STEM supports two thirds of U.S. jobs

Science is US |

New analysis finds that the majority of the U.S. STEM workforce do not hold a four-year degree

A new analysis released today finds that 67% of U.S. jobs and 69% of the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP) are supported by science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). The analysis, conducted by FTI Consulting on behalf of 10 leading U.S. scientific and engineering associations and industry organizations, found that STEM is the primary economic driver in the United States and produces $2.3 trillion in federal tax revenue annually.

The study is the most inclusive analysis of STEM professions to date, factoring in jobs that rely on STEM regardless of the level of education obtained by the employee and finds that six in ten U.S. STEM professionals do not hold a bachelor’s degree.

This analysis shows that STEM professionals in the United States are more than the rocket scientists or software engineers often associated with STEM jobs and includes skilled Americans with backgrounds outside of academia and innovative professionals working in every segment of our economy driving growth. This also demonstrates the value of our universities and the inclusive nature of the boom in STEM across America.

The analysis reviewed 819 occupations as defined by the Bureau of Labor Statistics and aggregated data using the IMPLAN model. It also examined direct and indirect STEM employment and economic output across the U.S.

Key findings of the analysis include:

  • Of the 195.8 million jobs identified across 819 occupations, 64 million or 33% were high-skilled STEM professions.
  • 59% of U.S. STEM professionals do not hold a bachelor’s degree.
  • STEM supports $2.3 trillion in annual federal tax revenue (69%).

The study was led by U.S. scientific and engineering associations and industry organizations, including Aerospace Industries Association, American Association for the Advancement of Science, American Chemical Society, American Geophysical Union, American Physical Society, Consortium of Social Science Associations, Council on Competitiveness, Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, and the Semiconductor Industry Association. The analysis was supported by grants from The David and Lucile Packard Foundation and the Rita Allen Foundation.

About Aerospace Industries Association
For over 100 years, the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) has served as an advocate, resource, and convener to shape policy, shed light on the industry’s impact, and lay the groundwork for its future. CEO-level officers from across our 330 member companies guide these efforts, strengthening the industry’s ability to effectively support America’s national security and economy. Together, we advocate for effective federal investments; accelerated deployment of innovative technologies; policies that enhance our global competitiveness; and empower a capable and diverse 21st century workforce. For more information, visit

About The American Association for the Advancement of Science
The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) is the world’s largest general scientific society and publisher of the journal Science, as well as Science Translational Medicine; Science Signaling; a digital, open-access journal, Science Advances; Science Immunology; and Science Robotics. AAAS was founded in 1848 and includes more than 250 affiliated societies and academies of science, serving 10 million individuals. Science has the largest paid circulation of any peer-reviewed general science journal in the world. The nonprofit AAAS is open to all and fulfills its mission to “advance science and serve society” through initiatives in science policy, international programs, science education, public engagement and more.

About The American Chemical Society
The American Chemical Society (ACS) is a nonprofit organization chartered by the U.S. Congress. ACS’ mission is to advance the broader chemistry enterprise and its practitioners for the benefit of Earth and its people. The Society is a global leader in providing access to chemistry-related information and research through its multiple research solutions, peer-reviewed journals, scientific conferences, eBooks and weekly news periodical Chemical & Engineering News. ACS journals are among the most cited, most trusted and most read within the scientific literature; however, ACS itself does not conduct chemical research. As a specialist in scientific information solutions (including SciFinder® and STN®), its CAS division powers global research, discovery and innovation. ACS’ main offices are in Washington, D.C., and Columbus, Ohio.

About the American Geophysical Union
Founded in 1919, AGU is a not-for-profit scientific society dedicated to advancing Earth and space science for the benefit of humanity. We support 60,000 members, who reside in 135 countries, as well as our broader community, through high-quality scholarly publications, dynamic meetings, our dedication to science policy and science communications, and our commitment to building a diverse and inclusive workforce, as well as many other innovative programs. AGU is home to the award-winning news publication Eos, the Thriving Earth Exchange, where scientists and community leaders work together to tackle local issues, and a headquarters building that represents Washington, D.C.’s first net zero energy commercial renovation.

About the American Physical Society
The American Physical Society (APS) is a nonprofit membership organization working to advance and diffuse the knowledge of physics through its outstanding research journals, scientific meetings, and education, outreach, advocacy, and international activities. APS represents over 55,000 members, including physicists in academia, national laboratories, and industry in the United States and throughout the world. Society offices are located in College Park, MD (Headquarters), Ridge, NY, and Washington, D.C.

About the Consortium of Social Science Associations
COSSA is a nonprofit advocacy organization working to promote sustainable federal funding for and widespread use of social and behavioral science research and federal policies that positively impact the conduct of research. COSSA serves as a united voice for a broad, diverse network of organizations, institutions, communities, and stakeholders who care about a successful and vibrant social science research enterprise. The COSSA membership includes professional and disciplinary associations, scientific societies, research centers and institutes, and U.S. colleges and universities.

About the Council on Competitiveness
Since 1986, the Council has championed a competitiveness agenda for the United States—to enhance U.S. productivity growth and raise the standard of living for all Americans. The members of the Council—CEOs, university presidents, labor leaders and national lab directors—represent a powerful, nonpartisan voice that sets aside politics and seeks results. By providing real-world perspective to policymakers, the Council’s private sector network makes an impact on decision-making across a broad spectrum of issues at the heart of U.S. competitiveness.

About The Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology
FASEB is the nation’s largest coalition of biomedical researchers, representing 28 scientific societies and over 130,000 researchers from around the world.

About The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
IEEE-USA serves the public good and promotes the careers and public policy interests of nearly 180,000 engineering, computing and technology professionals who are U.S. members of IEEE, the world’s largest technical professional organization.

About The Semiconductor Industry Association
The Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) is the voice of the semiconductor industry, one of America’s top export industries and a key driver of America’s economic strength, national security, and global competitiveness. Semiconductors – the tiny chips that enable modern technologies – power incredible products and services that have transformed our lives and our economy. The semiconductor industry directly employs nearly a quarter of a million workers in the United States, and U.S. semiconductor company sales totaled $209 billion in 2018. SIA members account for nearly 95 percent of all U.S. semiconductor industry sales. Through this coalition, SIA seeks to strengthen leadership of semiconductor manufacturing, design, and research by working with Congress, the Administration, and key industry stakeholders around the world to encourage policies that fuel innovation, propel business, and drive international competition. Learn more at

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