Physics Degree Job Opportunities

Find Career and Employment Opportunities in Physics

Physics degrees are a part of a complex scientific field that help to explain our universe. Students that pursue this degree program will be prepared to work in a variety of careers including a job as a physicist, petroleum engineer, or computer scientist.

Physics Degree Programs

Physics programs are concerned with how things work, which is one of the most basic principles that underlie all phenomena in the universe. They may examine the behavior of collections of particles, question space and time, or explore the behavior of energy and matter. In addition to physics courses, students pursuing a degree in general physics may be asked to complete some or all of the following coursework:

  • Calculus
  • Electromagnetic fields and waves
  • Intermediate mechanics
  • Quantum physics
  • Statistical thermodynamics
  • Electronics for scientists
  • Statistics

Students that complete a degree program in general physics may be prepared to pursue a career as a computer scientist, physicist, or petroleum engineer.

Computer Scientist Job Opportunities for Physics Degree Graduates

A computer scientist will work within the private sector or academic settings to develop new technology. They also need to apply concepts to solve technical problems, and they can work in a research setting while attempting to solve some of these abstract issues. Computer scientists may work for a number of different businesses and industries that wish to find technologies to make their organization more practical. Computer scientists meet with managers to solicit cooperation and resolve problems. They also conduct analyses of scientific, engineering, business, and other technical problems. In addition, private sector computer scientists may also be responsible for supervising other employees and fulfilling a management role. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for a computer and information scientist was $101,570 in 2009.

Physicist Job Opportunities for Physics Degree Graduates

Physicists conduct research into the phases of physical phenomenal. They develop laws and theories based on experimentation and observations, and they perform complex calculations as part of their analysis and evaluation of data. They describe and express observations and conclusions in mathematical terms and analyze data from research conducted. They may also report experimental results by writing papers for scientific journals or presenting information at conferences. They also direct testing and monitoring of contamination of radioactive equipment and record plant area and personnel radiation exposure data. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for a physicist in 2009 was $106,390 or $51.15 per hour. Projected growth in this field is expected to be faster than average with an anticipated 7,000 job openings through 2018.

Petroleum Engineer Job Opportunities for Physics Degree Graduates

Petroleum engineers are employed in order to find ways to find and collect fossil fuels. This may include oil, coal, and gas, and these resources are needed in order to generate power and electricity for cars and entire cities. They also need to use their skills to design more efficient ways to complete methods of extraction for these fossil fuels. Petroleum engineers interpret drilling and testing information for personnel. They monitor production rates and plan rework processes to improve production. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, this career field will see a decline in demand within the next several years, since most of the petroleum sources within the United States have already been tapped. However, there are not many new workers trying to enter this field, so opportunities may be presented. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for a petroleum engineer in 2009 was $108,910.

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