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Physicist

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What Do Physicist Do?

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

List of Physicist Job Duties

  • Report experimental results by writing papers for scientific journals or by presenting information at scientific conferences.
  • Conduct application evaluations and analyze results to determine commercial, industrial, scientific, medical, military, or other uses for electro-optical devices.
  • Perform complex calculations as part of the analysis and evaluation of data, using computers.
  • Conduct research pertaining to potential environmental impacts of atomic energy-related industrial development to determine licensing qualifications.
  • Advise authorities of procedures to be followed in radiation incidents or hazards, and assist in civil defense planning.
  • Develop manufacturing, assembly, and fabrication processes of lasers, masers, infrared, and other light-emitting and light-sensitive devices.

Skills Needed to be a Physicist

When polled, Physicists say the following skills are most frequently used in their jobs:

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.

  • Research Scientist
  • Nanotechnologist
  • Nuclear Physicist
  • Aerodynamicist
  • Rheologist

What Kind of Physicist Job Opportunities Are There?

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.

Physicist Salary

Physicists make between $59,300 and $193,280 a year.

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 & Technology do Physicists Use?

Below is a list of the types of tools and technologies that Physicists may use on a daily basis:

  • 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?

What education is needed to be a Physicist?

Physicist Degree Level

What work experience do I need to become a Physicist?

Physicist Work Experience

Who Employs Physicists?

Physicist Sectors

Physicists work in the following industries:

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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