Physicists
SOC: 19-2012.00

Description:

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


National Salary Information:

Hourly Statistics:

Annual Statistics:

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 wage data.


Employment Projections:

Employment (2014):
18,100 employed

Projected (2024):
19,500 employed

Projected growth (2014-2024)


Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 2014-2024 employment projections external site. "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2014-2024). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.


Alternate Titles:

  • Aerodynamicist
  • Aerophysicist
  • Astrophysicist
  • Atmospheric Physicist
  • Atomic Spectroscopist
  • Biophysics Scientist
  • Cloud Physicist
  • Consultant Electronics
  • Electro Optical Engineer
  • Electro-Optical Engineer
  • Electrodynamicist
  • Experimental Physicist
  • Fluid Dynamicist
  • Health Physicist
  • Laser Engineer
  • Mass Spectroscopist
  • Mathematical Physicist
  • Medical Physicist
  • Molecular Physicist
  • Molecular Spectroscopist
  • Nanotechnologist
  • Nuclear Physicist
  • Nuclear Scientist
  • Nuclear Spectroscopist
  • Optical Instrument Specialist
  • Optical Scientist
  • Physical Aerodynamicist
  • Physicist
  • Physics Professor
  • Radiation Control Health Physicist
  • Radiation Protection Technician
  • Research Consultant
  • Research Physicist
  • Research Professor
  • Research Scientist
  • Rheologist
  • Rocket Scientist
  • Scientist
  • Scientist Electronics
  • Space Physicist
  • Theoretical Physicist
  • Thermodynamic Physicist
  • Thermodynamicist
  • Weapons Designer
  • Weapons Engineer


  • Job Zone Five: Extensive Preparation Needed

    Experience:

    Extensive skill, knowledge, and experience are needed for these occupations. Many require more than five years of experience. For example, surgeons must complete four years of college and an additional five to seven years of specialized medical training to be able to do their job.

    Education:

    Most of these occupations require graduate school. For example, they may require a master's degree, and some require a Ph.D., M.D., or J.D. (law degree).

    Job Training:

    Employees may need some on-the-job training, but most of these occupations assume that the person will already have the required skills, knowledge, work-related experience, and/or training.


    Required Skills:

  • Reading Comprehension
  • Active Listening
  • Writing
  • Speaking
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Critical Thinking
  • Active Learning
  • Learning Strategies
  • Monitoring
  • Social Perceptiveness
  • Coordination
  • Persuasion
  • Negotiation
  • Instructing
  • Service Orientation
  • Complex Problem Solving
  • Operations Analysis
  • Technology Design
  • Equipment Selection
  • Programming
  • Operation Monitoring
  • Operation and Control
  • Troubleshooting
  • Quality Control Analysis
  • Judgment and Decision Making
  • Systems Analysis
  • Systems Evaluation
  • Time Management
  • Management of Financial Resources
  • Management of Material Resources
  • Management of Personnel Resources

  • Knowledge Used:

  • Administration and Management
  • Clerical
  • Economics and Accounting
  • Sales and Marketing
  • Customer and Personal Service
  • Personnel and Human Resources
  • Production and Processing
  • Computers and Electronics
  • Engineering and Technology
  • Design
  • Mechanical
  • Mathematics
  • Physics
  • Chemistry
  • Biology
  • Psychology
  • Medicine and Dentistry
  • Education and Training
  • English Language
  • Foreign Language
  • Public Safety and Security
  • Law and Government
  • Telecommunications
  • Communications and Media


  • Tasks:

  • Perform complex calculations as part of the analysis and evaluation of data, using computers.
  • Describe and express observations and conclusions in mathematical terms.
  • Analyze data from research conducted to detect and measure physical phenomena.
  • Report experimental results by writing papers for scientific journals or by presenting information at scientific conferences.
  • Design computer simulations to model physical data so that it can be better understood.
  • Collaborate with other scientists in the design, development, and testing of experimental, industrial, or medical equipment, instrumentation, and procedures.
  • Direct testing and monitoring of contamination of radioactive equipment, and recording of personnel and plant area radiation exposure data.
  • Observe the structure and properties of matter, and the transformation and propagation of energy, using equipment such as masers, lasers, and telescopes to explore and identify the basic principles governing these phenomena.
  • Develop theories and laws on the basis of observation and experiments, and apply these theories and laws to problems in areas such as nuclear energy, optics, and aerospace technology.
  • Teach physics to students.
  • Develop manufacturing, assembly, and fabrication processes of lasers, masers, infrared, and other light-emitting and light-sensitive devices.
  • Conduct application evaluations and analyze results to determine commercial, industrial, scientific, medical, military, or other uses for electro-optical devices.
  • Develop standards of permissible concentrations of radioisotopes in liquids and gases.
  • 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.

  • Tools & Technology:

  • Accelerometers
  • Analog frequency analyzers
  • Analog sound level meters
  • Analytical balances
  • Annealing furnaces
  • Arbitrary function generators
  • Argon ion lasers
  • Atomic absorption AA spectrometers
  • Atomic emission detectors AED
  • Atomic force microscopes
  • Betatrons
  • Big G torsion balances
  • Capacitance bridges
  • Cavity dumpers or drivers
  • Charge-coupled device CCD cameras
  • Computed tomography CT scanners
  • Conditioning amplifiers
  • Cryostats
  • Cyclotrons
  • Desktop computers
  • Diffusion pumps
  • Diffusion-pumped vacuum systems
  • Digital multimeters
  • Digital oscilloscopes
  • Digital plotters
  • Digital sound level meters
  • Digital voltmeters DVM
  • Diode lasers
  • Double monochromators
  • Electron microscopes
  • Fourier transform infrared FTIR spectrometers
  • Friction-force microscopes
  • Function generators
  • Galvanostats
  • Gamma ray spectrometers
  • Gas chromatography equipment
  • Gas chromatography GC injectors
  • Gaussmeters
  • Geiger-Muller counters
  • Grating monochromators
  • Headspace autosamplers
  • Helium lasers
  • Helium refrigerators
  • High intensity UV sources
  • High vacuum equipment
  • High-energy accelerators
  • High-resolution semiconductor detectors
  • High-resolution spectrometers
  • High-speed video cameras
  • Interferometers
  • Ionization chambers
  • Isotope ratio mass spectrometers
  • Laboratory box furnaces
  • Laboratory centrifugal pumps
  • Laboratory electromagnets
  • Laboratory tube furnaces
  • Laptop computers
  • Laser power meters
  • Leak detection equipment
  • Light scattering devices
  • Linear accelerators
  • Liquid helium level sensors
  • Magnetic force microscopes
  • Magnetic resonance imaging MRI systems
  • Mass spectrometers
  • Measuring microscopes
  • Mickelson interferometers
  • Microwave interferometers
  • Monochromators
  • Multiple diode lasers
  • Nanovoltmeters
  • Neutron detectors
  • Nuclear magnetic resonance NMR spectroscopes
  • Optical beamsplitting devices
  • Optical choppers
  • Optical detectors
  • Optical tables
  • Optical tweezers
  • Particle counters
  • Personal computers
  • Photodetectors
  • Photometers
  • Photon counting systems
  • Pinhole filters
  • Pistonphones
  • Portable fast Fourier transform FFT analyzers
  • Positive ion accelerators
  • Power amplifiers
  • Prism spectrometers
  • Programmable phase modulators
  • Pulsed nitrogen lasers
  • Radiation detecting film badges
  • Radiofrequency RF generators
  • Safety goggles
  • Scanning electron microscopes SEM
  • Scanning monochromators
  • Scanning tunneling microscopes STM
  • Scintillation probes
  • Semiconductor parameter analyzers
  • Signal generators
  • Single frequency dye lasers
  • Sound intensity probes
  • Spectrophotometers
  • Spectrum analyzers
  • Spring scales
  • Surface profilometers
  • Telescopes
  • Thermoluminescent dosimeters
  • Transmission electron microscopes TEM
  • Turbo-pumped vacuum systems
  • Two-channel dynamic signal analyzers
  • Two-channel fast Fourier transform FFT analyzers
  • Two-channel network analyzers
  • Vacuum stations
  • Vernier force sensors
  • Vibrating sample magnetometers
  • Vibration exciters
  • Visible spectrometers
  • X ray crystallography equipment
  • X ray photoemission spectrometers
  • Zeeman split lasers
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Audition
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Photoshop software
  • Aptech Systems GAUSS software
  • Assembler
  • Autodesk AutoCAD software
  • C
  • CERN Physics Analysis Workstation PAW
  • CERN ROOT
  • COMSOL Multiphysics
  • Criss Software XRF11
  • Dose modeling software
  • Experimental Physics and Industrial Control System EPICS
  • Formula translation/translator FORTRAN
  • GNU Image Manipulation Program GIMP
  • GNU Octave
  • Gnuplot
  • JavaScript
  • Lenox Softworks VideoPoint
  • Linux
  • Maplesoft Maple
  • Mathsoft Mathcad
  • Microsoft Access
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Office software
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Microsoft Visual Basic
  • Microsoft Visual C++
  • Microsoft Visual J++
  • Microsoft Word
  • MySQL software
  • National Instruments LabVIEW
  • OriginLab Origin
  • Pascal
  • Ploticus
  • Practical extraction and reporting language Perl
  • Python
  • Radiation dose calculation software
  • REDUCE
  • RibbonSoft QCad
  • RSI interactive data language IDL software
  • SciGraphica
  • SciLab
  • Scribus software
  • Spectral Dynamics STAR
  • Spectroscopy software
  • SQLite
  • Statistical software
  • Sun Microsystems Java
  • Synergy Software KaleidaGraph
  • Systat Software SigmaPlot
  • The MathWorks MATLAB
  • UNIX
  • Vector Fields OPERA-3d
  • Video analysis software
  • Wolfram Research Mathematica
  • Xfig
  • XV


  • life physical and social science


    industry stats

    SOC: 19-0000

    Total Employed: 1,146,110

    Average Annual Salary: $71,220