Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics

The Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics cluster is about planning, managing, and providing scientific research and professional and technical services (e.g., physical science, social science, engineering) including laboratory and testing services and research and development services. Job opportunities in this cluster will vary depending upon specialty.  Over the next decade, jobs aligned with advancing technology are predicted to boom as new career opportunities open.  Individuals with college-degrees and experience have the most potential for success within this industry.

Employment Projections: 2010-2020

Although the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) career cluster has received a lot of attention in the past decade because of its powerful impact on our economy, it is still one of the smallest clusters. STEM had about 3.2 million workers in 2010; only the Arts, A/V Technology, and Communications and Government and Public Administration clusters were smaller. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that employment in STEM occupations will grow by 10 percent to 3.5 million in 2020.

The report Employment Projections for STEM, 2010-2020 includes data on occupations growing faster that the nation average, pathways employment overview, occupations with the most job openings, and employment projections.


High Tech Academy

What They Make…
Occupations in this cluster and what they make in Virginia

Employed in VA

Typical salary1

Typical entry-level Education

Aerospace engineers 4,160 $65K–$149K Bachelor’s degree
Agricultural and food science technicians 180 $22K–$53K Associate’s degree
Chemical engineers 1,270 $59K–$155K Bachelor’s degree
Chemical technicians 1,120 $26K–$71K Associate’s degree
Chemists 1,360 $41K–$121K Bachelor’s degree
Conservation scientists 410 $38K–$91K Bachelor’s degree
Electrical and electronics drafters 760 $35K–$88K Associate’s degree
Electrical engineers 5,960 $56–$137K Bachelor’s degree
Geoscientists 510 $48–$187K+ Bachelor’s degree
Materials scientists 170 $47K–$134K Bachelor’s degree
Mechanical engineers 7,730 $52K–$122K Bachelor’s degree
Physicists 960 $58K–$177K Doctoral or professional degree
Political scientists 630 $49K–$155K Master’s degree