Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Jobs With a PhD

  1. Apr 8, 2010 #1
    what jobs in the field of physics can a person with a PhD in physics get, and what are the average salaries of those jobs.
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 8, 2010 #2
    Please search the forums, there are hundreds of these threads. Physics graduates have a great set of skills and as such have many career paths open to them. This also means that there can be a huge variation in salary.
  4. Apr 8, 2010 #3
    Generally, a person with a Ph.D in physics will earn enough to live comfortably. A physicist can either go into academia(working for a university, doing research, etc.), or go into industry(i.e getting a job at a company). If you are interested in physics, and have a passion for it, pursue it.

    I can understand that you want to earn enough to live comfortably, but you can do so with just about any graduate degree. The income of a physicist, while decent, is not comparable with the income of lawyers, doctors, etc.
  5. Apr 9, 2010 #4
    I don't want to become a physicist to get rich, Iwant to become a physicist because I love physics.
  6. Apr 9, 2010 #5
    However, there are scientific jobs that physics Ph.D.'s does qualify you for that do have incomes that are comparable with incomes for lawyers, doctors, etc. A lot of physics Ph.D.'s work in investment banking or high-end software development, where the salaries are comparable to doctors and lawyers. Also there are people that do software development that go into management, which also can give you pretty high salaries.
  7. Apr 11, 2010 #6
    one thing to note here: You should like the job..otherwise you cannot perform good!
    I am just comfortable working with physics..so i like it..
    off course Physics job salary are less than medicine or lawyer..
    sometimes less than a engineer..
    Ps: i personally think that persons having a phd degree are socially respected..what you say?
  8. Apr 12, 2010 #7
    My plan is to get a BSc in physics, then get a PhD after that, then become a university professor, someone told me a professor at AUB (a university in my country) earns 10000 USD a month.
  9. Apr 12, 2010 #8
    As a dream that's fine. As a plan, you'll need to think of something to do if this doesn't work out.
  10. Apr 12, 2010 #9
    Depends on the place. There are physics-related jobs that pay more than doctors and lawyers.

    Again it depends on the place. In the United States, intellectuals and Ph.D.'s aren't very much socially respected. Alexis de Tocqueville mentioned why, and that's because in the United States the idea that people should be equal means that people that have power because of their intellect aren't very highly respected, whereas people that are self-made rich are.
  11. Apr 12, 2010 #10
    I think I'll work in a research centre if it doesn't work out probably in string theory since I plan to get a PhD in theoretical physics.

    the richest man in the world is originally from my country (Carlos Slim, Lebanon).
  12. Apr 13, 2010 #11
    Unfortunately, as I understand, what is so difficult is to find a permanent position in academia. Research centers are not that different, and indeed they are more sought-after by researchers since there you don't have to teach (and many researchers I've known don't like teaching). This is a global problem, since positions are so scarce that many people are willing to move to another country for an academic position. There are many, many threads in this forum about this, so just have a look to the archives.

    However, some universities might give priority to people from there. One thing you can check is how many physics PhDs your university produce each year and how many of them get professorships there. However, I have only seen that in departments that are not very relevant internationally.

    One think that you should consider is if you would like to spend some years doing a PhD "just for fun".
    What I have learned is that in some countries (USA for example) a PhD in physics is recognized as work experience and is usually well valued by employers. However, that is not the case everywhere (e.g. Spain). I know of people with PhDs whose time in grad school was not considered as work experience, and hence they had the same problems finding a good job than people applying straight from the bachelor (some of them emigrated and their PhD was valued then). This can be frustrating to some people. If you want to stay in your country after your PhD, you should check how is the situation there, unless you don't mind this.

    I thought he was from Mexico (and according to wikipedia, it was his father who was from Lebanon).
  13. Apr 13, 2010 #12
    He does not look slim at all...

    This very joke here shows that I will never get a phd in Physics :)
  14. Apr 14, 2010 #13
    he has a lebanese nationality
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook