Physical Science Technicians
What Physical Science Technicians Majors Need to Know
O*NET surveyed people in occupations related to physical science tech and asked them what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important for their jobs. The responses were rated on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being most important.
Knowledge Areas for Physical Science Tech Majors
This major prepares you for careers in which these knowledge areas are important:
- English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
- Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
- Chemistry - Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods.
- Production and Processing - Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
Skills for Physical Science Tech Majors
A major in physical science tech prepares you for careers in which the following skill-sets are crucial:
- Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
- Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
- Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
- Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
- Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Abilities for Physical Science Tech Majors
Physical Science Tech majors often go into careers where the following abilities are vital:
- Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
- Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
- Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
- Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
What Can You Do With a Physical Science Technicians Major?
Below is a list of occupations associated with physical science tech:
|Job Title||Job Growth Rate||Median Salary|
|Environmental Science and Protection Technicians, Including Health||12.1%||$46,170|
|Industrial Engineering Technicians||0.6%||$55,460|
|Precision Agriculture Technicians||9.7%||$49,670|
|Quality Control Analysts||9.7%||$49,670|
|Remote Sensing Technicians||9.7%||$49,670|
How Much Do Physical Science Technicians Majors Make?
Salaries According to BLS
Physical Science Tech majors often go into careers where salaries can range from $51,070 to $58,860 (25th to 75th percentile). This range includes all degree levels, so the salary for a person with just a bachelor’s degree may be a little less and the one for a person with an advanced degree may be a little more.
To put that into context, according to BLS data from the first quarter of 2020, the typical high school graduate makes between $30,000 and $57,900 a year (25th through 75th percentile). The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $45,600 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,600 and $125,400.
Amount of Education Required for Careers Related to Physical Science Technicians
Some careers associated with physical science tech require an advanced degree while some may not even require a bachelor’s. In general, the more advanced your degree the more career options will open up to you. However, there is significant time and money that needs to be invested into your education so weigh the pros and cons.
How much schooling do you really need to compete in today’s job market? People currently working in careers related to physical science tech have obtained the following education levels.
|Education Level||Percentage of Workers|
|Less than a High School Diploma||1.7%|
|High School Diploma - or the equivalent (for example, GED)||23.3%|
|Post-Secondary Certificate - awarded for training completed after high school (for example, in agriculture or natural resources, computer services, personal or culinary services, engineering technologies, healthcare, construction trades, mechanic and repair technologies, or precision production)||3.1%|
|Some College Courses||11.5%|
|Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree)||17.0%|
|Post-Baccalaureate Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Baccalaureate degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees carrying the title of Master.||2.4%|
Online Physical Science Technicians Programs
In 2018-2019, 93 schools offered a physical science tech program of some type. The following table lists the number of programs by degree level, along with how many schools offered online courses in the field.
|Degree Level||Colleges Offering Programs||Colleges Offering Online Classes|
|Certificate (Less Than 1 Year)||32||0|
|Certificate (1-2 years)||33||1|
|Certificate (2-4 Years)||1||0|
|Doctor’s Degree (Research)||0||0|
|Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice)||0||0|
|Doctor’s Degree (Other)||0||0|
Is a Degree in Physical Science Technicians Worth It?
The median salary for a physical science tech grad is $51,670 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.
This is 29% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $235,400 after 20 years!
Majors Related to Physical Science Technicians
You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to physical science tech.
|Major||Number of Grads|
|Other Science Technologies/Technicians||2,627|
|Biology & Biotech Lab Technician||738|
|Nuclear & Radiological Technicians||345|
|General Science Technologies/Technicians||176|
- College Factual
- College Scorecard
- National Center for Education Statistics
- O*NET Online
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
- Usual Weekly Earnings of Wage and Salary Workers First Quarter 2020
More about our data sources and methodologies.