Job prospects and future growth
Recent studies suggest that over the next decade, there will be a workforce shortage of almost 150,000 geoscientists. Underlying reasons for these trends are two-fold, a rapidly growing oil and gas industry that requires a suite of environmental impact analyses and a geoscience workforce that is within 10-15 years of retirement age. To put this in perspective, of the 143,000 geoscientists expected to retire in 2022 (Bureau of Labor Statistics), only 51,000 students are expected to have earned geosciences degrees within that same time frame. For reference, there were ~380,000 geoscientists employed in the United States in 2014.
The average median annual salary for geoscience-related occupations in 2014 was $85,000.
Unlike many other disciplines, Bachelor of Science Degrees are sufficient for many entry level positions in the geosciences and Master of Science and Doctoral Degrees are typically fully supported by industry, state and federally funded research grants or teaching assistantships.
For more information on job growth:
1) Geoscience growth over the next decade. This site shows that geoscience job growth over the next decade relative to other professions: http://www.americangeosciences.org/workforce/currents/comparison-stem-and-geoscience-occupation-growth-over-next-decade
2) How geoscience job growth was determined. This site exalpins ho we know we will have a shortage of geoscientists relative to the current number of graduates: http://www.americangeosciences.org/workforce/currents/explanation-predicted-geoscience-workforce-shortage
3) Geoscience median salaries. This site shows the average salaries for a variety of geoscience-related occupations in the United States as reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. :http://www.americangeosciences.org/workforce/currents/2013-median-salaries-geoscience-related-occupations
4) U.S. Dept of Labor Job Outlook. This site explains the job outlook for goescientists over the next decade from the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics: http://www.bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/geoscientists.htm