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What Can You Do With A Major In Physics?  

Physics uses the language of mathematics to make predictive models of the universe and its components.  The importance of physics in the intellectual and economic life of the 21st century is clear to thoughtful individuals. The increased use of complex technologies in microelectronics, environmental physics, optics, space and renewable energies, defense, health care, nanotechnology, manufacturing and other industries provides ample evidence that the value of understanding physics will continue to increase for individuals and society.


Traditional Physics
Physics-Civil Engineering
Physics-Computing Emphasis
Physics-Electrical Engineering
Physics-Mechanical Engineering
PreMedical Physics
Materials Science

Typical Career Paths

Acoustical Physics

Chemical Physics
Condensed Matter
Engineering Physics
Medical Physics
Health Physics
Nuclear Physics
Optical Physics
Particle/High Energy Physics
Science Education

Typical Job Titles

Note: Some of these occupations might require advanced degrees


Acoustics Physicist   Geodesist
National Laboratory Research   Aerodynamist
Geophysicist   Nuclear Magnetic Resonance
Aerospace Testing   High-tech Designer
Nuclear Physicist   Astronomer
Hydrologist   Nuclear Power Plant Manager
Astrophysicist   Industrial Hygienist
Medical Devices Designer   Atomic Physicist
Laboratory Technician   Physicist
Biophysicist   Lawyer, Technology Speciality
Physics Researcher   Cardiac Imaging Researcher
Mathematician   Physiognomist
Chemical Physicist   Teacher
Plasma Physicist   Computer Specialist
Medical Physicist   Process Engineer
Computer System Engineer   Medical Products Designer
Radiological Laboratory Director   Engineer
Meterologist   Research and Development
Fluids Physicist   Molecular Physicist
Technical Salesperson   Research Assistant
Seismologist   Technical Writer
Satellite Data Analyst   Solid Earth Physicist
Test Engineer   Satellite Missions Analyst
Solid State Physicist   Technical Consultant
Science Teacher   Stratigrapher
Air Traffic Controller   Science Writer
Agriculture Scientist   Environmental Health Specialist
Automotive Engineer   Environmental Analyst
Industrial Hygienist   Forensic Scientist
Health Physicist   Optometrist
Occupational Safety Specialist   Oceanographer
Systems Analyst   Quality Control Manager
Scientific Photographer   Technical Illustrator
Particle Accelerator Operations Analyst    

Typical Employers/Work Settings

Aerospace Industry   Colleges/Universities
Communications Industry   Computer Hardware and Software Firms
Consulting Firms   Corporations
Elementary Schools   Federal Agencies
Financial Institutions   Government Agencies
Insurance Firms   Market Research Firms
Manufacturing Firms   Pharmaceuticals
Real Estate   Observatories
Planetariums   Science Museums
Non Profit Organizations   Hospitals
Electronics Industry   Engineering


Match This Major To Careers

Question Mark with wording What Can I do with this major?

Beginning Salary Ranges -Typical Salaries

According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) Summer 2011 Salary Survey, beginning salaries, on average, for graduates with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Physics start at about $52971.

Salary Resources

Skills Needed For This Career

Define Research Problems   Develop and write research proposals
Measure distances/relationships   Design equipment
Develop research models   Review scientific literature
Perform calculations   Identify/classify materials
Establish hypotheses   Summarize research findings
Mathematical modeling   Observe data
Gather/analyze data   Inform, explain, instruct
Maintain records   Establish experimental designs
Evaluate ideas   Prepare technical reports
Utilize math formulas   Use instruments
See relationships among factors   Draw meaningful conclusions

Links To Professional Associations

Professional Associations are important to explore because many offer student memberships and can give you access to other professionals and their experiences, research, convention or workshop opportunities, professional development and most importantly job databases.
American Association for the Advancement of Science
American Institute of Physics
American Nuclear Society
American Physics Society
National Academy of Sciences

International Association of Physics Students

Society of Physics Students

American Physical Society
American Astronomical Society
American Vacuum Society (AVS)
American Association of Physicists in Medicine
American Association of Physics Teachers
Biophysical Society
Materials Research Society
Optical Society of America

Job Search Information

Graduate Schools

Applying To Graduate and Professional Schools

Link To UNF Academic Program

The College of Arts and Sciences  at the University of North Florida offers a Bachelor of Science in  Physics .

Holland Interest Codes

Astrophysics: Investigative; Artistic; Realistic (IAR)
Civil Engineering concentration: Realistic; Investigative; Conventional (RIC)
Electrical Engineering Concentration: Investigative; Realistic (IR)
Mechanical Engineering Concentration: Investigative; Realistic; Conventional (IRC)
Computing Emphasis Concentration: Investigative; Realistic; Enterprising (IRE)

Pre-Medical: Investigative; Social ; Realistic

Career Action Plan

  • Conduct an informational interview with or shadow a professional in the field to gain more knowledge about this career
  • Do at least one internship related to your career goal/program of study before graduating to gain experience
  • Get involved in volunteer work and community service
  • Develop leadership skills through on-campus activities such as Presidential Envoys, Residence Assistant, Student Government, Peer Advisor, etc.
  • Develop team skills through involvement in student clubs and organizations on campus
  • Join a professional association related to your career choice