If you have a passion for physics and an even greater passion for research, the career of a research physicist is the right path to take. As a research physicist, you will conduct research on physical phenomena, create theories based on findings, and develop methods on how to apply physical laws and theories. In essence, you will get to use your background in physics and, more importantly, be able to expand your knowledge tenfold.
The specific job duties that this role entails usually include developing simulations, creating presentations, developing experimental designs, and maintaining research equipment.
Before you can become a fully-fledged research physicist, however, you have to have a master's or doctorate in physics. Of course, you also have to be proficient in research, presentation, and experimentation, which can usually come from prior research work in graduate school.
Now comes the fun part. On average, research physicists make around $91,000 per year, while some take home as much as $125,000.
There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a research physicist. For example, did you know that they make an average of $43.97 an hour? That's $91,463 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 research 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, interpersonal skills and communication skills.
When it comes to the most important skills required to be a research physicist, we found that a lot of resumes listed 18.2% of research physicists included data analysis, while 14.3% of resumes included phd, and 13.4% of resumes included laser. 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 research physicist job title. But what industry to start with? Most research physicists actually find jobs in the manufacturing and technology industries.
If you're interested in becoming a research physicist, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 49.7% of research physicists have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 15.9% of research physicists have master's degrees. Even though most research physicists have a college degree, it's impossible 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 research physicist. When we researched the most common majors for a research physicist, we found that they most commonly earn bachelor's degree degrees or doctoral degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on research physicist resumes include master's degree degrees or license degrees.
You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become a research physicist. In fact, many research physicist jobs require experience in a role such as research assistant. Meanwhile, many research physicists also have previous career experience in roles such as graduate research assistant or research associate.