STUDENT LIFE / MAR. 23, 2015
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6 Career Choices for Physics Graduates

If you thought studying physics couldn’t get you anywhere career-wise you are utterly mistaken. Did you know that your physics degree could get you into finance, IT, engineering or even business and management? In fact, a good physics degree can provide you with the expertise and the skills you need to succeed in many research-based roles in a variety of disciplines.

Here are the main categories physics careers fall into:

  • Research
  • Development and Design
  • Teaching
  • Management

According to Prospects, the top five occupations physics graduates choose to go into include programmers and software developers, engineering professionals, physicists, financial and investment analysts and advisers.

See Also: How to Become a Physicist

Apart from these, however, there are many other career choices you can explore that are directly relevant to your subject. Let’s have a look:

1. Geophysicist/field Seismologist



A geophysicists/field seismologist is responsible for studying physical aspects of the earth including earthquakes and seismic waves. Essentially their duties include controlling and interpreting the quality of seismic data by using complex tech equipment. This occupation requires that geophysicists are working in the field and providing environmental consultancy where needed.

2. Metallurgist


A metallurgist works with a variety of metals including iron, steel, nickel, aluminum and copper to contribute to the manufacture of useful products. Their duties pretty much depend on each metallurgist’s specialty:

  • Chemical metallurgist: extract and study useable metals.
  • Physical metallurgist: assess the behaviour of metals, invent new products and improve manufacturing techniques.
  • Process metallurgist: joining metals, giving shape to metals and selecting the best ones for a specific product.

3. Radiation protection practitioner

Radiation protection practitioner


Radiation protection practitioners are responsible for giving out advice about possible dangers associated with ionizing radiation including X-rays and radioactive materials. They use scientific equipment to control radiation making sure that the work environment is a safe place to be. Depending on the industry they are working in - nuclear or non-nuclear radiation protection practitioners have different job titles. Most work in medicine to facilitate the diagnosis and treatment of a patient, in research and teaching.

4. Research scientist


Research scientists can work in a variety of disciplines including anatomy, chemistry, meteorology, physics and materials science. They are responsible for designing, and analysing lab experiments. Two of the major employers of research scientists are pharmaceutical companies and universities.

5. Secondary school teacher


Having completed a degree in physics, you can work as a secondary school teacher. Their duties include preparing lesson plans and delivering lessons to students aged from 11 to 18. They also work closely with other teachers and parents to ensure that they can support the academic development of the students effectively.

6. Seismic interpreter


Seismic interpreters make use of a range of technical and scientific modeling techniques to help them analyse the hydrocarbon content of rock structures. Their geophysical knowledge allows them to examine underground formations and make estimates of minerals and carbon. Other jobs whose roles often overlap with the seismic interpreter’s duties includes marine and field seismologist and petroleum engineers.

A physics degree can help you break into multiple of industries and gain valuable hands-on experience in the field you are most interested in!

See Also: 8 Career Choices After Studying Sports Science

Are you a physics graduate? Which field do you find most interesting? Let us know in the comment section below.

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