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What is a Physicist?

Example of Physicist Job Conduct research into physical phenomena, develop theories on the basis of observation and experiments, and devise methods to apply physical laws and theories.

Life As a Physicist: What Do They Do?

  • Collaborate with other scientists in the design, development, and testing of experimental, industrial, or medical equipment, instrumentation, and procedures.
  • Analyze data from research conducted to detect and measure physical phenomena.
  • Develop standards of permissible concentrations of radioisotopes in liquids and gases.
  • Advise authorities of procedures to be followed in radiation incidents or hazards, and assist in civil defense planning.
  • Conduct research pertaining to potential environmental impacts of atomic energy-related industrial development to determine licensing qualifications.
  • Design computer simulations to model physical data so that it can be better understood.

Things a Physicist Should Know How to Do

Below is a list of the skills most Physicists say are important on the job.

Science: Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.

Mathematics: Using mathematics to solve problems.

Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Complex Problem Solving: Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Other Physicist Job Titles

  • Weapons Designer
  • Mass Spectroscopist
  • Rocket Scientist
  • Electro Optical Engineer
  • Cloud Physicist

Is There Job Demand for Physicists?

There were about 17,900 jobs for Physicist in 2016 (in the United States). New jobs are being produced at a rate of 14.5% which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 2,600 new jobs for Physicist by 2026. Due to new job openings and attrition, there will be an average of 1,700 job openings in this field each year.

Forecasted Number of Jobs for Physicists in U.S.

The states with the most job growth for Physicist are Arizona, Idaho, and Florida. Watch out if you plan on working in North Dakota, New Hampshire, or Nebraska. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

Salary for a Physicist

The average yearly salary of a Physicist ranges between $59,300 and $193,280.

Salary Ranges for Physicists

Physicists who work in Oklahoma, Wisconsin, or New Mexico, make the highest salaries.

Below is a list of the median annual salaries for Physicists in different U.S. states.

State Annual Mean Salary
Alabama $133,930
Arizona $134,390
California $115,970
Colorado $106,490
District of Columbia $144,300
Florida $143,370
Georgia $122,040
Hawaii $126,480
Idaho $114,230
Illinois $114,320
Iowa $123,140
Louisiana $143,000
Maine $121,650
Maryland $120,450
Massachusetts $150,170
Michigan $106,650
Minnesota $155,140
Mississippi $101,420
Missouri $114,890
New Hampshire $130,150
New Jersey $134,280
New Mexico $149,910
New York $138,920
North Carolina $143,070
Ohio $122,370
Oklahoma $164,190
Oregon $124,410
Pennsylvania $137,060
South Carolina $129,860
Tennessee $124,950
Texas $118,300
Utah $129,480
Vermont $111,080
Virginia $108,440
Washington $110,710
Wisconsin $150,670

What Tools do Physicists Use?

Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Physicists:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Office
  • JavaScript
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Git
  • Python
  • Microsoft Access
  • MySQL
  • Microsoft Windows
  • Autodesk AutoCAD
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Photoshop
  • Structured query language SQL
  • The MathWorks MATLAB
  • Linux
  • Microsoft Visual Basic
  • Extensible markup language XML
  • UNIX
  • National Instruments LabVIEW
  • C

How do I Become a Physicist?

Individuals working as a Physicist have obtained the following education levels:

Physicist Degree Level

What work experience do I need to become a Physicist?

Physicist Work Experience

Physicists Sector

Physicist Sectors

Below are examples of industries where Physicists work:

Physicist Industries

References:

Image Credit: A. T. Service via Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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