Physicists study the fundamental nature of the universe, ranging from the vastness of space to the smallest of subatomic particles. They develop new technologies, methods, and theories based on the results of their research to deepen our understanding of how things work and contribute to innovative, real-world applications.
In order to specialize, graduate work is essential. One with a Bachelor’s degree usually starts out as a technician and will advance to independent research and leadership with experience, competence in the field, and advanced education.
Employment of physicists is expected to increase by 14 percent from 2010 to 2020, as fast as the average for all occupations.
For physicists, the median annual wage was $106,370. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $58,850, and the top 10 percent earned at least $166,400.
The median annual wage of biophysicists was $79,390 in May 2010. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $43,050, and the top 10 percent earned more than $142,420.
Career information adapted from:
- U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2012). Occupational Outlook Handbook. Retrieved from http://www.bls.gov/ooh