We have physics to thank for many medical advances, such as X-ray machines and MRIs, and a lot of our electrical power supply. However, too much exposure to radiation can kill or seriously injure a person. Health physicists help make sure that the life-saving radiation technologies don't end up actually killing the people that interact with them.
Health physicists are experts in the way that radiation interacts with living beings. They can do anything from researching safe levels of radiation for specific particles to investigating the presence of radiation in the environment. Many health physicists work in medical establishments to make sure that all equipment is used safely. However, some work in power plants or for the military.
No matter where they work, most health physicists need an advanced degree in health or physics. It takes years of study to master a complicated, potentially deadly field like the effects of radiation on the human body. Exposure to radiation isn't exactly as fun as it looks in the comic books.
There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a health physicist. For example, did you know that they make an average of $39.87 an hour? That's $82,931 a year!
Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow 9% and produce 1,900 job opportunities across the U.S.
There are certain skills that many health physicists have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed analytical skills, math skills and problem-solving skills.
When it comes to the most important skills required to be a health physicist, we found that a lot of resumes listed 13.9% of health physicists included radiation safety, while 11.0% of resumes included radioactive materials, and 8.2% of resumes included oversight. Hard skills like these are helpful to have when it comes to performing essential job responsibilities.
When it comes to searching for a job, many search for a key term or phrase. Instead, it might be more helpful to search by industry, as you might be missing jobs that you never thought about in industries that you didn't even think offered positions related to the health physicist job title. But what industry to start with? Most health physicists actually find jobs in the education and health care industries.
If you're interested in becoming a health physicist, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 36.7% of health physicists have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 44.6% of health physicists have master's degrees. Even though most health physicists have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.
Choosing the right major is always an important step when researching how to become a health physicist. When we researched the most common majors for a health physicist, we found that they most commonly earn master's degree degrees or bachelor's degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on health physicist resumes include associate degree degrees or doctoral degree degrees.
You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become a health physicist. In fact, many health physicist jobs require experience in a role such as radiological engineer. Meanwhile, many health physicists also have previous career experience in roles such as health physics technician or radiation safety officer.