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Physics Physics jobs that involve a lot of travelling

  1. Apr 8, 2012 #1
    Hi, I was wondering if there are any graduate physics jobs that involve a lot of travelling with the job, I'm not fussed about the pay, the idea of working in the same place for the rest of my life doesn't appeal to me.

    Thanks a lot, Alex :)
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 8, 2012 #2


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    Any job can lead to a lot of traveling. I spent about a full year total in Europe and South America while working on my PhD, because that's where my collaborators and instruments were located. I didn't plan on it happening that way, it just happened.
  4. Apr 9, 2012 #3
    thanks :)
  5. Apr 9, 2012 #4
    ...s ounds like you'd enjoy the life of a post-doc?
  6. Apr 10, 2012 #5
    what does a post doc do?
  7. Apr 10, 2012 #6


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    Post-docs are short-term (2-3 year, typically) research positions. One typically has to do a few postdocs before landing a tenure-track faculty positions. Because postdoc positions are short-term and people intent on becoming a professor usually end up doing more than one, they end up moving around a bit (people usually don't do multiple postdocs at the same place). So, this sort of 'travelling' is really just moving from job to job. Postdocs typically go to conferences, too, but it depends on funding.

    On the non-academic side, consulting positions typically require a lot of travel, and often hire Ph.Ds. I went to a talk by a guy from McKinsey and if I recall correctly he said he was travelling 4 days a week (he also said not many people stick with the job more than a few years because it's hard to settle down doing that much travelling).

    Other companies in industry or finance sometimes also have global offices that you could possibly get sent to.
  8. Apr 10, 2012 #7
    Really helpful, thanks a bunch
  9. Apr 11, 2012 #8


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    I know that this is slightly off-topic, but I have read that within McKinsey, there are two main types of positions, at least at the entry level -- consultants and business analysts.

    I would presume that the consultant positions will require more travel than the business analysts (from the job description I read on their website, the analysts support the consultants across multiple projects with research and the like).
  10. Apr 22, 2012 #9
    There is plenty of scope for travel in the oil industry and there are certainly oppurtunities for those with a physics background here in the UK (and I'm guessing North America and Europe).
  11. Apr 22, 2012 #10
    Yes, exactly. I think it also depends on how one defines 'travelling'. Consulting engagements at companies like McKinsey are often lasting for more than a year. So you are commuting to the same customer every week and you work with the same people, often in the same office, for a quite extended period of time.

    If you (the thread starter) would prefer travelling to different locations often, I would look for positions called 'field engineer' (same terminology in different branches of engineering incl. software). It depends on your preferences, but these positions are more firefighting-like / stressful whereas a large consulting project feels more like a temporary employment at the customer's company.
  12. Apr 22, 2012 #11
    thanks for the advice, i'll look into that
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