Physicist Salary

Men make up the majority of Physicists in the United States, bringing in about $88K annually. With some bonuses approaching $13K and certain profit sharing proceeds approaching $10K, overall incomes of Physicists spread between $50K and $139K depending on individual performance. Location is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by career duration. Most enjoy medical while the greater part get dental coverage. Vision coverage is also available to a majority. Most workers in this position report high levels of job satisfaction. This report is based on responses to the PayScale salary survey.
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$49,810 - $136,611
(Median)
$50K
$88K
$140K
MEDIAN: $88,203
10%
50%
90%

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$20.13 - $43.70
(Median)
$20
$33
$44
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
$49,810 - $136,611  
   
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).
)
$49,916 - $138,750  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 31 Mar 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 391
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
$20.13 - $43.70  
   
Overtime
$42.66 - $55.64  
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).
)
$49,916 - $138,750  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 31 Mar 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 20

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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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Just a handful of professional skills are reported by Physicists who took the survey. 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. Competency in Material Science frequently indicates knowledge of Research Analysis.

Pay by Experience Level for Physicist

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


Experience is an important factor influencing the compensation of Physicists. Salaries of relatively inexperienced workers fall in the neighborhood of $73K, but folks who have racked up five to 10 years see a notably higher median of $88K. Six-figure salaries surface after one to two decades on the job — experienced professionals in this group reap a six-figure median of $107K. Individuals who report more than two decades of experience seem to make only slightly more than folks in the 10-to-20 year range; the more senior group sees median earnings in the comparatively modest ballpark of $123K.

Related Job Salaries

United States (change)

Experience Affects Physicist Salaries

Late-Career
up arrow 40%


Mid-Career
up arrow 1%

National Average
$88,000

Entry-Level
up arrow 17%

Skills That Affect Physicist Salaries



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 56 votes.

Gender

Female
9 %
Male
91 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
9%
1-4 years
27%
5-9 years
25%
10-19 years
22%
20 years or more
18%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 88% dental benefits Dental: 69%
vision benefits Vision: 57% employee benefits None: 9%