What Jobs can you get with a Physics Degree?

By | July 26, 2016
Physics degree jobs

Physics Professor Birger Kollmeier.
Physics degree provides a wide range of jobs and careers you will enjoy.

What Jobs can you get with a Physics Degree?

Young people with interest in science and thinking of a career in physics usually would want to know if there are enough jobs out there after they graduate.

They will like to know, ‘what jobs can you get with a physics degree?’ so they can make up their mind to get a degree in physics or not. This post addresses that question in detail.

Why Physics Degree?

Physicists have always been at the forefront of most discoveries made about our universe.

The subject physics has played an important role in virtually every aspect of science and technology, ranging from inventions such as the television, wireless technology and computer to theories of gravitation, relativity, upthrust, and host of others.

Renowned physicists such as Galileo Galilei, Isaac Newton and Albert Einstein were all known to have made indelible mark in not just the area of physics but also in fields of chemistry, mathematics, philosophy, and engineering.

This attests to the ingenuity and versatility of physics majors who find careers in a wide range of fields such as the I.T. sector, research industry, energy corporations, healthcare, engineering, finance, and education to mention but a few.

During the course of study, physics majors imbibe a lot of knowledge about various principles such as relativity, motion, electricity, and elasticity.

They also acquire strong number-crunching and complex math solving skills, which doubles as problem solving and critical thinking skill that employers find highly valuable.

A physics degree is fairly popular among undergraduates as it is ranked 73rd most popular college degree out of 200 others according to Matchcollege; that’s a 63.5% popularity level, an ample indication of how highly sought after the degree is.

A degree in physics is known to hold a positive job outlook as physics majors are well positioned for prospective careers in several fields with attractive remuneration.

What can you do with a Physics Associate’s Degree?

To secure an entry-level career in the technology, healthcare, and science field, you can go for an Associate’s degree in physics which provides you with basic knowledge of energy, principles of matter and mathematical skills that translate to problem solving skills.

Other qualities you can acquire include ability to maintain focus to overcome challenges.

With an Associate’s degree in physics, you can secure a job as a:

  • Biomedical Technician: They assist biomedical engineers in the production and maintenance of medical equipment as well as in the testing and approval of latest technology and equipment. They also direct the use of biomedical equipment by giving demonstrations and providing equipment information to healthcare staff.
  • Radiologic Technologist: They ensure the operation of radiology equipment, maintain safe working conditions in compliance with set standards and perform radiological procedure on patients.
  • Aerospace Engineering and Operations Technician: They assist in the construction, testing and maintenance of aircraft and space vehicles. They also specialize in the installation and testing of electrical and electronic systems used in flight control and communication.
  • Nuclear Technician: Their duties involve operating nuclear equipment during research projects, providing quality control for nuclear tests such that monitors radiation levels and maintains a high level of safety in accordance with set policies and procedures.
  • Engineering Technician: They assist engineers with creating products, improving manufacturing methods and maintaining assembly systems. They find employment in civil, mechanical, and other forms of engineering.

The salary range of physics Associate’s degree holders vary according to the career field. Engineering Technicians are estimated to earn $49,440 annually while Nuclear Technicians earn as much as $59,200 annually. Payscale on the other hand projects a whopping $79,096 for physics Associate’s holders.

What can you do with a Physics Bachelor’s Degree?

A degree in physics according to Worldwidelearn is seen as a way of thinking rather than as a profession, which is why it trains students in logic and problem-solving, preparing them for research-based positions in science, I.T., engineering and academic positions.

As a Bachelor’s graduate of physics, you can find employment as:

  • Metallurgist: They specialize in the development and manufacture of diverse metallic products using iron, copper, aluminum, gold and other metals to create precise objects for clients as well as providing after-sales services.
  • Seismic Interpreter: Their duties involve using technical and computational means to generate geological data useful in identifying the hydrocarbon content of rock formations. They are highly relevant in oil exploration and oil production companies.
  • Meteorologist: They use mathematical models and tools as well as knowledge of the earth’s climate and atmosphere to predict the weather outlook for the week.
  • Secondary School Teacher: They specialize in teaching, observing and recording the progress of students. They deliver lessons and give assessment tests as well as managing the social behavior of students in and outside the classroom.
  • Patent Attorney: Their responsibilities include evaluating the likelihood of an invention, securing patent, and analyzing scientific materials to assess its originality. They work with barristers during the sale or transfer of patent.

The U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2013 predicted a mean annual wage of $110,110 for physicists with an expected job growth rate of 10% through 2012-2022.

What can you do with a Physics Master’s or Doctorate Degree?

Most employers require physicists to hold advanced degrees such as Ph.D. or a Master’s degree for certain top-level science and research positions.

With a Master’s degree in physics, you are qualified for jobs as:

  • Hydrologist: They collect water samples to determine their properties; they also study the movement of water in the ground and ocean. They are estimated to earn a median annual salary of $79,070 according to 2011 BLS report.
  • Computer Programmer: They specialize in the writing and testing of computer codes in order to develop software and computer programs. They are projected to earn as much as $76,010 annually according to U.S BLS 2011 report.
  • Academic Writer: Their job involves writing of academic journals, technical manuals or other scientific materials that give information on a system or product. Their salary is predicted to be an average of $67,280 annually.

Payscale projects an average annual salary of $100,152 for females with Master’s in physics and $74,944 for males.

With a doctorate degree in physics, individuals stand to be employed as physicists in the research, academic or management field.

They specialize in providing solutions to national problems, working to improve industrial processes as well as functioning as college instructors. Physics Ph.D. holders are estimated to earn an annual median salary of up to $140,975 for males and $83,750 for female earners.


You can get a number of jobs with a degree in physics; with a lower or higher degree, various career options and jobs can be accessed.

You can also apply the critical thinking, problem solving, and other personal development skills that you will develop in the course of training as a physicist in succeeding in other unrelated careers that you might choose to get into.

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