Nuclear physicists focus on the science behind the particles that form the atom. The above average pay the earn compared to other jobs reflect the considerable education and expertise necessary to work in this occupation.
Average Annual Pay
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, physicists made an average salary of $117,040 in 2013, which amounted to an average hourly pay of $56.27. The top 10 percent of all physicists made $181,840 in 2013 while the bottom 10 percent made $55,150. Physicists receive the highest pay in Florida, earning an average of $171,160. The second highest paying state is Louisiana at $161,120 per year, followed by Minnesota at $153,890.
Work and Requirements
Most jobs in nuclear physics revolve around research and require a master's degree or a Ph.D. in nuclear physics. Types of research include low or medium energy nuclear physics, theoretical physics, heavy ion, isotope and accelerator research. Nuclear physicists find employment at facilities such as the Large Hadron Collider, university and government labs, in fields like aerospace, material science and archaeology.
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