European Space Workforce
Each year, Eurospace, an association of the European space manufacturing industry, carries out a survey of the European space industry. The survey focuses on design, development, and manufacturing; it does not include companies specializing in space services, such as launch or satellite operations, nor non-space products, such as GPS receivers or satellite TV dishes. Some well-known European space companies, including Arianespace, SES Global, Eutelsat, and Inmarsat, are thus not included in the survey. Together, these companies would add thousands of employees.
The European Space Agency (ESA) has a staff of ## employees. About half of these individuals work as engineers, scientists, or astronauts. Women make up about a quarter of ESA employees, but only ##% of science and engineering personnel. ESA has a particularly low portion of young professionals—just ##% of ESA employees are under 35.
Space employment in Europe has increased for the seventh year in a row, adding about ## employees from 2011 to 2012, an increase of ##%. European space employment is ##% greater than its 10-year low in 2005. Unlike the data for the U.S. space workforce, which is estimated using nationally collected data not specifically designed to capture the space industry, data on the European space workforce has been collected via a targeted survey of European space companies carried out by a not-for-profit organization, Eurospace. In carrying out this survey, Eurospace focuses on manufacturing activities and measuring end-market value.
The European Space Agency (ESA) employs a staff of about ##, more than half of which are scientists, engineers, or astronauts. About ##% of the workforce is under 35, a significantly smaller portion than NASA’s ##%. The percentage of individuals within ESA that are over 54 is ##%, which is somewhat below NASA’s ##%.
The European space workforce includes workers from ## European countries across three segments of the industry: spacecraft, launch, and ground. The five countries with the largest workforces, France, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom, and Spain, accounted for more than ##% of the total European space workforce in 2011. The workforce numbers include industries involved in designing, developing, and manufacturing space systems in the spacecraft, launch, and ground sectors. The numbers do not include the workforce of companies developing consumer devices, such as GPS or satellite television receivers, nor do they include employment by companies that carry out space services based on the exploitation of space assets, such as launch service providers.
The nonprofit European space industry association Eurospace tracks European space employment through annual surveys of European space-related companies, as well as multinational space companies employing personnel in Europe. In 2010, the Eurospace methodology evolved to include more European companies, reclassify some companies formerly counted in one space industry sector to another, and reflect movement of some European space employees from one country to another. As a result, although European space employment posted growth between 2009 and 2010, some of the increase was due to the expanded number of companies surveyed. Similarly, some of the changes in European space employment by sector or country are attributable to differences between the new accounting and the old.
As of June 2011, the European Space Agency (ESA) directly employed 2,251 people, and another 2,000 people worked on-site as contractors. More than half of ESA’s employees were engineers and an additional 138 were astronauts and scientists. The remaining 913 employees, comprising about 41% of the total ESA workforce, held administrative or managerial roles.