What Types of Jobs Are Available with a Physics Degree?

Physics DegreeIf you’re considering majoring in physics as an undergraduate, you may be wondering about the types of jobs available with a physics degree. While a lot of jobs in this field are only available with an advanced degree, a bachelor’s degree in physics can prepare you for a career in teaching, paid graduate study or a job in another industry.

Physics Teacher

If you want to get a job that’s related to physics without getting a doctorate’s degree, you may want to consider becoming a high school physics teacher. Most teachers major in education as an undergraduate, but this doesn’t mean that it’s the only option that will allow you to become a teacher. Many states will certify you as a high school teacher in physics after you take a 12 to 14 week education program, complete an internship and pass any exams that are required by the state. A high school physics teacher is one of those types of jobs available with a physics degree that will let you live comfortably. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for high school teachers is $55,050.

Graduate Study

Technically, this isn’t a job, but don’t discard the idea before learning more about it. If you do well in your physics classes as an undergraduate, there’s a very good chance that you’ll qualify for an assistantship as a graduate student. Also, becoming more well-educated will help you become competitive for the more prestigious types of jobs available with a physics degree. Assistanships usually require students to work part-time at the university that they attend in exchange for free tuition and a living stipend. Depending on what type of aid you are awarded, you may spend your time doing research or acting as an assistant teacher. Stipends vary, but most assistantships offer enough financial aid so that you won’t have to worry about living expenses while you’re studying. This will allow you to learn without incurring any more debt. While you’ll most likely be able to defer your undergraduate student loans while you’re in a graduate program, you may very well find that you have enough left over to start chipping away at your debt anyway.

Jobs in Other Industries

Most types of jobs available with a physics degree actually aren’t directly related to physics. Because physics majors have good math skills after graduating, many employers in other fields readily hire these types of graduates.  The list includes, but is not limited to:

  • Patent work
  • Manufacturing
  • Telecommunications
  • Engineering
  • Environmental consulting

If you hear of a job opening that has a certain degree as a requirement, don’t be shy about applying anyway. Oftentimes, related degrees are acceptable.

Related Resource: Aeronautical Engineering

While you might not be able to be a physicist with a bachelor’s degree in physics, there are still plenty of opportunities for physics major. There are quite a few types of jobs available with a physics degree.