Physics job prospects in Canada

  • #26
symbolipoint
Homework Helper
Education Advisor
Gold Member
6,234
1,219
Those salaries are before taxation and that 88 actually becomes 65k . Also, if you can't make "enough" money in your field of interest, it's better to give up some things for the sake of future! My true interest is astrophysics, but I know that job opportunities are limited and having a stable job is a lifelong challenge. I'm not jumping on any conclusion, but you think I do! I'm just trying to find the best option, that has "physics/math intense content" and "enough money to have a convenient life". I know some people who did not think about this and they feel terrible for themselves and their family now. Don't get hostile please.
Okay so you are worried about salary and you want to do mathematics/physics intensive things. Pick Engineering and get your degree, ... and be done with it. Maybe include a Minor concentration in Physics.
 
  • #27
Okay so you are worried about salary and you want to do mathematics/physics intensive things. Pick Engineering and get your degree, ... and be done with it. Maybe include a Minor concentration in Physics.

I still want to be in the field of physics but that's not a bad idea!
 
  • Like
Likes symbolipoint
  • #28
George Jones
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
7,438
1,094
as far as I know most jobs (physics related) are in big cities. So there are some geographical boundaries to it!

It is such a competitive market that most folks are willing to go where the job is. There are more jobs in bigger cities, but I have met research astrophysicists from small cities, e.g., Brandon Manitoba, Sackville New Brunswick, and Antigonish Nova Scotia.
 
  • #29
It is such a competitive market that most folks are willing to go where the job is. There are more jobs in bigger cities, but I have met research astrophysicists from small cities, e.g., Brandon Manitoba, Sackville New Brunswick, and Antigonish Nova Scotia.
but they are exceptions.
 
  • #30
George Jones
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
7,438
1,094
but they are exceptions.

Also, I have met research astrophysicists from St. John's Newfoundland, Halifax Nova Scotia, Fredericton New Brunswick, Lennoxville Quebec, Kingston Ontario, London Ontario, Windsor Ontario, Lethbridge Alberta, and Kelowna British Columbia.

These so-called exceptions quickly add up, and if you are not willing to consider places like I the ones I have listed here and in my previous post, you really limit yourself.

By the way, all of these places are located in Canada.
 
  • Like
Likes atyy and AryaKimiaghalam
  • #31
Also, I have met research astrophysicists from St. John's Newfoundland, Halifax Nova Scotia, Fredericton New Brunswick, Lennoxville Quebec, Kingston Ontario, London Ontario, Windsor Ontario, Lethbridge Alberta, and Kelowna British Columbia.

These so-called exceptions quickly add up, and if you are not willing to consider places like I the ones I have listed here and in my previous post, you really limit yourself.

By the way, all of these places are located in Canada.

you're right. But research work is not a very stable job! getting the proper fund each time is hard!
 
  • #32
StatGuy2000
Education Advisor
1,824
923
As a Canadian who has lived and worked in five different provinces, I find this post to be very offensive.

"Ontario" does not equal "Canada", and "GTA" does not equal "Ontario"!!

That being said, if you look at where most STEM jobs (in particular where most physics, math, or engineering jobs) are based in Ontario, they tend to be in 3 distinct geographic clusters:

  1. The GTA (that's the Greater Toronto Area, for those of you not from Canada -- essentially a geographic region roughly comprising of cities & towns within 30min-1 hour drive surrounding the city of Toronto)
  2. The Kitchener-Waterloo area (including the cities of Cambridge and Guelph)
  3. Ottawa
So the OP is not wrong to focus on the GTA, especially if he/she lives there (and given that his/her handle, if that is his/her name, sounds to me to be of Tamil origin, I would bet that he/she lives in the GTA).
 
  • #33
CrysPhys
Education Advisor
771
436
To: OP

(1) There was a recent thread that asked the same question. In case you missed it, here's the link:

https://www.physicsforums.com/threa...n-demand-employable-physics-subfields.943422/

(2) There is no good answer to your question. You are seeking a projection of the job market ~10 yrs out; whereas, the historical record shows that job markets can invert (boom to bust, or bust to boom) within a time span of only ~1 yr. Technological advances, government policies, economic cycles, industry consolidation, latest trendy business models, wars, ... can have disruptive effects.

(3) Be careful of making salary conclusions based on surveys, you may need to dig deeper. Such surveys often aggregate data without regard to education level and years of experience. You need to find data based on your intended degree (a PhD) and years of experience. And, of course, "median" means half make more, half make less; so you need more granularity.

(4) You need to organize your wish list more systematically into two lists:

(a) Requirements (must have)
(b) Preferences (would like to have)

From your posts so far, it appears to me that if you lump the entire contents of your wish list under "Requirements", you will find that some items are mutually exclusive. In which case, you will need to move some items from "Requirements" to "Preferences". Note that this exercise will grow more complex should your personal circumstances grow more complex (working spouse, children in school, owning a house ...)

(5) The job that you desire did exist at one time in major corporate R&D labs (in the US, e.g., Bell Labs and IBM Watson were once a haven for physics research). With perhaps a few outliers here and there, that era is past (but who knows whether there will be a rebirth in the future). In Canada, if you had completed your PhD in quantum optics/optical physics/optoelectronic devices in 1999, you probably would have found a job to your liking with Nortel. But, of course, within a few years, you would have been out on the streets. So, even if you are one of the lucky few to find your dream job, the odds are against you that you will maintain it for the rest of your working life. You had better be adaptable ... unless you have a sufficiently large trust fund, or marry rich.
 
Last edited:
  • #34
To: OP

(1) There was a recent thread that asked the same question. In case you missed it, here's the link:

https://www.physicsforums.com/threa...n-demand-employable-physics-subfields.943422/

(2) There is no good answer to your question. You are seeking a projection of the job market ~10 yrs out; whereas, the historical record shows that job markets can invert (boom to bust, or bust to boom) within a time span of only ~1 yr. Technological advances, government policies, economic cycles, industry consolidation, latest trendy business models, wars, ... can have disruptive effects.

(3) Be careful of making salary conclusions based on surveys, you may need to dig deeper. Such surveys often aggregate data without regard to education level and years of experience. You need to find data based on your intended degree (a PhD) and years of experience. And, of course, "median" means half make more, half make less; so you need more granularity.

(4) You need to organize your wish list more systematically into two lists:

(a) Requirements (must have)
(b) Preferences (would like to have)

From your posts so far, it appears to me that if you lump the entire contents of your wish list under "Requirements", you will find that some items are mutually exclusive. In which case, you will need to move some items from "Requirements" to "Preferences". Note that this exercise will grow more complex should your personal circumstances grow more complex (working spouse, children in school, owning a house ...)

(5) The job that you desire did exist at one time in major corporate R&D labs (in the US, e.g., Bell Labs and IBM Watson were once a haven for physics research). With perhaps a few outliers here and there, that era is past (but who knows whether there will be a rebirth in the future). In Canada, if you had completed your PhD in quantum optics/optical physics/optoelectronic devices in 1999, you probably would have found a job to your liking with Nortel. But, of course, within a few years, you would have been out on the streets. So, even if you are one of the lucky few to find your dream job, the odds are against you that you will maintain it for the rest of your working life. You had better be adaptable ... unless you have a sufficiently large trust fund, or marry rich.

Thank you for the great advice! It opened my mind. I will take all this into consideration.
 
  • #35
jtbell
Mentor
15,764
4,006
unless you have a sufficiently large trust fund, or marry rich.
Or live a low-key lifestyle and save a lot of money, so that at some point you can afford to be forced into early retirement.
 
  • #36
CrysPhys
Education Advisor
771
436
Or live a low-key lifestyle and save a lot of money, so that at some point you can afford to be forced into early retirement.
That scheme won't always work: depends how early in your career you get laid off. I was only 8 yrs into my corporate R&D career (after my PhD) when I got my first layoff, with more to follow during my career. I had led a low-key lifestyle, but not enough years to have saved a lot of money to retire at that point. I didn't have a trust fund or a rich wife; I adapted to the job market and changed fields, with more changes to follow during my career. There have been people who got laid off before they started; i.e., they had an offer of employment all set upon graduation, but the offer was pulled before graduation day.
 
Last edited:
  • #37
jtbell
Mentor
15,764
4,006
depends how early in your career you get laid off.
Sure. But at some point, maybe in your fifties, maybe even earlier if you do really well, you can decide, "OK, this is my last layoff, time to hang it up."
 
  • #38
CrysPhys
Education Advisor
771
436
Sure. But at some point, maybe in your fifties, maybe even earlier if you do really well, you can decide, "OK, this is my last layoff, time to hang it up."
Sure, if you can pull it off financially (no more kids to put through college ...), sounds great. But multiple industry meltdowns and consequent layoffs are not conducive to monotonic and substantial salary increases. In my mid-50's, after being notified of my n-th layoff, I did decide to hang up my corporate R&D career. But I did not have the wherewithal to sail off into the sunset. So the last pivot in my career was the most major one: I became a patent agent in a law firm.

But back to my original point to the OP: unless you are really lucky, the job market is often dynamic, turbulent, and chaotic. Unless you have other financial means, you need a diverse skill set and need to be amenable to adapt to the job market [which, in some instances, means moving each time the local job market in your current field crashes, and you wish to stay in your current field (and this assumes that jobs in your current field are even available elsewhere); or changing fields if you choose not to uproot your family each time the local job market in your current field crashes (or the crash in your current field is industry wide)]. Stashing away enough in your 30's and 40's (and maybe early 50's) to retire in your 50's is not something I would count on ... and, besides which, you need a strategy to get you through your 30's and 40's (and maybe early 50's) to accumulate a stash in the first place. And I'm talking as one who weathered the semiconductor meltdown of the early 1990's, the InterNet Bubble Burst of the early 2000's, and the financial crisis of 2008 ... along with several smaller downturns.
 
Last edited:
  • #39
StatGuy2000
Education Advisor
1,824
923
Sure, if you can pull it off financially (no more kids to put through college ...), sounds great. But multiple industry meltdowns and consequent layoffs are not conducive to monotonic and substantial salary increases. In my mid-50's, after being notified of my n-th layoff, I did decide to hang up my corporate R&D career. But I did not have the wherewithal to sail off into the sunset. So the last pivot in my career was the most major one: I became a patent agent in a law firm.

But back to my original point to the OP: unless you are really lucky, the job market is often dynamic, turbulent, and chaotic. Unless you have other financial means, you need a diverse skill set and need to be amenable to adapt to the job market [which, in some instances, means moving each time the local job market in your current field crashes, and you wish to stay in your current field (and this assumes that jobs in your current field are even available elsewhere); or changing fields if you choose not to uproot your family each time the local job market in your current field crashes (or the crash in your current field is industry wide)]. Stashing away enough in your 30's and 40's (and maybe early 50's) to retire in your 50's is not something I would count on ... and, besides which, you need a strategy to get you through your 30's and 40's (and maybe early 50's) to accumulate a stash in the first place. And I'm talking as one who weathered the semiconductor meltdown of the early 1990's, the InterNet Bubble Burst of the early 2000's, and the financial crisis of 2008 ... along with several smaller downturns.

As an aside, as a patent agent, will you now have sufficient income in your current job to be able to retire in your 60s (if that is what you intend to do)?
 
  • #40
Hi,
I just began my undergraduate studies in mathematics and physics in Canada. I wanted to know more and hear about the job prospect of physicists in Canada (both industry and academia) from an expert who works here. What fields are better to specialize here?
I really appreciate your help and guidance.
 
  • #43
Sorry guys i couldn’t remember I asked this questions already.
I apologize
 

Related Threads on Physics job prospects in Canada

Replies
1
Views
6K
  • Last Post
Replies
1
Views
8K
Replies
1
Views
7K
Replies
6
Views
13K
Replies
2
Views
7K
Replies
2
Views
3K
Replies
8
Views
2K
Replies
1
Views
3K
Replies
9
Views
747
Replies
4
Views
2K
Top