# How much do theoretical and experimental physicist get paid

1. Sep 23, 2015

### potato123

I like physics but i don't wanna worry about having enough money to afford a house or an apartment and l like would like to eat out without a coupon.

2. Sep 23, 2015

### e.bar.goum

Yeah, we don't get paid that badly. Wages strongly depend on your geography. Here are the statistics for US PhD starting salary -- the first job out of a PhD. https://www.aip.org/statistics/employment/salaries Here are some numbers for jobs in the US throughout your career. I don't know how reliable this website is. http://www.payscale.com/research/US/Job=Physicist/Salary median for 5-10 years post PhD is 88K.

A good exercise would be to take a look at job advertisements for the kind of job you'd like to do.

3. Sep 23, 2015

### Staff: Mentor

So do living costs, of course. You have to take those into account when comparing salaries in, say, the NYC and SF areas with smaller places in the Midwest or South. Where I live, you can get a 3br2ba house in a nice (not ritzy) neighborhood for $180,000, and property taxes are about$1000 per year.

4. Sep 23, 2015

### e.bar.goum

Of course. And you can't buy a house the size of a postage stamp for that much in Australia, but wages are much higher for postdocs than they are in the US.

But I think it's fairly safe to say that physicists get paid enough to live comfortably, in general.

5. Sep 24, 2015

### ZapperZ

Staff Emeritus
So when I read the title of this thread ("how much do theoretical and experimental physicist get paid"), it reminded me of the account that comedian Kathy Griffin gave during one of her performances where she attended a Celine Dion concert in Vegas. She said that at one point during the concert, Celine Dion said "This next song is dedicated to all the parents in the audience... and also the children". Kathy Griffin then looked at her audience and asked "That's like.... EVERYONE, isn't it?"

So when I see this question about how much money theoretical and experimental physicists make, my initial reaction was "Doesn't that cover ALL physicists?" One could have just easily asked "How much money does a physicist make?"

Of course, there is another possibility that the OP wants to know if there is a difference in income between "theoretical" and "experimental" physicists. But as has been pointed out already, there is such a spread in salary already due to different job types, levels, and locations, that I can't see any clear demarcation of salaries between the two disciplines. Besides, one may be trained in one or the other, but in practice, physicists tend to do some of each in many cases.

Zz.

6. Sep 24, 2015

### HomogenousCow

Are salaries usually higher for industry positions?

7. Sep 24, 2015

### Utilite

in turkey professors get paid terribly (around 5-6k in liras which is less than 2k\$ but they also work in industry they say that they get 4 times of their salary. a decent house in a decent place is 350-400k). our graduates mostly get a phd in usa or western europe and work there. they say that they are quite happy with their salaries, they can live easily also save some money. (a euro is 3,3 liras a dollar is more than 3 liras) if they ever return they they return as a rich man. most of my professors worked in usa before. if you want to be a physicist don't do it for the money but if you work for it you can have a decent life. also if you live in a country like mine go work abroad for 10-15 years you will have an exciting life.