Several of my compadres and I eagerly digested the recent publication of the AAPG’s annual salary survey. The figures are for geologists, but we all tend to presume that they apply pretty well to geophysicists also.
So here’s an excerpt:
**Average Salary by Degree Years Experience B.S. M.S. Ph.D.** 0-2 $62,000 $67,100 $80,000 3-5 n/a 78,300 70,400 6-9 57,000 82,200 79,000 10-14 132,000 102,200 115,000 15-19 n/a 119,500 112,500 20-24 116,300 111,800 n/a 25+ 141,500 120,800 140,000
This makes one think about the value of grad school, for one who’s bound for industry rather than academia. When I was in school (1970s) very few people besides those bound for either the traditional (law and med school) post grad tracks or those intent on academic careers really thought much about getting a post grad degree. MBAs were just beginning to become popular.
I can cook up some models to possibly explain why experienced B.S. degrees seem to be doing better than their more formally educated brethren in this field, most hinging on the nadir of the profession that seems to have come and gone during my 24½ years in it.
During the past 18 months, my district office has hired three fresh-out-of-school geoscientists whom we hope to train and retain. Two, one geologist and one geophysicist, ages 33 and 30, completed their Masters while in our employ. The third just started this week, and he’s a 23 year old with a B.S. I can’t help but wonder if he’s not going to wind up doing better in the long run than the first two.
Besides putting off the beginning of your earning career (or, perhaps that should be factored in), what does it cost to add a Masters degree to your resume? Does it make any difference once you’re ten years or so into your career?
There’s probably a lot more that could be said about how these salary profiles have come to be, and perhaps I’ll get back to it. This does make me think about the inherent fallacy of trying to generalize about an individual from a statistic.
I’d guess that there are plenty of other vocations that have seen similarly seemingly anomalous disparities between the level of higher education attained and actual compensation.
What’s your experience?