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Physicist

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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:

Pay

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.

A qualified medical physicist in the National Health Service (NHS) on Agenda for Change is usually on Band 7, £37,570 to £44,688 a year. A small number might rise to the post of Consultant or Head of Service, on Band 8d £76,083 to £88,132 a year. The current pay scales are from April 2019.

Conditions

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

Employment

Unemployment

Percentage of workforce registered as unemployed (Scotland)

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Job Outlook Scotland and UK

  Scotland
2019
3498
2 %
RISE
2024
3568
  United Kingdom
2019
26777
1.6 %
RISE
2024
27209

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What Does it Take?

You should be:

You should have:

Training

Getting On

More Information

The Institute of Physics website has a careers section at www.iop.org/careers 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 www.physics.org.

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

Contacts

The following organisations may be able to provide further information.

Institute of Physics (IOP)
Tel: 020 7470 4800
E-mail: membership@iop.org
Website: http://www.iop.org/
Website (2): http://www.physics.org
Twitter: @PhysicsNews

Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine (IPEM)
Tel: 01904 610821
E-mail: membership@ipem.org.uk
Website: http://www.ipem.ac.uk/
Twitter: @ipemnews

Science Council
Tel: 020 3434 2020
E-mail: enquiries@sciencecouncil.org
Website: http://www.sciencecouncil.org/
Website (2): http://www.futuremorph.org/
Twitter: @Science_Council

The Science Council provides the quality assurance system for those working in science. They set the standards for professional registration for practising scientists and science technicians across all scientific disciplines. Those scientists who reach the required standards are recognised by the following designations CSci, CSciTeach, RSci and RSciTech.

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