Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics > Science and Mathematics

Projected Growth: Faster than average

Projected Job Openings

Extensive Preparation Needed

Job Description

Your job is to Conduct research into physical phenomena, develop theories on the basis of observation and experiments, and devise methods to apply physical laws and theories.

Common job titles of Physicists include:

Experience and Education

Extensive skill, knowledge, and experience are needed for these occupations. Many require more than five years of experience. For example, surgeons must complete four years of college and an additional five to seven years of specialized medical training to be able to do their job.

  • 29.19% said they needed a Post-Doctoral Training.

  • 23.01% said they needed a Doctoral Degree.


    Develop manufacturing, assembly, and fabrication processes of lasers, masers, infrared, and other light-emitting and light-sensitive devices.

    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.

    Develop theories and laws on the basis of observation and experiments, and apply these theories and laws to problems in areas such as nuclear energy, optics, and aerospace technology.

    Direct testing and monitoring of contamination of radioactive equipment, and recording of personnel and plant area radiation exposure data.

    Conduct application evaluations and analyze results to determine commercial, industrial, scientific, medical, military, or other uses for electro-optical devices.

    Teach physics to students.

    Observe the structure and properties of matter, and the transformation and propagation of energy, using equipment such as masers, lasers, and telescopes to explore and identify the basic principles governing these phenomena.

    Collaborate with other scientists in the design, development, and testing of experimental, industrial, or medical equipment, instrumentation, and procedures.

    Design computer simulations to model physical data so that it can be better understood.

    Describe and express observations and conclusions in mathematical terms.

    Report experimental results by writing papers for scientific journals or by presenting information at scientific conferences.

    Advise authorities of procedures to be followed in radiation incidents or hazards, and assist in civil defense planning.

    Conduct research pertaining to potential environmental impacts of atomic energy-related industrial development to determine licensing qualifications.

    Develop standards of permissible concentrations of radioisotopes in liquids and gases.


Zeeman split lasers

X ray photoemission spectrometers

X ray crystallography equipment

Visible spectrometers

Vibration exciters

Vibrating sample magnetometers

Vernier force sensors

All Tools

Vacuum stations

Two-channel network analyzers

Two-channel fast Fourier transform FFT analyzers

Two-channel dynamic signal analyzers

Turbo-pumped vacuum systems

Transmission electron microscopes TEM

Thermoluminescent dosimeters


Surface profilometers

Spring scales

Spectrum analyzers


Sound intensity probes

Single frequency dye lasers

Signal generators

Semiconductor parameter analyzers

Scintillation probes

Scanning tunneling microscopes STM

Scanning monochromators

Scanning electron microscopes SEM

Safety goggles

Radiofrequency RF generators

Radiation detecting film badges

Pulsed nitrogen lasers

Programmable phase modulators

Prism spectrometers

Power amplifiers

Positive ion accelerators

Portable fast Fourier transform FFT analyzers


Pinhole filters

Photon counting systems



Personal computers

Particle counters

Optical tweezers

Optical tables

Optical detectors

Optical choppers

Optical beamsplitting devices

Nuclear magnetic resonance NMR spectroscopes

Neutron detectors


Multiple diode lasers


Microwave interferometers

Mickelson interferometers

Measuring microscopes

Mass spectrometers

Magnetic resonance imaging MRI systems

Magnetic force microscopes

Liquid helium level sensors

Linear accelerators

Light scattering devices

Leak detection equipment

Laser power meters

Laptop computers

Laboratory tube furnaces

Laboratory electromagnets

Laboratory centrifugal pumps

Laboratory box furnaces

Isotope ratio mass spectrometers

Ionization chambers


High-speed video cameras

High-resolution spectrometers

High-resolution semiconductor detectors

High-energy accelerators

High vacuum equipment

High intensity UV sources

Helium refrigerators

Helium lasers

Headspace autosamplers

Grating monochromators

Geiger-Muller counters


Gas chromatography GC injectors

Gas chromatography equipment

Gamma ray spectrometers


Function generators

Friction-force microscopes

Fourier transform infrared FTIR spectrometers

Electron microscopes

Double monochromators

Diode lasers

Digital voltmeters DVM

Digital sound level meters

Digital plotters

Digital oscilloscopes

Digital multimeters

Diffusion-pumped vacuum systems

Diffusion pumps

Desktop computers



Conditioning amplifiers

Computed tomography CT scanners

Charge-coupled device CCD cameras

Cavity dumpers or drivers

Capacitance bridges

Big G torsion balances


Atomic force microscopes

Atomic emission detectors AED

Atomic absorption AA spectrometers

Argon ion lasers

Arbitrary function generators

Annealing furnaces

Analytical balances

Analog sound level meters

Analog frequency analyzers



Adobe Systems Adobe Photoshop

Ansible software

Autodesk AutoCAD


Eclipse IDE

Extensible markup language XML


All Technologies



Mathsoft Mathcad

Microsoft Azure


National Instruments LabVIEW

Practical extraction and reporting language Perl



RibbonSoft QCad

The MathWorks MATLAB


Adobe Systems Adobe Audition

Aptech Systems GAUSS



CERN Physics Analysis Workstation PAW


COMSOL Multiphysics

Criss Software XRF11

Dose modeling software

Experimental Physics and Industrial Control System EPICS

Formula translation/translator FORTRAN

GNU Image Manipulation Program GIMP

GNU Octave


Lenox Softworks VideoPoint

Maplesoft Maple

Microsoft Visual C++

Microsoft Visual J++


Oracle software

OriginLab Origin



Radiation dose calculation software


RSI interactive data language IDL software




Software development tools

Spectral Dynamics STAR

Spectroscopy software


Sun Microsystems Java

Synergy Software KaleidaGraph

Systat Software SigmaPlot

Vector Fields OPERA-3d

Video analysis software


Wolfram Research Mathematica





Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.


Using mathematics to solve problems.

Critical Thinking

Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Reading Comprehension

Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.


Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Complex Problem Solving

Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.

Active Listening

Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Active Learning

Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.

Judgment and Decision Making

Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.


Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

Learning Strategies

Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.


Teaching others how to do something.


Writing computer programs for various purposes.

Time Management

Managing one's own time and the time of others.


Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

Systems Analysis

Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.

Social Perceptiveness

Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.


Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.


Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.

Systems Evaluation

Identifying measures or indicators of system performance and the actions needed to improve or correct performance, relative to the goals of the system.

Service Orientation

Actively looking for ways to help people.

Technology Design

Generating or adapting equipment and technology to serve user needs.


Choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem.

Cognitive Abilities › Quantitative Abilities › Mathematical Reasoning

Listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.

Cognitive Abilities › Verbal Abilities › Oral Comprehension

Read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.

Cognitive Abilities › Verbal Abilities › Written Comprehension

Combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).

Cognitive Abilities › Idea Generation and Reasoning Abilities › Inductive Reasoning

Add, subtract, multiply, or divide quickly and correctly.

Cognitive Abilities › Quantitative Abilities › Number Facility

Communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.

Cognitive Abilities › Verbal Abilities › Oral Expression

Come up with unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop creative ways to solve a problem.

Cognitive Abilities › Idea Generation and Reasoning Abilities › Originality

Apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.

Cognitive Abilities › Idea Generation and Reasoning Abilities › Deductive Reasoning

Come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity).

Cognitive Abilities › Idea Generation and Reasoning Abilities › Fluency of Ideas

Arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).

Cognitive Abilities › Idea Generation and Reasoning Abilities › Information Ordering

Tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.

Cognitive Abilities › Idea Generation and Reasoning Abilities › Problem Sensitivity

Generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.

Cognitive Abilities › Idea Generation and Reasoning Abilities › Category Flexibility

Speak clearly so others can understand you.

Auditory and Speech Abilities › Sensory Abilities › Speech Clarity

Communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.

Cognitive Abilities › Verbal Abilities › Written Expression

See details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).

Sensory Abilities › Visual Abilities › Near Vision

Identify and understand the speech of another person.

Auditory and Speech Abilities › Sensory Abilities › Speech Recognition

Imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.

Cognitive Abilities › Spatial Abilities › Visualization

Quickly make sense of, combine, and organize information into meaningful patterns.

Cognitive Abilities › Perceptual Abilities › Speed of Closure

Concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.

Attentiveness › Cognitive Abilities › Selective Attention

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