The tech landscape of the world is changing exponentially each year. Commercial, non-commercial entities, businesses as well as government organizations are always in need of trained personnel to keep up with the pace of change. Physicists are professionals who not only leverage scientific advances, but also help us to make better sense of the world. With their vast amount of knowledge and specialized understanding they can explain the working of cell phones to DNA, and can openers to earthquakes with relative ease for human comprehension.

Armed with a degree in specialization areas like biotechnology, astrophysics, meteorology, nanotechnology, condensed matter, quantum dynamics, applied physics, aerospace dynamics, plasma physics, atomic physics, oceanic and planetary physics, climate science, data analytics, and more - think of hitting the jackpot! A career in physics is a respected one with huge possibilities of conquering the world!

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Skills Required to Pursue a Career in Physics

To pursue an illustrious career in physics, you will need to have a set of transferable technical and non-technical skills that will stand you in good stead. Take a look at what you need to possess to excel in a career in physics. 

  • A scientific bent of mind
  • Good computational abilities/numeracy skills
  • Logical, reasoning, research and analytical skills
  • Problem-solving skills to trouble-shoot complex problems
  • Communication skills to express complex ideas
  • Knowledge of technical equipment
  • Well-versed in technical jargon
  • Leadership skills to be able to initiate and ably lead projects 
  • Team player mindset to flexibly work in group settings
  • Ability to meet project deadlines
  • Ability to handle software and information technology programming

Courses in Physics That You Can Pursue

Building a career in physics can take you in many different directions. The options and variety of courses available in this discipline are many. Some of the most prominent ones are:

  • Bachelor of Science In Astronomy
  • Bachelor of Science In Astronomy and Space Science
  • Bachelor of Science with Honors In Physics
  • Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Physics
  • Bachelor of Science in Physics Astrophysics
  • Bachelor of Science in Applied Physics
  • Bachelor of Physics with Foundation
  • Post Graduate Diploma in Science in Astronomy
  • Post Graduate Diploma in Science - Physics
  • Master of Science in Physics
  • Master of Quantum Technology
  • Master of Science in Applied Physics
  • PhD in Physics
  • PhD in Astrophysics
  • Master of Science in Materials Science Engineering

What Are the Subjects in Physics?

Irrespective of the degree you pursue in Physics, bachelors or masters, the following subjects will be part of your course curriculum. 

  • Classical Mechanics
  • Electromagnetism and Photonics
  • Relativistic Mechanics
  • Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics
  • Quantum Mechanics
  • Atomic Physics
  • Molecular Physics
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Optics and Acoustics
  • High-energy Particle Physics
  • Nuclear Physics
  • Relativity and Cosmology
  • Advanced Optics
  • Solid State Physics
  • Astrophysics
  • Atomic Spectroscopy

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Further Study Options After Physics

You can discover avenues for further study after completion of a Bachelor in Science in Physics. Here are some of the further study options a physics graduate can explore.  

  • MBA in Data Science
  • MBA in Information Technology
  • PG Diploma in Data Science
  • PG Diploma in Astronomy
  • PG Diploma in Nanotechnology
  • Diploma in Medical Lab Technology
  • Post Graduate degrees in astrophysics, quantum physics, particle physics, nanotechnology, and thermodynamics. 

Best Fields to Build a Career in Physics

With a Bachelor’s in Physics you can explore jobs in the following fields:

  • Process Engineer
  • Software Engineer
  • Applications Engineer
  • Programmer/Web Developer
  • Lab Technician
  • Teacher

With a Physics Major, your prospects brighten and widen and you can make your way into professions such as:

  • IT Consultant
  • Field Engineer
  • Test Engineer
  • Optical Engineer
  • Research Assistant

Other lucrative options with a major in Physics are:

  • Research Scientist
  • Data Scientist
  • Medical Physicist
  • Astronomer
  • Aerospace Engineer
  • Geophysicist

Top 10 Careers in Physics

Here’s a quick tour of the top 10 careers in Physics along with their job descriptions and salary structure.

1. Data Scientist

Job Description: Data scientists use their domain expertise, programming skills, and knowledge of statistics and mathematics to extract meaning from complex data. They will use their specialized skills to search for and access information from various sources to analyze and interpret how a business performs. They help to structure large volumes of unstructured data that businesses frequently struggle with.They create artificial intelligence (AI) tools to automate processes within the company. In short, they are analytical data experts. As a scientist, you will need to have excellent programming, computational, machine learning, communication, problem-solving, analytical skills, among many others. It is a high-paying job.

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Salary: Average data scientist salary in India is Rs.866, 938 (INR) per annum.

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2. Aeronautical Engineer

Job Description: This is an excellent job option for students who wish to venture into the defense and aviation industry. As an aeronautical engineer you will be required to devise aircrafts and propulsion systems. Aspirants should have good speed and accuracy along with strong manual, technical, and mechanical aptitude. With time, however, there would be expansion in job responsibilities. With continuous growth happening in the defense establishment and civil aviation industry, there are golden opportunities for an engineer to make a mark in the field.

Salary: Average base salary of an aeronautical engineer in India is Rs.720, 804 (INR) per annum.            

3. Design Engineer

Job Description: Using your knowledge in CAD software, or Computer Aided Design, you will create and implement product designs. Keeping factors like cost-efficiency, user experience, and environmental standards, an engineer designs manufacturing processes and products, creates prototypes, analyzes data from tests on prototypes, and prepares progress reports.  You need to have attention to detail with strong analytical skills. You must also be able to deliver projects on time.

Salary: The average base salary of a design engineer in India is Rs 379,142 (INR) per annum.

4. Accelerator Operator

Job Description: A particle accelerator is a device used to produce confined beams of charged particles in extremely high speed. As an accelerator operator, you will work directly with the research team and the physicist in charge. You will help them to run the experiment successfully keeping all the parameters in tune. Your responsibilities will comprise calibrating the systems, reviewing schedules, making adjustments to the particle beam before running the test, and help analyze the results.

Salary: The average base salary of an accelerator operator in India is Rs. 7,60,883 (INR) per annum.

5. Applications Engineer

Job Description: There are several responsibilities to perform as an applications engineer. The primary job is to design and improve software. They spend time evaluating the unique goals of each project and assessing them before implementing. They may be tasked with upgrading or building a new database platform for their clients, providing them tech support, providing hardware upgrades, making sales recommendations, documenting service calls, and keeping detailed records of installations. Besides knowledge in designing and developing software, you will need to be competent at team collaboration and customer service.

Salary: The average base salary of an applications engineer in India is Rs. 587,745 (INR) per annum.  

6. IT Consultant 

Job Description: IT consultants work in tandem with companies to identify, plan and deliver technology projects and help them meet their digital transformation goals. Their main job responsibilities include developing proposals, determining project goals, defining a scope, planning timelines, and working in collaboration with the company’s technical team to deliver impactful digital solutions. 

Salary: The average base salary of an IT Consultant in India is Rs 989,005 (INR) per annum.

7. Systems Analyst 

Job Description: As a system analyst your job responsibility will be to design new computer systems and frameworks, troubleshooting technical issues, planning to mitigate risks, collaborating with business analysts, projects leads, and IT team to resolve issues, and ensuring viable and consistent solutions.

Salary: The average base salary of a systems analyst in India is Rs. 661, 318 (INR) per annum

8. Laser Engineer

Job Description: A laser engineer is responsible for performing research and development of commercial laser systems. They work in collaboration with a company’s small interdisciplinary teams developing innovative laser products and related technologies. You should possess strong problem solving and communication skills. You will be frequently required to translate ideas into high level design concepts and prototypes. 

Salary: The average base salary of a laser engineer in India is Rs.4,04,885 (INR) per annum.

9. Optical Engineer 

Job Description: Optical engineers are required to research, design, and test devices that use cameras, lasers, and microscopes. They use light properties and other materials to produce, control, and manipulate light for use in high-tech devices. You must be proficient in optical tools such as Zemax, Code V, or Trace Pro. You must be able to use various scientific equipment like calorimeters, spectrometers, and wattmeters. 

Salary: The average base salary of an optical engineer in India is Rs.7,57,313 (INR) per annum.

10. Technical Specialist

Job Description: Technical specialists work with network analysts to review, diagnose, and treat technical problems related to computer networking operations and work with software and hardware. They assess technical programs, create application designs, offer customer service for programs and applications, and provide training to customers and staff in best practices, applications, and programs.

Salary: The average base salary of a technical specialist in India is Rs. 1,272,041 (INR) per annum.

Questions Our Learners Asked

1. Is Physics a good career?

It is a great but a rare career option. Ask yourself if you have the drive to pursue science with passion and determination. More recently, new exciting work avenues are opening for graduates in Physics, and the competition in this field is yet to be like those in IT. Money is good, but nothing comes easy anywhere; you sweat for it. 

2. What is the best career in physics?

In terms of salary, the following are the best careers in physics — lab manager, test engineer, nuclear engineer, geophysicist, aeronautical engineer, optical engineer, astronomer, and research scientist.

3. What is the highest paying physics job?

The highest paying Physics job is that of a research scientist, aeronautical engineer, nuclear engineer, optical engineer, and astronomer. 

4. Which job is best for physics students?

Careers in research, teaching, as data scientist, medical physicist, optical engineer, aerospace engineer are exciting options to explore for a postgraduate student of Physics.

5. Are physicists in demand?

Physicists are always in demand everywhere given their diverse skill sets and deeper understanding of how the world works vis-à-vis science and humans. The employment prospects and openings for physicists are expected to grow by at least 8% in the coming eight years across the world. 

6. Are physicists happy?

Happiness at the workplace is the aggregate of salary, work environment, meaningfulness, skill utilization, and personality fit. According to recent survey findings, physicists have rated their overall satisfaction with their jobs quite high on a scale of 1-5.

7. What is a quantum physicist salary?

The average range is between $70,000 and $143,000 per annum. The top earners make up to $ 218,000 annually across the United States. 

8. What education is needed to become a physicist?

To become a physicist, a minimum Bachelor’s degree is a must. A degree in Applied Physics or relevant engineering fields is required for most physicist positions.

Final Words

The last decade or two have witnessed an explosion in demand for physicists across varied industries. A strong base in physics can also help graduates to opt for fields outside science like software, banking, law, finance, consultancy, and other industries. Choose a Physics course that is the best fit for you and look forward to a bright, promising, profitable future!

About the Author


Simplilearn is one of the world’s leading providers of online training for Digital Marketing, Cloud Computing, Project Management, Data Science, IT, Software Development, and many other emerging technologies.

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