Physics is a science dealing with the interaction of matter and energy. Physicists study the behavior and structure of matter, the ways that energy is generated and transferred, and the relationships between matter and energy. They perform experiments and analyze the products or results of those experiments. They may teach, oversee scientific projects, or act as consultants in a laboratory. They investigate and attempt to understand the fundamental laws of nature and how these laws may be formulated and put to use. Physicists work in a large range of capacities and the field consists of many specialties, such as health physics, which is concerned with radiation safety. There are approximately 17,340 physicists employed in the United States.

Quick Facts
Duties Study the fundamental nature of the universe; develop new technologies, methods, and theories based on research results to contribute to innovative, real-world applications
Alternate Title(s) Applied Physicists, Experimental Physicists, Medical Physicists, Theoretical Physicists
Salary Range $50,000 to $100,000+
Employment Prospects Fair
Advancement Prospects Good
Work Environment Primarily Indoors
Best Geographical Location(s) Opportunities are available in all regions
Education and Training
  • Master's Degree
  • Doctorate
Related School Subjects
  • Chemistry
  • Mathematics
  • Physics
Experience Graduate-level research; certification in health physics generally requires the completion of a fellowship
  • Math
  • Research
  • Scientific
Personality Traits
  • Curious
  • Problem-Solving
  • Scientific
Licensure/Certification Required
Special Requirements None
Career Ladder
  • Senior Physicist
  • Physicist
  • Assistant Physicist

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