings for all U.S. workers--based on payroll reports from private, non-farm establishments--stood at $490.54 weekly (about $25,508 annually), according to U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) statistics. Last year, an evaluation of average annual pay to all U.S. workers covered by state and federal employment insurance programs set the average higher ($35,296 in 2000).

In contrast, the AAAS reports, academic life scientists are earning median salaries of $80,000 in 2001, while non-academics report salaries with a midpoint 20 percent higher than their academic counterparts-around $96,000.

But, male life scientists in academia earn median sala

Contact: Ginger Pinholster
American Association for the Advancement of Science

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