Physicists Salary 2018: How Much Money Do They Make

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hourly pay for Physicists
do Physicists make a lot of money


Other names for this job might include Aerodynamicist, Aerophysicist, Astrophysicist, Atmospheric Physicist, Atomic Spectroscopist, Biophysics Scientist, Cloud Physicist, Consultant Electronics, Electro Optical Engineer, Electro-Optical Engineer

  • $121770
  • 77%
    Job satisfaction
  • Hard
    Becoming one
  • Medium
    Job growth
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How Much Do Physicists Make In 2018

In this salary guide, you will find out how much do Physicists make.

After reading this, you will be able to make a decision if working as a Physicist will suit your financial goals (e.g: buying a home, BMW or just your target salary goal).

Average salary

Annual salary
$121770 per year

Hourly wage
$58.540 per hour

One of the most popular questions we get from our readers here at OwlGuru is how much do Physicists make per year and what is their hourly wage.

According to BLS, the average annual salary of Physicists is $121770. Their salary can also be as low as $57640 if you’re still a newbie with no experience to over $189560 if you have a ton of experience under your belt.

The typical hourly pay is $58.540 and can range from $27.710 to $91.140 which also depends if you’re a newbie or a professional.

Just like any other job, the salary of A Physicist will vary based on your education and experience level.

# = Over $100 per hour or $200,000 per year.
Salary rank

We wanted to make it easy for our readers to compare the salary of A Physicist to all the other careers out there. So we created Salary Rank.

This compares the salary of all careers and we give them a rank of A, B, C or D depending on how high or low is their average salary.

After comparing how much do Physicists make with other careers, they have a salary rank of A.

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Salary range

Highest (Top 10%)$91.140$189560
Senior (Top 25%)$73.900$153710
Middle (Mid 50%)$55.710$115870
Junior (Bottom 25%)$39.830$82850
No experience (Bottom 10%)$27.710$57640

Entry-level Physicists who starts out at $82850 can expect to make $115870 after 3-5 years of experience in the field.

The bottom 10% makes less than $27.710 per hour while the top 10% makes over $91.140 per hour.

While the median wage is $115870 per annum or $55.710 per hour.

Depending on who you work for, you might also get overtime pay.

# = Over $100 per hour or $200,000 per year.

Highest paying industries

Industry nameHourly wageAnnual salary
General Medical and Surgical Hospitals, Privately owned82.55171700
Hospitals, Privately owned82.28171140
Offices of Physicians81.87170290
General Medical and Surgical Hospitals (including private, state, and local government hospitals)81.86170270
Hospitals (including private, state, and local government hospitals)81.32169140
Health Care and Social Assistance (including private, state, and local government hospitals)80.78168030
Ambulatory Health Care Services79.89166170
Specialty hospitals, Privately owned79.28164900
Hospitals, Local government owned78.31162890
General Medical and Surgical Hospitals, Local government owned78.31162890
Outpatient Care Centers78.04162330
Specialty (except Psychiatric and Substance Abuse) Hospitals (including private, state, and local government hospitals)76.43158970
Computer Systems Design and Related Services67.97141380
Administrative and Support Services66.37138050
Employment Services66.37138050
Oil and Gas Extraction66.11137510
Hospitals, State government owned65.66136580
Management, Scientific, and Technical Consulting Services65.41136050
Semiconductor and Other Electronic Component Manufacturing61.77128480
All industries, private ownership only60.73126310
Sector 56- Administrative and Support and Waste Management and Remediation Services60.01124830
Local government, including schools and hospitals59.21123150
Engineering Services58.84122380
Remediation and Other Waste Management Services58.8122290
Machinery Manufacturing58.65121990
Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services58.54121760
Computer and Electronic Product Manufacturing58.4121460
Navigational, Measuring, Electromedical, and Control Instruments Manufacturing58.13120910
Transportation Equipment Manufacturing57.99120630
Aerospace Product and Parts Manufacturing57.9120430
Electric Power Generation, Transmission and Distribution57.77120170
Research and Development in the Physical, Engineering, and Life Sciences57.42119440
Scientific Research and Development Services57.4119400
All industries56.39117300
Offices of Other Health Practitioners55.69115830
Offices of All Other Health Practitioners55.69115830
Federal Executive Branch55.22114850
Federal government, including the US Postal Service55.22114850
Waste Management and Remediation Services55.11114620
Architectural, Engineering, and Related Services54.76113910
Federal, State, and Local Government53.32110910
Federal, State, and Local Government, excluding state and local schools and hospitals, and the US Postal Service53.32110910
Testing Laboratories48.08100010
Federal, state, and local government, including government owned schools and hospitals, and the US Postal Service47.7899380
Fabricated Metal Product Manufacturing44.1691850
Other Fabricated Metal Product Manufacturing44.1191750
Educational Services, Privately owned41.0985470
Colleges, universities, and professional schools, Privately owned41.0985470
Local Government, excluding schools and hospitals40.1483490
Educational Services (including private, state, and local government schools)38.5580190
Colleges, Universities, and Professional Schools (including private, state, and local government schools)38.5580190
State government, including schools and hospitals37.5978180
Educational Services, State government owned37.3577680
Colleges, universities, and professional schools, State government owned37.3577680
State Government, excluding schools and hospitals33.9670630

Not all industries pay the same for Physicists.

One of the easiest way to increase your salary is to change industries and find a higher paying one.

Highest paying states


Another simple way to boost your pay as A Physicist is to move to a higher paying state. However moving to a higher paying state like OK doesn’t mean you will make more overall. This is because the expenses at OK may be 2x higher than where you are currently living at right now.

According to the BLS, the highest paid / most successful Physicists are in the states of OK, KS, FL, SC and OH. The average salary in OK is $154380.

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Rank: B+
Salary: $107140

They observe, research, and interpret astronomical phenomena to increase basic knowledge or apply such information to practical problems.
Rank: A
Salary: $113190

They conduct research into fundamental computer and information science as theorists, designers, or inventors. Develop solutions to problems in the field of computer hardware and software.
Rank: B+
Salary: $91960

They study the chemical composition or physical principles of living cells and organisms, their electrical and mechanical energy, and related phenomena. May conduct research to further understanding of the complex chemical combinations and reactions involved in metabolism, reproduction, growth, and heredity. May determine the effects of foods, drugs, serums, hormones, and other substances on tissues and vital processes of living organisms.
Rank: A
Salary: $90340

They teach courses in the physical sciences, except chemistry and physics. Includes both teachers primarily engaged in teaching, and those who do a combination of teaching and research.
Rank: A
Salary: $90500

They teach courses pertaining to the laws of matter and energy. Includes both teachers primarily engaged in teaching and those who do a combination of teaching and research.

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Social Science and Humanities
Mathematics, Physics/Astronomy
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Science and Math

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