CareerGPS

Physicists
Summary Occupational Forecast Data for Physicists
Employment Employment Change Average Annual Job Openings Wage & Training Levels
2018 2023 Numerical Percent New Jobs Replacement Jobs Total Median Hourly Median Annual Training Levels
337 361 24 7.15% 5 27 32 $49.74 $103,458 Doctoral or professional degree
Description: Conduct research into the phases of physical phenomena, develop theories and laws on the basis of observation and experiments, and devise methods to apply laws and theories to industry and other fields.
Staffing Pattern Data Forecast Data Source: EMSI (2nd Quarter 2018)

Occupation Details

The information in this section represents occupational characteristics included in O*NET which defines key features of an occupation as a standardized, measurable set of variables called "descriptors". These distinguishing characteristics of an occupation are described in greater detail in the O*NET Content Model. All items are listed in descending order of importance.

  • Perform complex calculations as part of the analysis and evaluation of data, using computers.
  • Describe and express observations and conclusions in mathematical terms.
  • Analyze data from research conducted to detect and measure physical phenomena.
  • Report experimental results by writing papers for scientific journals or by presenting information at scientific conferences.
  • Design computer simulations to model physical data so that it can be better understood.
  • Collaborate with other scientists in the design, development, and testing of experimental, industrial, or medical equipment, instrumentation, and procedures.

Knowledge

97%
Physics - Knowledge and prediction of physical principles, laws, their interrelationships, and applications to understanding fluid, material, and atmospheric dynamics, and mechanical, electrical, atomic and sub- atomic structures and processes.
94%
Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
84%
English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
78%
Engineering and Technology - Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
77%
Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.

Skills

88%
Science - Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
85%
Mathematics - Using mathematics to solve problems.
81%
Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
78%
Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
78%
Complex Problem Solving - Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
78%
Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
75%
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.
69%
Judgment and Decision Making - Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
69%
Active Learning - Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
65%
Learning Strategies - Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.
65%
Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
62%
Programming - Writing computer programs for various purposes.
62%
Instructing - Teaching others how to do something.
56%
Systems Analysis - Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.
56%
Time Management - Managing one's own time and the time of others.
56%
Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
53%
Persuasion - Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.
53%
Social Perceptiveness - Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
53%
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.
53%
Coordination - Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
50%
Service Orientation - Actively looking for ways to help people.
50%
Technology Design - Generating or adapting equipment and technology to serve user needs.

Abilities

88%
Mathematical Reasoning - The ability to choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem.
81%
Number Facility - The ability to add, subtract, multiply, or divide quickly and correctly.
81%
Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
81%
Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
81%
Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
78%
Originality - The ability to come up with unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop creative ways to solve a problem.
78%
Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
78%
Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
75%
Fluency of Ideas - The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity).
75%
Information Ordering - The ability to 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).
72%
Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
72%
Category Flexibility - The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
72%
Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
69%
Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
69%
Speech Recognition - The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
69%
Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
66%
Visualization - The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.
62%
Speed of Closure - The ability to quickly make sense of, combine, and organize information into meaningful patterns.
60%
Perceptual Speed - The ability to quickly and accurately compare similarities and differences among sets of letters, numbers, objects, pictures, or patterns. The things to be compared may be presented at the same time or one after the other. This ability also includes compa
60%
Selective Attention - The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
60%
Flexibility of Closure - The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material.
56%
Memorization - The ability to remember information such as words, numbers, pictures, and procedures.
53%
Far Vision - The ability to see details at a distance.

Work Activities

93%
Thinking Creatively - Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
90%
Interacting With Computers - Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
85%
Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others - Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
85%
Processing Information - Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
84%
Making Decisions and Solving Problems - Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
84%
Getting Information - Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
83%
Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge - Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
81%
Analyzing Data or Information - Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
75%
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates - Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
71%
Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information - Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.
71%
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events - Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
70%
Communicating with Persons Outside Organization - Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
70%
Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships - Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
67%
Provide Consultation and Advice to Others - Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics.
58%
Developing Objectives and Strategies - Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.
58%
Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others - Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.
57%
Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work - Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
56%
Documenting/Recording Information - Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
56%
Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards - Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
53%
Scheduling Work and Activities - Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
51%
Developing and Building Teams - Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.
50%
Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings - Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
Title Job Zone Five: Extensive Preparation Needed
Overall Experience 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.
Job Training Employees may need some on-the-job training, but most of these occupations assume that the person will already have the required skills, knowledge, work-related experience, and/or training.
Job Zone Examples These occupations often involve coordinating, training, supervising, or managing the activities of others to accomplish goals. Very advanced communication and organizational skills are required. Examples include librarians, lawyers, aerospace engineers, wildlife biologists, school psychologists, surgeons, treasurers, and controllers.
Education Most of these occupations require graduate school. For example, they may require a master's degree, and some require a Ph.D., M.D., or J.D. (law degree).

Interests

Investigative - Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
Realistic - Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outsi
Artistic - Artistic occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.
Conventional - Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

Work Styles

Attention to Detail - Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Analytical Thinking - Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
Initiative - Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
Persistence - Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
Integrity - Job requires being honest and ethical.
Adaptability/Flexibility - Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
Independence - Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
Dependability - Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Achievement/Effort - Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
Innovation - Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
Cooperation - Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.

Work Values

Recognition - Occupations that satisfy this work value offer advancement, potential for leadership, and are often considered prestigious. Corresponding needs are Advancement, Authority, Recognition and Social Status.
Working Conditions - Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.
Achievement - Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
Independence - Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.