How Much Money Does a Physicist Make?


Gaining knowledge about the physical properties of the world around us is essential to the advancement of technology and our fundamental knowledge of the universe. Physicists are scientists who employ mathematics, observation and analysis to understand matter and energy. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that some physicists study theoretical areas, such as the fundamental properties of atoms, while others design and conduct experiments using equipment like electron microscopes and lasers. Becoming a physicist typically requires a doctorate. The average physicist makes a six-figure salary.

Physicist Income

  • According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, physicists had a median annual income of $110,110 in May 2013. The median hourly wage was $52.94. Physicists in the top 10 percent of the pay scale made $181,840 a year or more, and those in the bottom 10 percent made $55,150 or less. The top three employers of physicists were companies involved in scientific research and development; colleges and universities; and the federal government. Among the states, physicists in Florida earned the highest average incomes, at $171,160 a year

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