Careers with a Bachelors in Physics | Cu Boulder | Particle Accelerators

In summary, a bachelor's degree in physics can lead to a variety of job opportunities, including technical work and management positions. However, in order to work with particle accelerators, a higher level of education, such as a master's or doctorate degree, is typically required. Additionally, pursuing a non-physics advanced degree or working in software are common paths for those with a physics background.
  • #1
Weave
143
0
I am considering in majoring in Physics at Cu Boulder.
What are some opportunities(jobs) with a Bachelors in physics?
Also, what does it take to work with particle accelerators?
 
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  • #2
What does it take to work with particle accelerators?

It depends on whether you want to get paid. If you are willing to work for free, all it takes is a BS in Physics and acceptance into a thesis-level graduate program. You will need a PhD in Physics if you actually want to get paid for your work.

An undergraduate physics degree gives an excellent background for many kinds of technical work. Think of it as a liberal arts degree for engineers and scientists. But, like a liberal arts degree, you should not expect to be able to work directly in your field with only an undergraduate degree.

Unless you want to work for free, that is.
 
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  • #3
I'd beg to differ. Look at the AIP and APS web sites -- they have some graphs and tables about what people with physics degrees get paid for different types of work with varying degrees of education. Also look at the recent thread here: https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=143104

Edit -- I also know for a fact that CU is pretty good with their undergrads. Otherwise they wouldn't have the large graduating classes that they do have... a faculty member at CU said their graduating physics classes have ~50 students in physics and engineering physics combined... and one of the engineering physics undergrads from CU said that most of the physics engineering grads take most classes in physics and have physics faculty as advisors (not engineering).
 
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  • #4
Weave said:
I am considering in majoring in Physics at Cu Boulder.
What are some opportunities(jobs) with a Bachelors in physics?

The BEST thing for you to do is look at all the job opening advertisements aimed at physicists. I have listed several here. This will tell you of the type of jobs in physics at a particular level.

http://www.physicspost.com/science-article-210.html

Also, what does it take to work with particle accelerators?

It depends entirely on what you want to do with a particle accelerators. If all you want to do is be an operator of an accelerator, then a M.Sc degree is usually sufficient. However, if you plan on doing research work on the physics of accelerators, then a doctorate degree in accelerator physics, or related fields (EE) is required.

Zz.
 
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  • #5
Thanks guys, at first it was looking like civil engineering but it's too specific. But I decided that I could do so much more with a physics degree, there is really a lot of options.
 
  • #6
physics girl phd said:
I'd beg to differ. Look at the AIP and APS web sites -- they have some graphs and tables about what people with physics degrees get paid for different types of work with varying degrees of education.

Beg to differ with what? Your post, ZapperZ's post, and the website links confirm what I said in my first post.

I am not saying that getting a bachelors in physics is pointless. Far from it. I have a BS in Applied and Engineering Physics. It has served me quite well over the years even though my job is not, and has never been, directly in the field of physics.

I looked at those graphs and tables. This one is particularly informative:
http://www.aip.org/statistics/trends/highlite/bachplus5b/table2.htm. The top three factors that influence the salary of a person with a bachelors degree in physics 5 to 9 years out of college are
  • Working in a software job
  • Being in management
  • Having a non-physics advanced technical degree

Having an undergraduate degree in physics provides an excellent basis for pursuing a non-physics advanced degree and for doing many different kinds of technical work, including software. But that advanced degree is not in physics, and most software jobs involve physics peripherally at best. Those in software and those with a non-physics advanced degree most likely have a non-physics career.

I was being a bit facetious in my first paragraph. Those who work in physics for (nearly) free have another name: lab assistants, aka PhD candidates.:smile: I should have put the smiley in my first post.
 

Related to Careers with a Bachelors in Physics | Cu Boulder | Particle Accelerators

1. What types of careers are available with a Bachelor's degree in Physics?

There are a variety of career options available with a Bachelor's degree in Physics, including research and development, engineering, data analysis, and education. Some specific job titles may include: research assistant, data analyst, engineering technician, and high school physics teacher.

2. How can a Bachelor's degree in Physics prepare me for a career in particle accelerators?

A Bachelor's degree in Physics can provide a strong foundation in theoretical and experimental physics, as well as practical skills in data analysis and scientific research. These skills are essential for working with particle accelerators, which involve studying the behavior and interactions of subatomic particles.

3. What kind of coursework is typically included in a Bachelor's program in Physics?

Coursework in a Bachelor's program in Physics may include topics such as classical mechanics, electromagnetism, quantum mechanics, thermodynamics, and statistical mechanics. In addition, students may also take courses in mathematics, computer programming, and laboratory techniques.

4. Are there any specific skills or experiences that can make me more competitive for careers in particle accelerators?

In addition to a strong academic background in physics and related subjects, relevant skills and experiences that can make you more competitive for careers in particle accelerators include laboratory experience, computer programming skills, and knowledge of advanced mathematics and statistics. Internships or research opportunities in particle physics can also be beneficial.

5. Are there any specific job opportunities in particle accelerators at CU Boulder?

Yes, CU Boulder has a number of research projects and facilities that involve particle accelerators, providing potential job opportunities for graduates with a Bachelor's degree in Physics. These may include positions as research assistants, technicians, or data analysts at the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP) or the Joint Institute for Laboratory Astrophysics (JILA).

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