What do engineering physicists actually do?

  • Engineering
  • Thread starter GreatEscapist
  • Start date
  • #1
I'm a junior in high school, and planning on pretty sure I'm going into some kind of engineering or physics. I'm not a genius (much to my disappointment), but I really love physics and the whole concept of engineering. Of course, what I'm gonna major in has changed only about 3 times, so...
In the engineering field, I was looking at software and electrical engineering. And for physics, I really like the idea of engineering physics, but what do you *actually* do?
After reading some threads about people deciding between EE and EP, I guess I just want to know more about it.

Answers and Replies

  • #2
As far as I know there are no jobs that directly follow engineering physics. There isn't such a thing as an engineering physicist in industry. Engineering physics majors go to grad school or take jobs doing different types of engineering.

Someone please point out any jobs I may not be thinking of.
  • #3
I thought that they planned stuff for nasa, but I really don't know.
Hence why I came here. :P
  • #4
I'm in the early phases of working on an engineering physics degree myself. I believe the idea of a degree in engineering physics is to get a solid background in applied physics and to specialize in whatever specifically interests you. I'm considering doing a double degree in another engineering field, which I suspect isn't an uncommon thing to do. The wiki page has a brief and informative blurb:

  • #5
I sometimes see them going into nano-tech, materials, and RF/wireless/electromagnetics fields. The other option is to get a more specialized graduate degree but engineering physics is a fairly specialized thing already. From what I can tell someone with a background in engineering physics does design at a very low level and goes into a niche job where a very very deep understanding of something specific is needed, so an engineering physicist should probably specialize in something like semiconductor materials (HP looks for that one here in Oregon), or electromagnetism (probably more a research angle), you could even take it into quantum computing or quantum mechanics.
  • #6
Depending on what you do as your engineering background in engineering physics you might be more likely to be hired in that area. If you study electronics for engineering electives then people might be more likely to hire you for a position involving electronics. Mostly what you demonstrate if you come out of physics with a good GPA and some research experience is that you're a smart person who's willing to get his hands on science. As an engineering physicist you graduate as a jack of all trades.

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