Career Options

The combination of technical and problem-solving skills developed by physics graduates makes them highly sought after by prospective employers in engineering, chemistry, and other technical fields; extremely well prepared to teach at the middle or high school level; and well positioned for graduate school.

Common career pathways involve work in materials science, space exploration, aerospace, technical instrumentation, fundamental research, and the computer industry. A physics major is also an excellent stepping-stone for further studies in a wide range of interdisciplinary fields such as medical physics, engineering, meteorology, hydrology, geophysics, and economics.

Careers for Physics Majors

  • Astrophysicist
  • Atomic, Molecular, or Optical Physicist
  • Computer Programmer
  • Engineer
  • Geophysicist
  • Kinesiologist
  • Laser Engineer
  • Nuclear Imaging Technologist
  • Nuclear Physicist
  • Oceanographer
  • Research Scientist
  • Space Physicist

Starting Salary*

A typical starting salary for a physics major is $55,500. The typical salary after 10-19 years is $123,000.

*Note: Salary information is provided for general reference only. APU does not guarantee the accuracy of the figures listed, and cannot predict or promise a specific salary for any graduate. For the most current salary estimates, please visit payscale.com.

Job Titles of People with Physics Degrees

  • Intel Fellow, Director of the Photonics Technology Lab, Intel
  • Spokesman, Muon Anomalous Magnetic Moment Experiment, Brookhaven National Laboratory
  • Marketing Group Director, Food Service and Hospitality Division, Coca-Cola
  • Engineer, Space Station Freedom
  • CEO, Orchid BioSciences
  • Airborne Sensors Product Branch Chief, U.S. Department of Defense Missile Defense Agency Test Resources Directorate
  • Director, Business Development, Lockheed Martin IS&S
  • Senior Engineer, Cryomagnetics, Inc.
  • New Product Introduction Engineer, Volex, Inc.
  • Programmer/Analyst, Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs
  • Senior Engineering Manager, Nokia Mobile Phones
  • Chief of Clinical Physics, Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center
  • Scientific Advisor, Defense Threat Reduction Agency, TDAT
  • Research Engineer, Center for Applied Optics
  • Statistical Engineer (Vehicle Assembly), General Motors
  • Staff Scientist, National Renewable Energy Laboratory
  • Product Manager, Carl Zeiss Nano Technology Systems
Note: This information is current for the 2016-17 academic year; however, all stated academic information is subject to change. Please refer to the current Academic Catalog for more information.