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Physicist

Overview and Key Facts

Experimental physicists in a lab
Education
Education
Doctoral or professional degree
Median Pay
Median Pay
$152,430
Job Growth
Job Growth
8.20%
(Above US Average)
Jobs in 2031
Jobs in 2031
24,800

What Do They Do?

A physicist could...

Overview Listen to this section

Physicists have a big goal in mind—to understand the nature of the entire universe and everything in it! To reach that goal, they observe and measure natural events seen on Earth and in the universe, and then develop theories, using mathematics, to explain why those phenomena occur. Physicists take on the challenge of explaining events that happen on the grandest scale imaginable to those that happen at the level of the smallest atomic particles. Their theories are then applied to human-scale projects to bring people new technologies, like computers, lasers, and fusion energy.
Watch this video to visit the largest international particle physics laboratory in the world—CERN—where physicists smash atomic particles together in a 16 mile circular loop that passes through two countries.

Do You Have the Skills and Characteristics of a Physicist?


  1. Science: ?
  2. Reading Comprehension: ?
  3. Mathematics: ?
  4. Speaking: ?
  5. Critical Thinking: ?

Core Tasks

Think about if you'd like the typical tasks a Physicist might do:
  • Perform complex calculations as part of the analysis and evaluation of data, using computers.
  • Analyze data from research conducted to detect and measure physical phenomena.
  • Describe and express observations and conclusions in mathematical terms.
  • Design computer simulations to model physical data so that it can be better understood.
  • Write research proposals to receive funding.
  • Teach physics to students.
  • Report experimental results by writing papers for scientific journals or by presenting information at scientific conferences.

Salary & Job Openings

Steps to Get There: Becoming a Physicist

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On the Job

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