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Health Physicist Careers

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.

What Does a Health Physicist Do

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.

How To Become a Health Physicist

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.

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Average Salary
$82,931
Average Salary
Job Growth Rate
9%
Job Growth Rate
Job Openings
25,158
Job Openings

Health Physicist Career Paths

Top Careers Before Health Physicist

Top Careers After Health Physicist

What is the right job for my career path?

Tell us your goals and we'll match you with the rights job to get there.

Average Salary for a Health Physicist

Health Physicists in America make an average salary of $82,931 per year or $40 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $122,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $55,000 per year.
Average Salary
$82,931

Best Paying Cities

City
ascdesc
Average Salarydesc
Raleigh, NC
Salary Range80k - 135k$104k$104,080
Baltimore, MD
Salary Range78k - 132k$102k$101,877
Washington, DC
Salary Range76k - 129k$99k$99,347
Berkeley, CA
Salary Range74k - 129k$98k$98,299
Bethlehem, PA
Salary Range72k - 125k$95k$95,294
Rochester, MN
Salary Range67k - 115k$88k$88,346
$55k
$135k

Recently Added Salaries

Job TitleCompanyascdescCompanyascdescStart DateascdescSalaryascdesc
Health Physicist
Health Physicist
State of Arkansas
State of Arkansas
03/21/2021
03/21/2021
$45,01003/21/2021
$45,010
Medical Health Physicist C
Medical Health Physicist C
University of Pennsylvania
University of Pennsylvania
03/17/2021
03/17/2021
$72,83703/17/2021
$72,837
Health Physicist
Health Physicist
State of Michigan
State of Michigan
01/29/2021
01/29/2021
$43,20201/29/2021
$43,202
Environmental Health Physicist (Environmental Professional)
Environmental Health Physicist (Environmental Professional)
Los Alamos National Laboratory
Los Alamos National Laboratory
01/27/2021
01/27/2021
$91,80001/27/2021
$91,800
Radiation Health Physicist Trainee
Radiation Health Physicist Trainee
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
12/16/2020
12/16/2020
$45,18412/16/2020
$45,184
See More Recent Salaries

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Health Physicist Demographics

Gender

male

73.2 %

female

22.0 %

unknown

4.8 %

Ethnicity

White

80.0 %

Asian

7.2 %

Black or African American

5.6 %

Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

28.6 %

German

21.4 %

Portuguese

14.3 %
See More Demographics

Health Physicist Education

Majors

Physics
19.7 %
Biology
10.5 %

Degrees

Bachelors

59.5 %

Masters

17.9 %

Associate

11.0 %

Top Colleges for Health Physicists

1. University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

Ann Arbor, MI • Public

In-State Tuition
$15,262
Enrollment
30,079

2. Yale University

New Haven, CT • Private

In-State Tuition
$53,430
Enrollment
5,963

3. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL • Private

In-State Tuition
$54,568
Enrollment
8,451

4. Tufts University

Medford, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$56,382
Enrollment
5,597

5. Harvard University

Cambridge, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$50,420
Enrollment
7,582

6. University of Wisconsin - Madison

Madison, WI • Public

In-State Tuition
$10,555
Enrollment
30,360

7. Cornell University

Ithaca, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,188
Enrollment
15,105

8. Dartmouth College

Hanover, NH • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,453
Enrollment
4,312

9. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Chapel Hill, NC • Public

In-State Tuition
$8,987
Enrollment
18,946

10. University of California, Berkeley

Berkeley, CA • Public

In-State Tuition
$14,184
Enrollment
30,845
See More Education Info
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Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Top Skills For a Health Physicist

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 13.9% of health physicists listed radiation safety on their resume, but soft skills such as analytical skills and math skills are important as well.

Best States For a Health Physicist

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a health physicist. The best states for people in this position are North Carolina, Maryland, Connecticut, and New Mexico. Health physicists make the most in North Carolina with an average salary of $103,371. Whereas in Maryland and Connecticut, they would average $101,295 and $99,416, respectively. While health physicists would only make an average of $99,217 in New Mexico, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. North Carolina

Total Health Physicist Jobs:
990
Highest 10% Earn:
$168,000
Location Quotient:
1.51
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. Arkansas

Total Health Physicist Jobs:
316
Highest 10% Earn:
$164,000
Location Quotient:
1.77
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. Massachusetts

Total Health Physicist Jobs:
1,241
Highest 10% Earn:
$159,000
Location Quotient:
1.98
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
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Top Health Physicist Employers

1. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
4.9
Avg. Salary: 
$75,882
Health Physicists Hired: 
17+
2. United States Army
4.0
Avg. Salary: 
$76,883
Health Physicists Hired: 
12+
3. Los Alamos National Laboratory
4.4
Avg. Salary: 
$98,716
Health Physicists Hired: 
8+
4. Savannah River Nuclear Solutions
4.3
Avg. Salary: 
$78,546
Health Physicists Hired: 
7+
5. Tennessee
4.3
Avg. Salary: 
$79,437
Health Physicists Hired: 
6+
6. Tennessee Valley Authority
4.9
Avg. Salary: 
$88,274
Health Physicists Hired: 
6+
Updated October 2, 2020