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Physicists do experimental and developmental work in areas such as electronics, medicine, engineering, the environment, energy, nuclear physics, manufacturing and information technology.

The Work

You could be:


The figures below are only a guide. Actual pay rates may vary, depending on:

Physicists in the private sector can earn from around £22,000 a year to start, rising up to around £50,000 a year with a number of years' experience.

The starting salaries for physicists in postdoctoral research posts are normally in the range £27,000 to £40,000 a year. University lecturers including senior lecturers can earn up to £52,000 a year. More senior research and teaching staff can earn over £70,000 a year.

Trainee medical physics technician working in the NHS start on Band 6, £33,072 to £40,736 a year. As an HCPC registered medical physicist you would be on Band 7, £40,872 to £47,846 a year. With experience, in senior positions, this can rise to Band 9, £103,358 to £108,050 a year. The current pay scales are from April 2021.


Workforce Employment Status

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Getting In

For most jobs you would require a degree.

You could work in a wide range of careers – in various branches of engineering, defence, ICT, medical industry, manufacturing, optics, power generation, satellite design, transport, construction, meteorology, patent agency work, business and finance. There is also a considerable demand for teachers in this area.

Workforce Education Levels (UK)

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Job Outlook Scotland


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Job Outlook Scotland

0.3 %

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What Does it Take?

You should be:

You should have:


Getting On

More Information

The Institute of Physics website has a careers section at which shows you the wide range of career opportunities open to physics graduates. They also have a website dedicated to exploring the world of physics and related careers at

The Future Morph website shows you some of the amazing and unexpected places that studying science, technology, engineering and maths can take you.


Courtesy of WOUB


The following organisations may be able to provide further information.

Institute of Physics (IOP)
Tel: 020 7470 4800
Website (2):
Twitter: @PhysicsNews

Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine (IPEM)
Tel: 01904 610821
Twitter: @ipemnews

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