U.S. Space Workforce
In 2015, the most recent year for which data is available, the U.S. civilian space sector included ## individuals. Employment is essentially unchanged from 2014, when ## individuals worked in this area. Longer-term trends, however, show…
NASA has many facilities and operations in many states, and NASA contractor jobs are high-skill, high-salary positions. When these jobs are lost, communities often have difficulty replacing them, and the employees encounter difficulty in finding similar positions in the local area. In order to keep the skilled technical workforce associated with the shuttle program from relocating elsewhere, many local communities affected by NASA layoffs have invested in job-transition assistance and worker retraining programs in alternative skill sets.
In December 2015, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released the 2016-17 Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH). The OOH provides employment projections for the decade from 2014 to 2024. Among the 329 occupational profiles are four particularly applicable to the space industry: Aerospace Engineers, Aerospace Engineering and Operations Technicians, Astronomers, and Atmospheric and Space Scientists.
The United States maintains a large national security space workforce to support space activities in the DoD and intelligence agencies. Although all of the military branches maintain space…
At the start of FY 2016, NASA’s workforce was made up of 17,316 individuals. This is a decrease of 415 employees, or 2.3%, compared to the start of FY 2015. Since reaching a high in FY 2011, NASA has shed 1,428 employees, 7.6% of its workforce.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) collects data on employment and salaries within U.S. establishments as reported by employers each year, covering 98% of U.S. jobs.
The U.S. space workforce includes commercial, civil, and national security space workers. The commercial and civil workforce continued to decrease in size, with core industry employment dropping 3.2% from 2013 to 2014, a decrease of 7,234 workers.
The next largest security space workforce in the United States is within the Army, with more than 3,399 billets for FY 2016, 8.4% more than the 3,137 billets in FY 2015. The 374 Space Operations Officers (FA40) make up about 10% of this total, with the remaining 3,025 made up of Space Enablers.
The space industry is well known for its highly paid workforce, which generally provides salaries above the average even among science and engineering jobs. In 2013, the average salary in the U.S. civilian space workforce was $##, more than double the average private sector salary. The highest-paying sector, Guided Missile and Space Vehicle Manufacturing, had an average salary of nearly $##.