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Engineering Physics Major

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Engineering Physics

683 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
133 Master's Degrees Annually
#181 in Popularity
$125,280 Median Salary

Types of Degrees Engineering Physics Majors Are Getting

The following table lists how many engineering physics graduations there were in 2018-2019 for each degree level.

Education Level Number of Grads
Bachelor’s Degree 683
Master’s Degree 133
Doctor’s Degree 88
Graduate Certificate 61
Associate’s Degree 14

What Engineering Physics Majors Need to Know

In an O*NET survey, engineering physics majors were asked to rate what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important in their occupations. These answers were weighted on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the most important.

Knowledge Areas for Engineering Physics Majors

Engineering Physics majors often go into careers in which the following knowledge areas are important:

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  • Engineering and Technology - Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • Physics - Knowledge and prediction of physical principles, laws, their interrelationships, and applications to understanding fluid, material, and atmospheric dynamics, and mechanical, electrical, atomic and sub- atomic structures and processes.

Skills for Engineering Physics Majors

When studying engineering physics, you’ll learn many skills that will help you be successful in a wide range of jobs - even those that do not require a degree in the field. The following is a list of some of the most common skills needed for careers associated with this major:

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  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • 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.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

Abilities for Engineering Physics Majors

Some of the most crucial abilities to master while a engineering physics student include the following:

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  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).

What Can You Do With a Engineering Physics Major?

Below is a list of occupations associated with engineering physics:

Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary
Architectural and Engineering Managers 5.5% $140,760
Engineering Professors 14.7% $101,720
Nanosystems Engineers 6.4% $96,980
Natural Sciences Managers 9.9% $123,860
Photonics Engineers 6.4% $96,980
Physicists 14.5% $120,950
Validation Engineers 6.4% $96,980

Who Is Getting a Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering Physics?

683 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
20% Percent Women
27% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities*
This is a less frequently chosen undergraduate major. Only 683 students graduated with a bachelor’s degree in engineering physics in 2019, making it rank #181 in popularity. This major tends to be male dominated. About 80% of recent graduates are men.

Racial-Ethnic Diversity

At the countrywide level, the racial-ethnic distribution of engineering physics majors is as follows:

Racial-Ethnic Diversity of Engineering Physics Students with Bachelor's Degrees
Race/Ethnicity Number of Grads
Asian 57
Black or African American 46
Hispanic or Latino 45
White 422
International Students 60
Other Races/Ethnicities 53

Geographic Diversity

Engineering Physics appeals to people across the globe. About 8.8% of those with this major are international students. The most popular countries for students from outside the country are:

  • China
  • India
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Nepal
  • South Korea

How Much Do Engineering Physics Majors Make?

Bachelor’s Degree Starting Salary

Data from the U.S. Department of Education shows that engineering physics students who graduated in 2015-2017 with a bachelor’s degree made a median starting salary of $61,050 per year. During this timeframe, most salaries fell between $56,125 (25th percentile) and $64,600 (75th percentile).

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It’s important to note that just because the people reporting these salaries have a degree in engineering physics, it does not mean that they are working in a job related to their degree.

Salaries According to BLS

Engineering Physics majors often go into careers where salaries can range from $113,680 to $139,680 (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.

Median Salary for an Engineering Physics Major  ( 113680 to 139680 )
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250K
Median Salary for a High School Graduate  ( 30000 to 57900 )
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250K
Median Salary for a Bachelor's Degree Holder  ( 45600 to 99000 )
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250K
Median Salary for an Advanced Degree Holder  ( 55600 to 125400 )
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250K

Some careers associated with engineering physics 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 engineering physics have obtained the following education levels.

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Education Level Percentage of Workers
High School Diploma - or the equivalent (for example, GED) 0.2%
Some College Courses 0.2%
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree) 2.0%
Bachelor’s Degree 41.0%
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. 4.3%
Master’s Degree 24.2%
Post-Master’s Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Master’s degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees at the doctoral level. 2.8%
First Professional Degree - awarded for completion of a program that: requires at least 2 years of college work before entrance into the program, includes a total of at least 6 academic years of work to complete, and provides all remaining academic requirements to begin practice in a profession. 0.6%
Doctoral Degree 16.9%
Post-Doctoral Training 7.1%

Online Engineering Physics Programs

In the 2018-2019 academic year, 125 schools offered some type of engineering physics program. 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) 0 0
Certificate (1-2 years) 0 0
Certificate (2-4 Years) 0 0
Associate’s Degree 1 0
Bachelor’s Degree 2 1
Post-Baccalaureate 0 0
Master’s Degree 21 0
Post-Master’s 2 0
Doctor’s Degree (Research) 16 0
Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice) 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Other) 0 0

Is a Degree in Engineering Physics Worth It?

The median salary for a engineering physics grad is $125,280 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

This is 214% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $1,707,600 after 20 years!

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You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to engineering physics.

Major Number of Grads
Mechanical Engineering 47,405
Electrical Engineering 31,384
Civil Engineering 21,938
Computer Engineering 15,891
Chemical Engineering 14,406
Biomedical Engineering 12,001
General Engineering 11,739
Industrial Engineering 9,410
Aerospace & Aeronautical Engineering 7,069
Materials Engineering 3,538
Systems Engineering 3,491
Other Engineering 2,982
Environmental Engineering 2,850
Petroleum Engineering 2,269
Operations Research 1,745
Agricultural Engineering 1,554
Engineering Science 1,515
Architectural Engineering 1,019
Nuclear Engineering 1,014
Robotics Engineering 943
Manufacturing Engineering 932
Construction Engineering 865
Marine Engineering 481
Geoscience Engineering 424
Polymer & Plastics Engineering 387
Biological Engineering 374
Textile Engineering 366
Ocean Engineering 346
Mining Engineering 340
Engineering Mechanics 314
Metallurgical Engineering 235
Biochemical Engineering 118
Ceramic Engineering 101
Surveying Engineering 89
Electromechanical Engineering 65
Forest Engineering 52
Paper Science & Engineering 44
Engineering Chemistry 9

References

*The racial-ethnic minorities count is calculated by taking the total number of students and subtracting white students, international students, and students whose race/ethnicity was unknown. This number is then divided by the total number of students at the school to obtain the racial-ethnic minorities percentage.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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