Also known as Biophysics Scientist, Health Physicist, Medical Physicist, Physicist, Research Consultant, Research Physicist, Research Scientist, Scientist
Also known as Biophysics Scientist, Health Physicist, Medical Physicist
Physicists conduct research into physical phenomena, develop theories on the basis of observation and experiments, and devise methods to apply physical laws and theories.
Physicists are often responsible for overseeing or executing some or all of the following tasks:
The above responsibilities are specific to Physicists. More generally, Physicists are involved in several broader types of activities:
The median salary for a Physicist is $129,850, and the average salary is $137,700. Both the median and average roughly describe the middle of the Physicist salary range, but the average is more easily affected by extremely high or low salaries.
Many Physicists earn significantly more or less than the average, due to several factors. About 10% of Physicists earn less than $67,450 per year, 25% earn less than $95,020, 75% earn less than $170,810, and 90% earn more than $208,000.
Between the years of 2020 and 2030, the number of Physicists is expected to change by 8.6%, and there should be roughly 1,300 open positions for Physicists every year.
Career interests describe a person's preferences for different types of working environments and activities. When a person's interest match the demands of an occupation, people are usually more engaged and satisfied in that role.
Compared to most occupations, those who work as a Physicist are usually higher in their Investigative and Realistic interests.
Physicists typically have very strong Investigative interests. Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
Also, Physicists typically have moderate Realistic interests. Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
People differ in their values, or what is most important to them for building job satisfaction and fulfillment.
Compared to most people, those working as a Physicist tend to value Recognition, Working Conditions, and Independence.
Most importantly, Physicists very strongly value Recognition. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer advancement, potential for leadership, and are often considered prestigious.
Second, Physicists very strongly value Working Conditions. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions.
Lastly, Physicists very strongly value Independence. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions.
Each occupation brings its own set of psychological demands, which describe the characteristics necessary to perform the job well.
In order to perform their job successfully, people who work as Physicists must consistently demonstrate qualities such as innovation, achievement/effort, and analytical thinking.
Below, you'll find a list of qualities typically required of Physicists, ranked by importance:
Many Physicists have earned a graduate degree. For example, they may require a master's degree, and some require a doctoral degree, such as a Ph.D., M.D., or J.D..
Physicists may need some on-the-job training, but most candidates will already have the required skills, knowledge, work-related experience, and/or training.
Physicists may benefit from understanding of specialized subject areas, such as physics, mathematics, or engineering and technology knowledge.
The list below shows several areas in which most Physicists might want to build proficiency, ranked by importance.
Physicists must develop a particular set of abilities to perform their job well. Abilities are individual capacities that influence a person's information processing, sensory perception, motor coordination, and physical strength or endurance. Individuals may naturally have certain abilities without explicit training, but most abilities can be sharpened somewhat through practice.
For example, Physicists need abilities such as mathematical reasoning, number facility, and written comprehension in order to perform their job at a high level. The list below shows several important abilities for Physicists, ranked by their relative importance.
Skills are developed capacities that enable people to function effectively in real-world settings. Unlike abilities, skills are typically easier to build through practice and experience. Skills influence effectiveness in areas such as learning, working with others, design, troubleshooting, and more.
Physicists frequently use skills like science, reading comprehension, and mathematics to perform their job effectively. The list below shows several critical skills for Physicists, ranked by their relative importance.
The information provided on this page is adapted from data and descriptions published by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration under the CC BY 4.0 license. TraitLab has modified some information for ease of use and reading, and the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment, and Training Administration has not approved, endorsed, or tested these modifications.
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