# Programs How much can someone with a phd in physics make?

1. Aug 27, 2010

### agent_509

I know that you shouldn't get a phd for the money, and you should get one because you want one. I am just wondering how much someone with a phd in physics can make depending on what job they choose.

2. Aug 27, 2010

Same range as somebody with a high school diploma can make. Anywhere from $0 to hundreds of millions of dollars a year. Like you said, it depends on what job they choose. What job did you have in mind specifically? 3. Aug 27, 2010 ### agent_509 anything involving research in physics. Whether it be being a professor at a research university, working for the government, most anything involving research really. 4. Aug 27, 2010 ### jtbell ### Staff: Mentor 5. Aug 27, 2010 ### Troponin Brian May is worth about$80 million, but his PhD is in Astrophysics. I don't know if you're considering the various sub-fields or not.

6. Aug 27, 2010

### lisab

Staff Emeritus
Ah, but he took that rare and difficult rock-star-to-scientist route .

7. Aug 27, 2010

### agent_509

okay, thanks for the answers everyone, I think I got what I was looking for from jtbell's link.

8. Aug 28, 2010

### twofish-quant

Starting salary for Ph.D. level quants on Wall Street is roughly $100K +$50K bonus. With three years of experience, you make VP level, and that gets you about $150K salary +$100K bonus. Most people stay at VP level for the rest of their careers, but I know physics Ph.D.'s that have gotten into managing director level, and total comp there can be \$500K+.