Physicist Salary

Physicists in the United States are largely men, earning an average of $89K annually. Overall cash earnings for Physicists stretch from $48K on the lower end to $145K near the top, and the heftiest packages can encompass around $14K from bonuses and $7K from profit sharing. Location is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by career length. Job satisfaction is reported as high by the vast majority of workers. Most enjoy medical while the larger part get dental coverage. Vision coverage is also available to just over a half. The information for this snapshot was generated by responses to the PayScale salary survey.
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$47,001 - $142,617
$47K
$88K
$140K
MEDIAN: $87,644
10%
50%
90%

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$20.00 - $93.30
$20
$34
$93
MEDIAN: $33.55
10%
50%
90%

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$0$144K
Salary $47,001 - $142,617
Bonus $0.00 - $13,927
Profit Sharing $481.77 - $6,801
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).
)
$45,811 - $144,964
  • Country: United States
  • Currency: USD
  • Updated: 20 Sep 2017
  • Individuals Reporting: 300
Hourly Data $0$93
Hourly Rate $20.00 - $93.30
Overtime $37.25
Annual Data $0$144K
Bonus $0.00 - $13,927
Profit Sharing $481.77 - $6,801
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).
)
$45,811 - $144,964
  • Country: United States
  • Currency: USD
  • Updated: 20 Sep 2017
  • Individuals Reporting: 19

Find Out Exactly What You Should Be Paid

United States (change)

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.

Common Career Paths for Physicist


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Physicists might see a strong upturn in salary after transitioning into upper-level roles such as Medical Physicist, a seemingly popular career choice. People currently working in the latter position report a noticeably higher median income of $113K per year.

Physicist Job Listings

Popular Skills for Physicist


Survey results suggest that Physicists put a wide range of professional skills to use. Most notably, skills in Research Analysis, Data Analysis, Systems Engineering, and Material Science are correlated to pay that is above average. Those listing Physics as a skill should be prepared for drastically lower pay. Matlab and Nuclear Energy / Nuclear Power also typically command lower compensation. The majority of those who know Material Science also know Nuclear Energy / Nuclear Power.

Pay by Experience Level for Physicist

Pay by Experience for a Physicist has a positive trend. An entry-level Physicist with less than 5 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $72,000 based on 172 salaries provided by anonymous users. Average total compensation includes tips, bonus, and overtime pay. A Physicist with mid-career experience which includes employees with 5 to 10 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $89,000 based on 89 salaries. An experienced Physicist which includes employees with 10 to 20 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $114,000 based on 75 salaries. A Physicist with late-career experience which includes employees with greater than 20 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $135,000 based on 60 salaries.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $87,554

Larger city markers indicate a job is popular in that location.

For Physicists, San Diego provides a pay rate that is 69 percent greater than the national average. Physicists can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like San Jose (+38 percent), Washington (+30 percent), Huntsville (+24 percent), and Houston (+4 percent). Place of residence plays a huge part in a Physicist's salary, with Seattle Physicists earning salaries that are 42 percent less than the national average. Los Angeles and New York are a couple other places where companies are known to pay below the median — salaries are 29 percent lower and 21 percent lower, respectively.

Physicist Reviews

Q: What is it like working as a Physicist?

Physicist in San Diego:
"Great place."
Pros: Great city.
Cons:

Related Job Salaries

Key Stats for Physicist

Gender

Female
8 %
Male
92 %

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 31 votes.
Less than 1 year
13%
1-4 years
29%
5-9 years
20%
10-19 years
18%
20 years or more
20%
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Location:
Years in Fields/Career:
United States (change)

Experience Affects Physicist Salaries

▲54%

▲30%

▲2%

National Average
$88,000

▼18%

Skills That Affect Physicist Salaries



Systems Engineering
▼0%

National Average
$88,000


Data Modeling
▼6%

Object Oriented Programming (OOP)
▼9%


▼16%

Physics
▼20%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 31 votes.

Gender

Female
8 %
Male
92 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
13%
1-4 years
29%
5-9 years
20%
10-19 years
18%
20 years or more
20%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 89%
dental benefits
Dental: 61%
vision benefits
Vision: 53%
no benefits
None: 10%
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