Physicist Career

physicist-500Physicists require significant formal education. Physics is a challenging and competitive discipline. It requires considerable time and commitment in the classroom, lab, and field. It can be applied to other subjects because it is fundamental.

Physicists identify and explore basic principles governing the structure, behavior, and interaction of matter and energy.

A physicist may have a variety of duties, depending on their area of research. Among the major fields of applied research are nuclear physics, physics education, environmental geophysics and gravitation. Theoretical physicists are exclusively employed in academia, so duties include conducting research and teaching.

As physicists you are responsible for designing experiments, implementing them and drawing conclusions. If you have a passion for understanding how things work and enjoy mathematics and scientific experiments, you should study physics. Physics is the foundation of modern science.

Physicist Career Snapshot

As a physicist, you will usually work 37 to 40 hours a week, Monday to Friday. You could work in a workshop, factory, outdoors carrying field work or laboratory. You may have to wear protective clothing for some jobs to prevent contact and contamination with harmful substances.

Physicists can also be self-employed whereby they work by themselves often as consultants. However, many start small companies and supervise them or collaborate with other employees.

Further details on a career as a physicist are listed below (statistics from the May 2015 Bureau of Labor Statistics and Onet Online):


is the average salary for physicists.


increase in employment between 2014 and 2024.


have Post-Doctoral training while 23% have a Doctoral degree.

Physicist Education

The typical education for physicists is a degree in physics, applied physics, engineering subject or a related science. You will need a relevant postgraduate qualification like Master’s and Ph.D to become a physicist and gain employment in this field.

Physicist Job Outlook

As you gain experience as a physicist, you are expected to grow career wise in that you take more responsibility and manage the work of other scientists. You could also move into a senior research role, or progress into consultancy work.

Physicist Salaries

The median annual salary for physicists is around $112,00 per year according to May 2015 reports. The low-end salary being $56,000 and the high end being more than $185,000.

Physicist Job Duties

Physicists potential daily tasks include experimental research and theoretical analysis. Depending on the area of the industry you work in you may be involved in using your knowledge to work in broadcasting, publishing, journalism, developing new medical instruments and treatments, climate forecasting, working in space exploration and satellite technology, writing reports on the findings and presenting your work at scientific conferences and meetings.

Physicist Skills & Traits

Physicist Skill Set:Required Abilities:Tools Used by Physicists:Typical Work Activities:
• Science
• Mathematics
• Critical Thinking
• Complex Problem Solving
• Reading Comprehension
• Mathematical Reasoning
• Inductive Reasoning
• Number Facility
• Oral Comprehension
• Written Comprehension
• Frequency analyzers
• Lasers
• Medical linear accelerators
• Signal generators
• Spectrometers
• Creative thinking
• Working with computers
• Explaining information
• Processing information
• Getting information

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