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Physics Career options with a MS in physics

  1. Feb 23, 2010 #1

    I have been reading this thread hoping to find some advice to would apply to me. I have a Master's in physics from the University of New Hampshire. I had actually passed the PHD qualifying exam, and also completed all of the PHD course work before I decided to leave with a Master's degree and pursue a high school teaching job. I have been trying to find such a job for the last 3 years with no luck, and so I have decided to re-consider my options. My thesis was on Kaon Nucleon scattering in lattice QCD, and most of my research was on nuclear theory. I also have a pretty extensive mathematics background. My problem is that I am not sure what it is that I really want to do. I keep searching and checking job sites, like craigslist and monster.com, but nothing has jumped out at me yet. I have been mulling over applying at a nuclear power plant, but it seems they are more interested in engineers then in physicists. My only programming experience is with Mathematica, which I am very well versed in. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 24, 2010 #2
    If you're interested in nuclear issues, have you looked at the http://www.nrc.gov/about-nrc/employment.html"? They hire master's-level physicists for their professional development program (in general, at least; I don't know what their current hiring status is).

    Beyond that, your question is pretty broad. Any narrowing down you can do as far as subject areas that you're interested in?
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 24, 2017
  4. Feb 24, 2010 #3
    You couldn't get a job teaching high school? Any thoughts on that situation? Teaching high school is my double secret backup plan :cry:
  5. Feb 24, 2010 #4
    I just checked out their site. Thanks for the heads up, it sounds like it would be great for me, plus they have a location in PA near where I am planning to move. They also want people without experience, which is something I am really looking for. I wish I could narrow down what I am interested in, I think that is a big part of the problem. I dont know what I am interested in. I want something interesting that pays well and will train me. I dont want anything where I would have to do any programing, or learn a computer language like C++. I am interested in working in either PA or the San Francisco bay area. I currently like in SF. I would love to work for like a defense contractor, but I doubt they hire theoretical physicists.

    So about being a high school teacher. I have tried for three years with no luck so far. I have applied to credential programs, I have tried to get into fellowship programs, I have even worked as a sub to try to get an in with the district. I even worked as a PE teacher for a year, and so far none of it has paid off. The district out here is hardly doing any hiring, and the few jobs that do open up, want someone who already has a credential. This has been so frustrating.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 24, 2017
  6. Feb 24, 2010 #5
    There are jobs in the defense industry, both in government and at contractors, for people with your background; not a lot, perhaps, but they're there. Not being willing to do any programming cuts down a lot of those, however, and your geographic preferences probably eliminate most of the rest.
  7. Feb 24, 2010 #6
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 24, 2017
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