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Physics Professions.

  1. Sep 11, 2005 #1
    I've talked to people and they say physicists don't make as much money as engineers and people in the technology sector.

    Seems odd, but I'd like to know what careers are out there for people with bachelors, masters,and doctorate degrees in physics.
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 11, 2005 #2
    blah blah blah use the search function.

  4. Sep 11, 2005 #3
    Why is it always about how much money this and that profession makes? Don't get me wrong, money is second on my agenda. The thing is, I don't really care how much other professions make. I just want to be doing something that I enjoy, which in turn would make earning money easier.
  5. Sep 11, 2005 #4
    It would seem that if to me a physicist makes enough money to live an OK life financially, than that's all that matters. Nobody does physics for the money.... Every profession has a high earning potential, it all matters on how you want to go about doing your work.

    Plus, all your answers can be found by running a simple search on here or on google.
  6. Sep 11, 2005 #5
    His concerns are valid. If you end up making $25k/year at Costco because your degree is worthless *cough* my cousin, the straight-A psychology major *cough*, then you won't be happy since you can barely make ends meet and you can forget about starting a family. Of course, physics is far from worthless, but most people immediately get the idea that you do theoretical physics which has little practical use.

    Even when I first started looking into physics as a possible career choice, I wondered whether I could actually make a living.

    Caring about money doesn't make you a bad person, it just means you don't like starving or living under a bridge. Caring about money above anything else is a different matter, but I doubt that was what he was thinking when he asked the question.

  7. Sep 12, 2005 #6
    I do care about money and I think physicists are quite important like enginneers, doctors,and psychiatrists, but they don't make as much.Sciene,Tecnology,Engineering,and Electronics ae severly neglected in this country especially Research&Development. What is it going to take to get our culture to see the scientests are just as normal and as important as football players and lawers?
  8. Sep 12, 2005 #7


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    I'm at a small college that graduates about 3-4 physics majors per year. Right now we've got three recent graduates in law school, aiming to become patent lawyers. There's an illustrious precedent for this, you know. :wink:

    (OK, Einstein wasn't a lawyer, but still...)
  9. Sep 12, 2005 #8


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    May I know who are these "people" that you have talked to?

  10. Sep 12, 2005 #9
    To quote Einstein: "Science is a marvelous thing... as long as you don't have to live from it!".

    Now let me first say I'm still an undergraduate, and haven't the slightest idea as to how much physicists are paid later on.
    I would like to tell you why I think this question is replied as it is here. And first of all, I would like to say it's a very good thing that it is.

    The reason for my thinking so is simply this next picture: I have this friend, that any time I say "quantum" or "relativity", or actually anything anywhere near physics, his face takes an expression that's worth seing- kind of like he was sitting in the toilet, minding his own business, when all of a sudden Einstein walk in, wearing only pink socks, and with a full teeth smile asked him weather he could serve him any invariance before dinner, or was he actually light?
    For the matter at hand (and because it is, in fact, his real name), let's call him Noam.
    Now, I'm picturing Noam, rich, as a Professor of physics. His life would then consist of teaching, researching, and basically dealing with, physics all day long, every day.
    In the beginning, sure, he'd suck it up, you know- money and everything (if it was truly enough money).
    But soon enough, he'd start hating physics more and more. He'd probably wish, at some point, he hadn't gotten into physics in the first place (which, by the way, he didn't, and all of this is of cours the figment of my wild imagination).
    He would rapidly grow very unhappy with his life. But what are you gonna do, after years of studying (which in reality, he would never have gotten through anyway), you're deep into it, that's what you've spent your years studying, that's what you are.
    I then picture myself, Ph.d. in physics and all, but working at MacDonald's. I see myself still staying on track of things, reading all new research in my field, researching myself (I'm going into mathematical physics, I don't really need funding now, do I?). I see myself happy.

    Physics isn't something you should get into if you're not absolutely fascinated by it. Moreover, is you are, indeed, absolutely fascinated by it, you have no choice- you won't be able to live without it, you'll get into it.
    So you see, money isn't an issue here. And so, I think the guys' answers here are good in that way that they might "frighten" someone who wouldn't have been happy with physics had he gotten on with it.

    Some of you might be thinking that my little story wasn't really needed. Well, sue me.
    I would like to express my deepest respect to Albert Einstein, please don't take the pink socks personally.
  11. Sep 13, 2005 #10
    Making Money

    Last edited: Sep 13, 2005
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