14 Best Entry-Level Jobs for Physics Majors

Information Last Verified: September 14, 2021 by Jordan Fabel

As you consider your major, you might be curious about the entry-level jobs for a physics major. This type of degree is usually associated with very smart individuals, and you might think of people working in advanced laboratories or working as professors.

While both of these positions certainly fit the mold of a physics major, many entry-level jobs are available for physics majors too. You can do more than taking on a position as an educator or researcher.

There are jobs available in many different industries for those with a major in physics, including:

If you’re great at math and want to learn more about the unknown, getting a degree in physics can lead to a rewarding career. Let’s look at some of the best entry-level jobs for physics majors to help you better understand what your career path could look like. Some will require an advanced degree, while others only require a Bachelor’s degree in physics.

 

7 Most Lucrative Entry-Level Jobs for Physics Majors

Physicist

You won’t be able to enter into this career without a Doctorate, but you also don’t need any experience. The average salary is above $120K for this entry-level job in Physics. As a physicist, you will be studying the way energy and matter interact. In addition, your job will include developing scientific theories, mathematical formulas, and planning experiments.

If you have seen the TV show Big Bang Theory, you may have a basic understanding of what a physicist is as some of the main characters work at a university as different types of physicists. Many of the most intelligent people to ever live were physicists, including Newton, Tesla, Curie, Hawking, Einstein, and Galileo.

While this entry-level job for physics majors does require an advanced degree, you will also be called a doctor and go into a career with the potential to earn more than $200K if you work your way into the top 10% of your field.

Nuclear Engineer

Another common choice for physics majors is nuclear engineering; you won’t need an advanced degree in this career. With a Bachelor’s degree and no experience, you can enter this entry-level job. The average salary for a nuclear engineer tops $100K, but it is a declining field.

Nuclear engineering requires incredibly precise math prediction and expertise in using specific equipment safely. It’s necessary to have a degree in engineering or nuclear engineering, but an additional major in physics is very beneficial if this is your chosen career path.

Mathematician

You will need to get a Master’s degree to become a mathematician, but you won’t need any experience. This is a very high-paying entry-level job for physics majors looking to analyze data, create new calculations, and create new statistical techniques for many different purposes. You can work in business, science, engineering, or even with the government as a mathematician.

The average salary tops $100K for this entry-level position, and it has seen a little bit of growth over the past decade. A physics degree is a good start with all the math classes you will need to take.

Actuary

If you want to get a bachelor’s in physics, you can work as an actuary. This entry-level job does require on-the-job training. It’s a unique choice for those with a major in physics, but it fits in pretty nicely since you’ll be responsible for analyzing the financial cost of risk for a company.

This type of position deals with statistics and numbers, so it may not seem like an obvious entry-level job for a physics major, but it also has a high salary. In addition, you will compile data, complete mathematical formulas, and perform many other tasks that fit with a physics degree.

Computer Research Scientist

With a Master’s degree, you can enter into the very lucrative position of a computer research scientist without any prior experience. This is a growing career field and a good choice if you are planning to major in physics.

As a computer research scientist, you will study computing problems and develop strategies to fix the issues. Of course, it’s good to have a master’s degree in computer science, but a bachelor’s degree in physics is a great start for this entry-level position.

Astronomer

This might not seem like a common fit, but physics majors make good astronomers. Since you will be studying planets, galaxies, and moons, you will need good physics knowledge and good math skills. A physics degree can help you land this job and offers a great start on the way to your doctorate.

Astronomers can make more than $110K on average each year.

Biophysicist

After you receive a doctorate, this entry-level job for physics majors becomes a possibility. The average salary is above $90K, and those at the top of this field can earn more than $180K per year.

As a biophysicist, you will work in the field of medicine, agriculture, or technology. It’s common for this position to study how cells communicate with each other and how proteins work.

7 Most Common Entry-Level Jobs for Physics Majors

Lab Technician

As a lab technician, you will work with senior scientists on experiments. You may be in charge of testing equipment and helping to improve efficiency. This entry-level job is a natural landing spot for physics majors because positions are widely available.

Typically, as a lab technician, you will be in charge of recording results and preparing charts. It’s necessary to understand how to work safely in a lab, but this is also known as a pretty easy job for those that enjoy doing experiments.

You can earn an average salary above $50K per year in this position. You will need good communication skills and the ability to write reports and design charts.

Research Assistant

A very common entry-level job for physics majors is becoming a research assistant. This means you will research many topics while collecting data in spreadsheets. Typically, you will write research papers, documentation, and summaries, and you will need to be good at multitasking and critical thinking.

As long as you enjoy data analysis and research, you can earn more than $50K per year, on average.

Optical Engineer

Maybe you want to work with lasers and infrared. If so, becoming an optical engineer is a great career choice. This entry-level job is great for those who major in physics, and it’s one of the easier options to land, too.

As an optical engineer, you will be testing optical devices regularly, and you can earn a decent salary with this entry-level job, as well.

Data Analyst

While this type of entry-level position isn’t directly related to physics, you can fit right in as a data analyst with a degree in physics. Since this position requires critical thinking and problem-solving skills, physics majors fit right in. You will be looking at data and creating strategies for a company.

As a data analyst, you can expect to earn an average salary above $70K per year.

Teacher

Of course, with a physics major, you can teach physics at a high school and get paid a decent salary. Maybe you want to inspire other students to major in physics. If so, this is the perfect entry-level job for you.

Physics teachers can expect to earn a salary above $50K per year. Plus, you can teach online and tutor to earn even more money.

Application Engineer

Do you want to design, create, and test equipment and technological products for a company? With a physics degree, you can become an application engineer and do exactly this. You will also help with redesigning products, and you will need at least a Bachelor’s degree to land this job.

This entry-level job for physics majors pays above $50k per year.

System Engineer

Maybe you want to use your major in physics to get into the IT industry. As a system engineer, you will help maintain the company’s networking, servers, and security. Therefore, you will need to have good knowledge of hardware and software, along with mathematical concepts.

As a system engineer, you can earn an average salary of more than $50K per year.

Jordan Fabel

Jordan Fabel

Covering different 'paths' that people's lives can take. Creative, foster parent, ticket dismissal, you get the idea. Exploring the requirements, certifications, exams, and obviously, approved courses along each path. I, personally, am the high school dropout son of two teacher parents. So how did I get here? That story takes more time. Coming soon!