Physicist Salary

Men represent the vast majority of Physicists in the United States. People in this role can earn an average of $88K per year nationwide. In the world of Physicists, total cash compensation can vary between $50K and $140K. Each package generally includes bonuses and profit sharing proceeds, and in exceptional cases, those amounts can reach heights of $15K and $10K, respectively. Residence and tenure each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. Most Physicists report high levels of job satisfaction. A large number report receiving medical coverage from their employers and more than half collect dental insurance. The data for this snapshot was collected from individuals who took PayScale's salary survey.
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$50,444 - $136,968

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$12.31 - $90.57

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$50K$100K$150K
Salary
$50,444 - $136,968  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $14,711  
Profit Sharing
$198.66 - $10,101  
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).
)
$50,357 - $140,398  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 425
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$31$62$93
Hourly Rate
$12.31 - $90.57  
   
Overtime
$39.31 - $54.94  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$70K$140K$210K
Bonus
$0.00 - $14,711  
   
Profit Sharing
$198.66 - $10,101  
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).
)
$50,357 - $140,398  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 13
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Job Description for Physicist

Humanity's understanding of the mechanical workings of reality is, relative to our history, in its infancy. Only in the last two centuries have scientists been able to directly observe and manipulate matter and energy at microscopic levels, and new discoveries and applications have skyrocketed in that time-frame, all while our technology continually enhances our ability to understand these things. Physicists are scientists who study the properties of matter and energy and perform experiments, often using extremely advanced equipment, to discover how these mysterious properties work and interact.

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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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Popular Skills for Physicist


Overall, survey participants reported applying a fair number of skills to their work. Most notably, skills in Research Analysis, Material Science, Nuclear Energy / Nuclear Power, and Systems Engineering are correlated to pay that is above average. Those listing Physics as a skill should be prepared for drastically lower pay. Object Oriented Programming and Data Modeling also typically command lower compensation. Many workers who know Material Science also know Research Analysis.

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 median compensation for relatively untried workers is $74K; in the five-to-10 year group, it's higher at around $88K. Between one and two decades on the job, average salaries pass the six-figure mark at around $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 $127K.

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Experience Affects Physicist Salaries

Late-Career
up arrow 43%


National Average
$88,000



Skills That Affect Physicist Salaries

Research Analysis
up arrow 2%

Material Science
up arrow 1%

National Average
$88,000

Nuclear Energy / Nuclear Power
up arrow 1%

Systems Engineering
up arrow 2%

Data Modeling
up arrow 7%

Object Oriented Programming (OOP)
up arrow 9%

Physics
up arrow 22%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 43 votes.

Gender

Female
9 %
Male
91 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
9%
1-4 years
26%
5-9 years
26%
10-19 years
21%
20 years or more
18%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 89% dental benefits Dental: 66%
vision benefits Vision: 55% employee benefits None: 9%
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