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Other Jobs that expose you to physics that don't require a degree

  1. Jul 22, 2016 #1

    I am interested in information regarding jobs that involve exposure to physics, "interesting math", and/or that involve making things that don't require a math/physics/engineering degree.

    me: I did dual enrollment in high school, plus one year of college in which I mostly took math/physics courses, and have continued to self study things after dropping out of school (for personal reasons not related to academic performance), so I have knowledge of math through most of strauss' pde text, worked through most of spivak etc., but only have knowledge of contents of a one year intro physics course, and only basic python knowledge...currently reading more about finite different methods and going to start reading about finite element methods.

    Anyways, as said, I am interested in jobs that involve exposure to physics/"making things". A superficial level of exposure could be the custodial staff who maintain the physics buildings. I have been working in a hotel, but was looking at jobs at universities, or in construction, of that were remotely related to physics, when I was surprised to find the job listing by University of Arizona below. It seems to involve nontrivial physics, but doesn't require a college degree.



    With both of these jobs, it mentions substitutes for a degree: "broadly diversified experience in a variety of positions involved with complex applied technology such as science projects, aerospace, nuclear power or sophisticated instruments" or "instrumentation fabrication, maintenance and repair experience".

    I am wondering how people get this experience without a degree or connections, and concrete skills that can be learned to make myself an attractive candidate for positions such as these (or the positions that build up to these positions). An obvious one is improving my ability to program, but because programming isn't something that I enjoy--I appreciate the potential use of computers to assist in stuff I am interested in physics-wise though--I wish I knew more precisely what I should be learning in this area (I also have trouble with a computer related addiction, so I try to limit the amount I'm on them).

    Another issue is that I really hesitate to do anything involved in military/defense, on ethical grounds (I think I'd be able to work in this industry if I had power over the assignments I was getting, but in an entry level position, I'd guess I have to take what I'm given and potentially have to work on technology I feel is wrong to work on).

    Lastly, I want to be clear that this is not a "can you be a physicist without a physics degree?" question. It is "what supplemental roles can you occupy without a degree?" (and the skills you need to acquire to get these roles).
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 22, 2016 #2

    Simon Bridge

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    All jobs involve some physics.
    People can gain a broadly diversified experience as described without a degree simply by going into the World and experiencing stuff. Universities are not the fount of all knowledge.
  4. Jul 26, 2016 #3


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    You might look at jobs that need technicians or for industrial work on pilot plant programs. These types of jobs often need someone with some technical experience or will expose you to some engineering or physics.
  5. Aug 4, 2016 #4
    Radiation therapy / nuclear medicine technologist
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