Salaries For A Physicist- Find More About It

Leading the way in technological development and raising living conditions are physicists. They are responsible for advancing knowledge about how things function and how they can be useful to humanity. To get a job as a physicist, it is required that you are educated; you must have gained education up to a doctoral or a professional degree for an entry-level position. Let us know more detail about ‘Salaries For A Physicist’.

Salaries For A Physicist

Salaries For A Physicist

The average annual salary of a physicist in the United States is about $100,100 with a range that falls between $46,000 and $202,000. Most entry-level positions come with a salary of about $50,000 per year. A physicist earns up to about $46.89 per hour. The median annual wage for a physicist is $155,870. 

Overview: Salaries For A Physicist

A physicist’s salary might depend on the location, industry, experience, and skills. A physicist with above 10 years of experience earns twice as much as an entry-level physicist. Also, a physicist with a PhD will earn twice as much as one with a bachelor’s degree. Part of the benefits physicists receives as part of their salary are medical insurance, work leave, bonuses, and trips. Some physicists claim to have received high bonuses from their workplace some have also claimed to receive moderate bonuses and others claim that there are no bonuses.  

Highest Paying Physicist Jobs 

There are different jobs available for physicists to apply for based on the skills and the roles that are to be performed. These include

  • Medical Physicist: Their major role involves working with diagnostic and medical imaging equipment such as x-ray machines, radiology, etc., in the hospital setting. Their salary ranges between $191,000 and $312,000 which is higher than the average salary in the US.
  • Chief Medical Physicist: They usually oversee the radiology department in hospitals and they ensure that all equipment is properly calibrated and correctly used. They receive a salary that falls between $169,500 and $287,500. 
  • Computational Physicists: They are responsible for the application of numerical analysis to support theories in physics. They earn about $86,500 to $140,000 per year. 
  • Experimental Physicists: They are responsible for researching known scientific theories of matter and energy. They earn about $58,000 to $166,500 per year.
  • Physical Scientist: They work as researchers and design data models or perform analysis. Their salary ranges between $112,500 and $137,500. 
  • Senior Petrophysicist: Although job opportunities are limited, they earn a salary within the range of $85,000 and $137,500. 
  • Health Physics Technician: They are responsible for ensuring that workers are protected from hazardous and radioactive materials at the workplace. They receive an annual salary of about $46,000 to $45,000.  

Top Ten High Paying States in the US for a Physicist 

In the US, there has been a high demand for physicists as they are needed in both academic and industrial fields. The following states are confirmed to offer the highest pay to physicists. They include Connecticut with about $132,250, West Virginia with an average annual salary of about $123,900, and New Mexico with about $111,000. Massachusetts pays an average salary of about $121,700, Maryland with about $121,700, Tennessee with about $108,200, and New York with about $128,100. Rhode Island also pays an annual average salary of about $108,900, the District of Columbia with $111,000, and Pennsylvania with $105,897.

Roles of a Physicist

Physicists are either researchers or lecturers who impact knowledge on students, hence, their roles may differ. They conduct research in exploring the interaction between energy and matter. Different scientific theories have been made from this research conducted. Research is done either in the field as a field study or in the laboratory as lab work. After the research, physicists create journals/publications to put their discoveries to the outside world. In some cases too, physicists have to prepare and submit proposals for a grant to enable them to carry out research using grants from the government or private companies. 

Becoming a Physicist

Becoming a physicist requires an educational background compared to other jobs that do not require an educational background. It is a necessity that a physicist is someone who has gained the necessary education in physics and most cases up to having a doctorate. Different areas/fields of physics graduate students often major in and these include astrophysics, solid state physics, particle physics, and molecular physics. Physics students with a master’s degree often get positions to work as lab technicians or research assistants in government sectors or schools. In the US, graduates with a first degree in physics are usually employed by the federal government while people with higher degrees work in applied research areas, manufacturing companies, and the healthcare sector. 

Also, a physicist must have analytical skills as the job involves gathering and interpreting data to give a logical conclusion that is useful in technology. Communication skills are important for telling or teaching others what you have inferred from research or even projecting your ideas to others. 


Now we have learnt ‘Salaries For A Physicist’, Physicists are considered smart and innovative people who influence the world economy. Getting a job as a physicist is easy as there are a lot of job openings for one to apply for. It also comes with good pay sufficient to earn a standard living in the US. Advancing your educational career as a physicist is one of the ways of earning higher salaries above your peers without career advancement. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
  • How much do physicists make in the US?

Physicists earn a median annual salary of about $152,450 and a range between $78,000 and $210,000. In most cases, physicists work full time and even up to 40 hours a week. 

  • How much do physicists make at NASA? 

Physicists at NASA make an annual salary of about $137, 900 which is considered good pay to maintain a standard way of living in the US. This is also higher than the average income most industries pay their employees. 

  • Do physicists make more money than engineers? 

Most engineering graduates are said to have higher average starting offers than most physicists; civil engineers tend to earn the same range as physicists.  

Salaries For A Physicist- Find More About It

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