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Physics Masters in Health Physics and Job Prospects

  1. Jun 11, 2011 #1
    I'm an undergraduate biomedical physics major going into my senior year. I've been really interested in going the medical physics route, but was only interested in doing that for two years to get my master's rather than Ph.D. Now with all the CAMPEP accreditation and residency stuff, I've learned that it's really tough for a master's student to get residency (it makes sense, all the hospitals are going to hire a Ph.D student over an MP student).

    This field is super interesting to me and I'm exploring other Master's programs. The only thing is that in doing my research, I've hardly found out anything about a Master's in Health Physics. What does this degree get you? As in, can you work right away and what kind of jobs can you have with this degree? I know that you have to have 6 years of professional experience before you can become a CHP, but then where were you working at in the first place? Also, wouldn't jobs always hire a CHP over someone who doesn't have it? Or is there a significant pay scale that makes up for this certified difference? I haven't found anything about a Ph.D in health physics, is that an option (all I have found are master's programs...)? Also, do most people get their CHP?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 11, 2011 #2


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    The most directly related professional position, would be that of a radiation safety officer, or (rather obviously) a health physicist. These people work in radiation therapy hospitals, nuclear plants, radioisotope production facilities, government regulatory agencies, as independent consultants, etc.

    In larger facilities you will have a radiation safety office responsible for carrying out the various aspects of radiation safety programs (policy development, safety audits, personnel dosimetry, etc.) and need all levels of health physicists, including juniors to get all the work done.
  4. Jan 13, 2012 #3
    Therre is a significant pay scale difference between a CHP and non-CHP. Take a look here for salary information.

    I started with a BS in physics and math as an HP for a radiopharmaceutical company and am now have an MS in Nuclear Engineering (focus on radiation protection, the college where I received my MS didn't have health physics) and am an RSO for a startup R&D company that is designing a combination MRI/teletherapy device for rreal time imaging during radiotherapy and stereotactic radiosurgery.

    I understand that Oregon State has an excellent program, as does Purdue. Not sure of other universities that offer the MS, though.
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