Find Grad Schools

Study Area & Zipcode

Physicist

Find Schools Near

What Does it Take to Be a Physicist?

Job Description & Duties 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?

  • Perform complex calculations as part of the analysis and evaluation of data, using computers.
  • Develop theories and laws on the basis of observation and experiments, and apply these theories and laws to problems in areas such as nuclear energy, optics, and aerospace technology.
  • Describe and express observations and conclusions in mathematical terms.
  • Conduct research pertaining to potential environmental impacts of atomic energy-related industrial development to determine licensing qualifications.
  • Analyze data from research conducted to detect and measure physical phenomena.
  • Report experimental results by writing papers for scientific journals or by presenting information at scientific conferences.

Things a Physicist Should Know How to Do

These are the skills Physicists say are the most useful in their careers:

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.

Types of Physicist Jobs

  • Biophysics Scientist
  • Electro Optical Engineer
  • Molecular Physicist
  • Space Physicist
  • Rheologist

Are There Job Opportunities for Physicists?

In the United States, there were 17,900 jobs for Physicist in 2016. 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. The BLS estimates 1,700 yearly job openings in this field.

undefined

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.

How Much Does a Physicist Make?

The typical yearly salary for Physicists is somewhere between $59,300 and $193,280.

undefined

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

How much do Physicists make in each U.S. state?

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

Tools & Technologies Used by Physicists

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 to Become a Physicist

What kind of Physicist requirements are there?

undefined

How many years of work experience do I need?

undefined

Physicists Sector

undefined

Physicists work in the following industries:

undefined

References:

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

More about our data sources and methodologies.

Featured Schools

Find Graduate Schools Near You

Our free school finder matches students with accredited graduate schools across the U.S.