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Physicist Salary

Men account for the majority of Physicists in the United States. The overall average income for this group is approximately $88K annually. With some bonuses approaching $13K and certain profit sharing proceeds approaching $10K, overall incomes of Physicists spread between $50K and $140K depending on individual performance. Geographic location is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by years of experience. Most enjoy medical while the greater part get dental coverage. Vision coverage is also available to the larger part. The majority of workers are highly satisfied with their job. The numbers in this rundown were provided by PayScale's salary survey participants.
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$49,817 - $137,536
(Median)
$50K
$88K
$140K
MEDIAN: $88,175
10%
50%
90%

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$20.61 - $52.36
(Median)
$21
$33
$52
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
$49,817 - $137,536  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $12,664  
Profit Sharing
$0.38 - $10,137  
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).
)
$49,955 - $139,975  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 May 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 396
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
$20.61 - $52.36  
   
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 - $12,664  
   
Profit Sharing
$0.38 - $10,137  
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).
)
$49,955 - $139,975  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 May 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 23

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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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Physicists usually report a few specific skills. Most notably, skills in Material Science, Research Analysis, Nuclear Energy / Nuclear Power, and Systems Engineering are correlated to pay that is above average. Those listing Object Oriented Programming as a skill should be prepared for drastically lower pay. Employees educated in Material Science are typically practiced in Research Analysis, too.

Pay by Experience Level for Physicist

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


Physicists generally obtain higher compensation for more plentiful past experience. The average beginner in this position makes around $73K, but folks who have been around for five to 10 years see a markedly higher median salary of $89K. Professionals who claim 10 to 20 years of experience can secure some pretty cushy paychecks; the median for this group is a six-figure $107K. More than 20 years of experience mean a somewhat bigger median paycheck of $125K, but it's not much more than what less experienced people make.

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United States (change)

Experience Affects Physicist Salaries

Late-Career
up arrow 42%


Mid-Career
up arrow 1%

National Average
$88,000

Entry-Level
up arrow 17%

Skills That Affect Physicist Salaries


Research Analysis
up arrow 4%

Nuclear Energy / Nuclear Power
up arrow 2%

National Average
$88,000

Systems Engineering
up arrow 2%

Object Oriented Programming (OOP)
up arrow 26%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 52 votes.

Gender

Female
9 %
Male
91 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
10%
1-4 years
26%
5-9 years
25%
10-19 years
21%
20 years or more
18%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 88% dental benefits Dental: 68%
vision benefits Vision: 57% employee benefits None: 9%
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