Physicist Career Profile

Pursuing a physicist career can provide you with a very challenging and rewarding career for the future. Physicists help society in a number of different ways and they are highly sought after. Here are the basics of being a physicist and what you should expect out of the job.

Becoming a Physicist

In order to become a physicist, you will first have to obtain a bachelors degree in physics. From there, you should go to graduate school and obtain your masters degree. If you plan on working in a research capacity, you will need to obtain your PhD in physics. This will require you to go through a 4 to 5 year process and work with a thesis advisor. You will have to publish original research in the area of physics in order to get your doctorate. During the process of your education, you will have to learn a substantial amount of math and science. You will also have to become proficient with computers and technological equipment.

Basic Tasks

Physics is a very large area that covers many different topics. Therefore, the day-to-day operations of a physicist can vary greatly. Many physicists choose to teach physics and are therefore employed by schools and universities. Their job will consist of working in a classroom and teaching physics concepts to students. Many physicists also work in the theory aspect of physics. They try to identify the laws of nature and come up with concepts that apply to physics. Other physicists apply this knowledge to more practical matters. They might try to invent some new type of technology that can help industry and society. Physicists typically conduct a lot of research and have a thirst to obtain new knowledge. Physicists have been behind the invention of some of the greatest devices and concepts in the world today.

Work Schedule

Since the work of a physicist can vary greatly from one physicist to the next, work schedules will also vary. If you work in a teaching position, your work schedule will be regular and associate with the hours of the school. If you work in a research laboratory, you will typically work throughout the week on a 40 hour schedule. However, many physicists work much more than this as they are very involved in their work. This is especially true if they are conducting their own research and working independently.


The average salary of a physicist is approximately $90,000 per year. As they progress in the field, they will have more opportunities to increase their salary in a number of different ways.

Opportunities for Advancement

Physicists have a number of different opportunities to advance their careers. Working in a lab, you will have the opportunity to move up to a management position over other physicists. Physicists can also develop consulting businesses and eventually run their own research labs. Physicists also have a wealth of opportunities to publish their research and pursue other endeavors as well.