Top 10 Careers in Physics that are Marketable in 2023

A career path in physics opens robust and plentiful employment opportunities across the STEM landscape (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics).

According to OSU, “Graduates with physics degrees earn more right out of college than any other science major. Also, physics has one of the lowest, if not the lowest, unemployment rates of any major.  Why is this? We don’t know why, but we suspect that it has something to do with a breadth of knowledge physics majors have”

If there is any reason to study physics, that should be enough motivation.

We will get right into the marketable careers in physics. Meanwhile, the table of content is below.

Table of contents

What is Physics?

Physics is the study of how various forms of matter and energy interact.

 With a physics degree, students explore and understand the universe’s fundamental building blocks, with a good range of career options after university. 

In addition, they also study forces like gravity, electricity, and magnetism to learn why everything from particles to planets move the way they do. Without the work of physicists, we wouldn’t have x-rays, lasers, light bulbs, microwaves, solar panels, televisions, airplanes, or computers.

You’ll need to know this: 10 Resources & Best Websites for Physics.

Are physicists in demand?

Before we answer the question, we would like to point out that employers highly respect Physics degrees. It also offers ample career opportunities. This is because physicists develop mathematical reasoning and critical thinking skills. As well as the ability to detect trends and patterns and communicate complex ideas.

Now to the question. The overall employment of physicists and astronomers is projected to grow 7 percent from 2019 to 2029, faster than the average for all occupations.

This entails that physicists are in high demand because of their vast abilities.

Which field in physics can I major in?

Physics is often described as the most fundamental of the sciences. Interestingly, its principles can be applied in a myriad of ways.

You can become a physicist by studying any one of several different fields of physics. Here are just a few you could choose from:

  • Atomic, molecular, and optical physics: The study of how atoms, molecules, and light interact
  • Geophysics: The study of the physical processes and properties of the earth
  • Cryogenics: The study of the behavior of materials at very low temperatures
  • Fluid mechanics: The study of how forces affect liquids, gases, and plasmas
  • Biophysics: The study of biological systems and phenomena using physical techniques
  • Nuclear physics: The study of the structure and behavior of the nucleus of an atom

How much does a physicist earn?

The salary of people who have physics majors can vary based on the level of education and the nature of the job.

For example, the typical starting salaries for physics bachelor’s degree holders range from about $28,000 for those who work as research assistants and lab technicians in colleges and universities to about $65,000 for those who found STEM-related positions in the private sector.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary among U.S. physicists is $131,080. Similarly, the average hourly rate is $63

What are the Industries that Employ Physics Graduates?

Many students wonder what careers to pursue with their physics degree upon graduation. The truth is, you can do a lot.

In fact, many industries employ young physics graduates because of their analytical and problem-solving skills.

For instance, according to the AIP report, the percentage of physics bachelor’s degree holders who enter the workforce instead of going to grad school has steadily increased yearly since 2010.

Therefore, these industries employ these marketable career personnel.

  • Education
  • Manufacturing
  • Aerospace
  • Finance
  • Defense
  • Health care
  • Energy
  • Telecommunications
  • Information technology

A Guide to the Career Path in Physics Major

Obtain a Bachelor’s Degee

The first step to starting any physics career is to obtain a bachelor’s degree. This is the basis for an entry-level career.

A bachelor’s degree usually takes four years to complete and provides a solid and broad background of information and training.

Earn a Master’s Degree

The Master stage typically takes one and a half years, the last half-year of which is devoted to the master thesis.

Gain Work Experience

Work experience is a pre-requisite for some high profile jobs, and an advanced/ doctorate.

Pursue a Doctorate Degree

A doctoral degree in physics opens you to better career opportunities. As you’ll see below, most marketable careers in physics require a doctorate.

Best Physics Schools

US News states these are the best physics schools for graduate and undergraduate programs. And they are duly accredited.

They are:

  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
  • Stanford University.
  • California Institute of Technology.
  • Harvard University.
  • Princeton University.
  • University of California–Berkeley.
  • Cornell University.
  • The University of Chicago.

This article will provide more in-depth information: 10 Best Physics Schools in the World | 2023

Marketable Careers in Physics

There are lots of careers in physics that are marketable. This section has listed the best 10.

#1. Nuclear physicist

A nuclear physicist typically researches and develops safer/more efficient ways to generate nuclear power.

This is among the highest-paying careers in physics.

The job role of this physics career may include conducting laboratory research, evaluating the safety procedures at a nuclear power plant, designing medical equipment, and performing weapons inspections for the military.

Academic Requirement

This position requires a doctoral degree.

Median Salary

The Median salary for this marketable physics career is $111,567 annually.

#2. Astronomer

Astronomers are professionals who use satellites, optical and space-based telescopes to study stars, planets, and galaxies.

They develop and explore theories about how stars form and planets evolve.

They mostly work in government research centers, though some spend much time in observatories.

Academic Requirements

This requires masters or doctoral degree

Median Salary

This marketable physics career has an average salary of $122,270.

#3. Materials scientist

This physics career investigates the structure and properties of both natural and synthetic materials and finds new ways to improve or adapt them for different uses.

A typical material scientist can design better prosthetic devices, develop new paints, or use ultrasound to uncover hidden defects in railway tracks. In addition, these scientists can work for universities, oil and gas companies, or computer manufacturers.

Academic Requirements

This also requires either a doctoral or master’s degree. Bachelors holders can work as an assistant until they have ample experience.

Median Salary

Expect to have a starting average salary of $100,430.

Read this: 21 Masters Scholarships for Physics Students 2023-2024

#4. Meteorologist

Meteorology is a branch of the atmospheric sciences that includes atmospheric chemistry and atmospheric physics, focusing on weather forecasting.

This physics career allows you to analyze atmospheric conditions and prepare accurate weather forecasts. This role can be taken in the broadcasting, agriculture, aviation, and aerospace industries.

Some meteorologists focus on researching the causes of hurricanes or tornadoes or developing computer climate change models.

Academic Requirements

A bachelor’s degree in physics is enough for some positions. But, those that focus on research will require a master’s or doctorate.

Median Salary

The average salary is $97,160.

#5. Data/ Computational scientist

Another of our top marketable careers in physics is data scientists.

Data scientists use their advanced quantitative abilities to collect, synthesize, and analyze large data sets. They might also develop new tools or processes for data collection. This data is used for business forecasts.

Computational scientists use computers to model and simulate the physical world/scientific problems. This marketable career in physics investigates phenomena like fluid flow, air turbulence, or heat transfer. And these help energy companies, biomedical firms, or aircraft manufacturers to develop better processes and products.

Academic Requirements

A graduate degree in physics can get you started in this field.

Median Salary

Median salary is $96,009. Computational scientist has a salary of $90,000.

#6. Laser engineer

These professionals design, operate, and maintain laser equipment. This requires a solid understanding of physics.

Laser engineers are a specialized type of optical engineer. These careers in physics develop laser cutting systems for manufacturing firms, produce sophisticated equipment for surgical procedures, or work on navigational systems for the military.

Opportunities are also available in the telecommunications and construction industries.

Academic Requirements

Masters and doctorate in physics


Average salary: is $94,65.

#7. Optical engineer

This marketable physics career focuses on controlling and manipulating light.

These professionals apply their knowledge of the properties of light to the design and creation of telescopes, cameras, scanners, and fiber optics communications systems.

Most of them manufacture new products while others innovate on existing ones.

Academic Requirements

You’ll need a master’s degree to get into this field.

Median Salary

The Median salary for this marketable career in physics is $89,702.

#8. Technical writer

Technical writers document technical procedures and products. They use skills in writing and communication as well as a sound understanding of scientific phenomena.

Technical writers are the bridge between the people who create the technology and the people who use it.

Academic Requirements

A degree in physics can be a good foundation for this career. Again, you need training in writing and communication.

Median Salary

Average salary is $76,860.

#9. Accelerator operator

Accelerator operation is a career in physics that controls massive particle accelerators that are an essential part of many scientific research experiments.

The role of this marketable career in physics involves monitoring, adjusting, and repairing equipments that help scientists study the behavior of subatomic particles.

Academic Requirements

A bachelor’s or associate’s in solid physics can get you the job, but you should expect to undergo long hours of on-the-job training.


Average salary is $70,812.

#10. High school physics teacher

This can be a very rewarding career in physics. You’ll essentially make the laws of nature understandable to the young.

According to tradeschools, one survey found that more than three-quarters of those who completed a bachelor’s degree in physics and went on to teach high school were satisfied with their jobs.

Academic Requirement

Bachelor degree in physics can start this career in physics. However, you have to be licensed to teach public school. Still, some states have special certification processes for people with bachelor’s degrees, so you may be able to start teaching immediately.


The Average salary is $65,930.

Some other highly marketable careers in physics include:

  • Quantitative research analyst
  • Solar physicist
  • Energy policy analyst
  • Research Associate
  • Software Developer
  • Systems Analyst
  • Technical Specialist
  • Web Developer

Entry-Level Physics Major Jobs

These are some of the most marketable careers in physics for those who majored in physics and have only a bachelor’s degree.

  • Research assistant
  • Lab assistant
  • IT consultant
  • Test engineer
  • Field engineer
  • Optical engineer

Careers in theoretical physics?

These jobs are directly related to your physics degree. These include.

  • Academic researcher
  • Acoustic consultant
  • Astronomer
  • Clinical scientist, medical physics
  • Geophysicist
  • Higher education lecturer
  • Metallurgist
  • Meteorologist
  • Nanotechnologist
  • Radiation protection practitioner
  • Research scientist (physical sciences)
  • Secondary school teacher
  • Sound engineer
  • Technical author

FAQs on Marketable Physics Careers

What are the careers in Physics?

The typical careers in physics include:
a. Geophysics and meteorology careers
b. Physics careers in technology
c. Physics careers in Energy
d. Careers in engineering
e. Physics careers in healthcare
f. Physics careers in space and astronomy
g. Research scientist careers

What jobs can physics degree holders get?

Bachelors and associate degree holders get the following physics jobs.
Research assistant
Lab assistant
IT consultant
Test engineer
Field engineer
Optical engineer


The article concludes that there are various interesting career paths in physics, and they’re all highly marketable.

These should motivate you to pursue a career in physics as they are highly rewarding financially.

We have taken the initiative to list the best physics colleges you can attend for the best education. Best of luck!



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