The 10 States With The Highest Environmental Scientist Salaries

By Chris Kolmar - May. 17, 2019

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Without fail, in surveys across basically every demographic, the number one most important aspect of a job for most people is the salary — how much do environmental scientists get paid where I live?

And while there are many things to go into how much you, specifically, can expect to make, there’s really good data for average salaries for environmental scientists by state across America broken down by seniority level. So while your city may be slightly different than the state average, these averages give you a rough sense of what to expect for your salary.

The state with the best salary for environmental scientists after this adjustment? That would be Environmental Scientists And Specialists, Including Health.

Here’s a quick snapshot of the top ten states for salaries:

  1. New Mexico
  2. Colorado
  3. Texas
  4. Kansas
  5. Virginia
  6. Illinois
  7. Iowa
  8. Tennessee
  9. Washington
  10. Georgia

To better understand how salaries change across America, we decided to take a look the most recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics on average pay for environmental scientists by state.

Additionally, we wanted to adjust the salary based on the cost of living in a state — because your salary goes further in North Carolina than it does in California.

Let’s take a look at how we got here and a full ranking of all the states.

How we determined pay by state

As we mentioned earlier, we took the average annual salary data for environmental scientists from the Bureau of Labor Statistics — specifically their ‘Occupational Employment Statistics.’

To make the comparison of salaries apples to apples across states, we also took into account the cost of living in each state.

We then created an index by dividing the average wage for a state by the cost of living relative to average. As an example, the cost of living index in California is 135.9 and the average pay is $91890, so our index value would be:

$91,890 * (100 / 135.9) = $67,615

We then ranked every state on this criteria with the state with the highest salary index ranking as highest average salary for environmental scientists.

Here’s a look at the full ranking for all states.

Detailed List Of Environmental Scientist Salaries By State

Rank State Adjusted Salary Average Wage Cost Of Living
1 New Mexico $90,362 $87,200 96.5
2 Colorado $89,605 $93,010 103.8
3 Texas $89,173 $80,880 90.7
4 Kansas $85,406 $76,780 89.9
5 Virginia $84,871 $85,550 100.8
6 Illinois $83,128 $78,640 94.6
7 Iowa $81,472 $74,140 91.0
8 Tennessee $81,062 $72,470 89.4
9 Washington $80,884 $85,090 105.2
10 Georgia $79,715 $72,860 91.4
11 Ohio $79,690 $74,750 93.8
12 Michigan $78,011 $69,430 89.0
13 Wyoming $75,098 $68,940 91.8
14 Minnesota $74,285 $74,880 100.8
15 Alabama $74,155 $67,630 91.2
16 Utah $73,634 $68,480 93.0
17 Arizona $73,622 $72,150 98.0
18 Oklahoma $73,419 $65,490 89.2
19 Pennsylvania $73,402 $74,430 101.4
20 North Dakota $73,299 $72,860 99.4
21 Louisiana $72,331 $68,570 94.8
22 Indiana $69,932 $62,590 89.5
23 North Carolina $69,062 $64,850 93.9
24 Montana $68,115 $68,660 100.8
25 Rhode Island $68,069 $82,160 120.7
26 California $67,615 $91,890 135.9
27 Oregon $67,456 $77,980 115.6
28 Arkansas $67,210 $58,540 87.1
29 Nebraska $66,615 $61,020 91.6
30 New Jersey $65,914 $80,350 121.9
31 Idaho $65,656 $60,470 92.1
32 Connecticut $65,168 $83,220 127.7
33 New Hampshire $64,547 $75,520 117.0
34 Wisconsin $63,047 $61,030 96.8
35 Massachusetts $61,904 $82,580 133.4
36 Nevada $61,878 $63,920 103.3
37 Maryland $61,593 $77,300 125.5
38 Alaska $61,189 $80,220 131.1
39 Maine $60,821 $67,390 110.8
40 New York $60,564 $79,340 131.0
41 West Virginia $60,364 $56,380 93.4
42 Florida $59,806 $58,790 98.3
43 Missouri $59,535 $53,820 90.4
44 South Dakota $59,064 $61,250 103.7
45 Delaware $59,063 $59,890 101.4
46 Kentucky $57,171 $51,740 90.5
47 Vermont $54,863 $66,440 121.1
48 Hawaii $41,560 $69,780 167.9

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Author

Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar is a co-founder of Zippia and the editor-in-chief of the Zippia career advice blog. He has hired over 50 people in his career, been hired five times, and wants to help you land your next job. His research has been featured on the New York Times, Thrillist, VOX, The Atlantic, and a host of local news. More recently, he's been quoted on USA Today, BusinessInsider, and CNBC.

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