Career Outlook

Choose from Multiple Career Paths with a Physics Degree

Physics majors are sought after for their versatility and ability to solve problems - in any field. The combination of education and real-world experience you’ll receive as a physics major at WPI will prepare you for graduate school or a career in a field of your choice.

Physics offers a variety of work activities: lab supervisor, researcher, technician, teacher, manager. A physics degree opens doors to employment opportunities throughout the world in government, industry, academia, and private organizations.

Physicists also design research equipment that often has additional unanticipated uses. For example, lasers developed by physicists are used in surgery; microwave devices originally designed by physicists function in ovens; and measuring instruments that can analyze blood or the chemical content of foods were created through the study of physics.

Salary Outlook

If you plan to study physics, you are entering an exciting and rewarding profession:

  • According to the 2010-2011 salary survey by payscale.com, physicists command the eighth highest mid-career median salary of any college major: $99,600. The same survey found the median starting salary for physics majors to be $50,700.
  • A recent WPI study of average salary by concentration reveals that Physics graduates with BS degrees earn an average of $60,000 per year, while those with an MS or PhD degree earn an average of $67,749 annually.
  • The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook reports that the median annual wage of physicists was $106,370 in May 2010.

 


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Careers in Physics

Germano Iannacchione, head of the Physics department, explains the many career options available to Physics majors.