How Much Do Physicists Make in 2021 (including Starting Salary)

Stan T.Career, SalaryLeave a Comment

Annual Salary, Salary Range, and Highest Paying States and Industries


Physicists conduct research into physical phenomena, develop theories on the basis of observation and experiments, and devise methods to apply physical laws and theories.

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Table of contents
  1. Average salary
  2. Starting salary
  3. Salary rank
  4. Salary range
  5. Highest paying states
  6. Highest paying industries

Average salary

Annual salary
$137700 per year
Hourly wage
$66 per hour

Starting salary

Entry-level annual salary
$67,450 to $95,020 per year
Entry-level hourly wage
$32 to $46 per hour

Entry-level Physicists with little to no experience can expect to make anywhere between $67,450 to $95,020 per year or $32 to $46 per hour. Similar to any other job, their salary will increase as they gain experience.

Salary rank

Salary rank

We wanted to make it easy for our readers to compare the salary of Physicists to all the other careers out there. So we created Salary Rank. We compared the salary of all careers then we gave them a rank of A, B, C, or D depending on where their average salary sit in comparison to other careers.

Salary range

Level Hourly Annual
Highest (Top 10%) $100+ $208,000+
Senior (Top 25%) $82 $170,810
Middle (Mid 50%) $62 $129,850
Junior (Bottom 25%) $46 $95,020
No experience (Bottom 10%) $32 $67,450

Highest paying states

State Hourly Annual
CT $84 $173,970
NM $81 $168,480
SC $79 $165,120
NY $79 $163,290
LA $78 $162,930
DC $73 $151,860
MA $73 $150,990
NJ $71 $147,900
FL $70 $146,180
MN $70 $145,770

Another simple way to increase your salary as a Physicist is to move to a higher paying state. However moving to a higher paying state like CT doesn’t guarantee that you will make more because the expenses at CT might be much higher than where you are currently living at right now.

According to BLS, the highest paid Physicists are in the states of CT, NM, SC, NY and LA.

Highest paying industries

Salary by industry Annual Hourly
Computer Systems Design and Related Services $198760 $95.56
Offices of Physicians $192790 $92.69
General Medical and Surgical Hospitals $183820 $88.37
Outpatient Care Centers $170340 $81.89
Scientific Research and Development Services $150310 $72.26
Management of Companies and Enterprises $144680 $69.56
Management, Scientific, and Technical Consulting Services $138820 $66.74
Semiconductor and Other Electronic Component Manufacturing $133420 $64.14
Architectural, Engineering, and Related Services $133340 $64.11
Navigational, Measuring, Electromedical, and Control Instruments Manufacturing $132070 $63.49
Employment Services $129740 $62.37
Federal Executive Branch $125580 $60.38
Machinery Manufacturing $124800 $60.00
Chemical Manufacturing $110600 $53.17
Local Government $100840 $48.48
Colleges, Universities, and Professional Schools $100130 $48.14
Electric Power Generation, Transmission and Distribution $99230 $47.70
State Government $78600 $37.79

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