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 Salary1

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

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 2023-24 academic year; however, all stated academic information is subject to change. Please refer to the current Academic Catalog for more information.


  1. 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
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