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Physicist Salary

Men make up the majority of Physicists in the United States, bringing in about $88K annually. Total cash earnings of Physicists range from $50K on the low end to $139K on the high end; the final amount can include bonuses and profit sharing proceeds that occasionally exceed $13K and $10K, respectively. Geographic location is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by years of experience. Most enjoy medical while a majority get dental coverage. Vision coverage is also available to more than half. The majority of Physicists claim high levels of job satisfaction. The numbers in this rundown were provided by PayScale's salary survey participants.
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$49,923 - $136,968
(Median)
$50K
$88K
$140K
MEDIAN: $88,351
10%
50%
90%

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$22.00 - $49.00
(Median)
$22
$33
$49
MEDIAN: $33.00
10%
50%
90%

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$50K$100K$150K
Salary
$49,923 - $136,968  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $12,570  
Profit Sharing
$193.92 - $10,090  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$50,015 - $139,399  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 16 May 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 405
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$25$50$75
Hourly Rate
$22.00 - $49.00  
   
Overtime
$43.06 - $55.15  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$50K$100K$150K
Bonus
$0.00 - $12,570  
   
Profit Sharing
$193.92 - $10,090  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$50,015 - $139,399  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 16 May 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 24
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Job Description for Physicist

A physicist is someone who practices physics, the science of matter and energy. Physicists study the natural world from small particles to large galaxies. They conduct experiments to uncover the laws of nature, as well as study the behavior and composition of matter. They also design, conduct, and evaluate the results of experiments, methodologies, and quality-control tests. They are then responsible for communicating their results in writing and through presentations to researchers, students, funders, the public, and others. Physicists also maintain and use equipment and lab spaces, as well as provide technical support and calculations to non-physicists, students, and others. Some physicists create materials, new electronic devices, and even medical equipment.

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Physicist Tasks

  • Maintain and use equipment and lab space.
  • Communicate results in writing and in presentations to researchers, students, funders, the public, and other audiences.
  • Design, conduct and evaluate the results of experiments, methodologies, and quality control tests.
  • Provide technical support and calculations to non-scientists, students, and other groups.

Physicist Job Listings

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Overall, survey participants reported applying a fair number of skills to their work. Most notably, skills in Nuclear Energy / Nuclear Power, Research Analysis, Material Science, and Systems Engineering are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts between 3 percent and 8 percent. Those listing Object Oriented Programming and Data Modeling as skills, on the other hand, should be prepared for drastically lower pay. Research Analysis is a skill commonly found among those who know Material Science.

Pay by Experience Level for Physicist

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.


Physicists with a rich background of experience are typically rewarded with larger paychecks. The average inexperienced worker earns $73K, and someone who has worked for five to 10 years can expect a bigger median salary of $88K. Those with 10 to 20 years of experience under their belts can expect their paychecks to flourish around the six-figure median of $108K. Individuals who have achieved more than 20 years of experience don't seem to earn much more than people who have 10 to 20 years under their belts; the more senior group reports an average income of $125K.

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Experience Affects Physicist Salaries

Late-Career
up arrow 42%



National Average
$88,000

Entry-Level
up arrow 17%

Skills That Affect Physicist Salaries

Nuclear Energy / Nuclear Power
up arrow 8%

Research Analysis
up arrow 4%

Material Science
up arrow 3%

National Average
$88,000

Systems Engineering
up arrow 2%

Data Modeling
up arrow 6%

Object Oriented Programming (OOP)
up arrow 26%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 51 votes.

Gender

Female
9 %
Male
91 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
10%
1-4 years
27%
5-9 years
25%
10-19 years
21%
20 years or more
18%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 89% dental benefits Dental: 68%
vision benefits Vision: 57% employee benefits None: 9%
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