Climate change analysts study the effects of changing climate patterns and use computer models to predict their future effects. The government uses these forecasts to prepare for any change, and perhaps moderate it through legislation and executive action. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), environmental scientists such as climate change analysts typically need a bachelor's degree in natural science or a closely related field.
National Pay Information
The BLS classifies climate change analysts as environmental scientists. As of 2012, environmental scientists working in the United States earned an average of $68,970 per year. The median-earning 50 percent reported salaries ranging from $47,840 to $84,690 per year, while the highest-paid 10 percent of environmental scientists reported incomes of $109,970 or more per year.
Pay by Employment Sector
The expected pay rate for environmental scientists varies considerably by employment situation. As of 2012, those employed by local government agencies averaged $63,050 per year, those working for state government agencies averaged $58,450 per year, and those employed by the federal government made an average of $97,190. Those employed by scientific and technical consulting services earned an average of $70,920 per year.
Pay by Location
Given the high salaries of environmental scientists employed by the federal government, it's hardly surprising that the District of Columbia reported the highest average salary for this occupation in 2012, $112,200 per year. The highest-paying state was Rhode Island, at $84,680 per year, followed by Washington at $81,000, Virginia at $80,200 and California at $78,820. West Virginia reported the lowest average salary by state, $45,010.
As of 2010, an estimated 89,400 environmental scientists and specialists were employed in the United States. The BLS expected this number to increase to 106,100 by 2020, a job growth rate of 19 percent and a net gain of 16,700 jobs. While only a portion of these positions will deal specifically with climate change, more analysts will be needed as the affects of this phenomenon likely increase.
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