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Career Opportunities and Work Life

Many career opportunities are available with an undergraduate physics degree:

  • Meteorology
  • Computer programming
  • Technician
  • Education (elementary and secondary)

If you decide to pursue your education at the master's level, you will become eligible for employment in the following positions:

  • Supervising technician
  • Teaching (community college level)
  • Trouble shooter for instrument companies

With a Ph.D. even more employment opportunities arise:

  • Head of a laboratory
  • Teaching at a university
  • Government research
  • Research and design

Work Environment
Positions in physics usually require a 40-hour week, and spend time between laboratories and offices. Due to varying lab sizes and availability of equipment, travel may be necessary to alternative labs to conduct research.

Time spent in the office is designed to plan, record, and write lab reports. At times, research may require irregular hours.

Employment Outlook
Job opportunities for physics graduates are expected to grow slower than average through 2020, but the industry is still growing. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, through 2020 there will continue to be demand for people with a physics background to work in the computer field and other applied sciences. Many new workers will have titles such as computer software engineer or systems analyst rather than physicist.

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