Physicists

Military Career

General Information

Description

Physicists analyze and test physical properties of materials, including matter affecting living organisms, and apply results of experiments to the solution of problems. They engage in continuous development and modification to improve performance and suitability of products and production processes.

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Work Environment

Physicists in the military work in a variety of settings, both indoors and outdoors, depending on the area of specialization. Many physicists perform their work in laboratories or offices. Other physicists spend extensive hours outdoors collecting and analyzing data in the field. Although they observe strict safety precautions, some physicists may be exposed to hazardous substances.

Workplace at a Glance

What you can expect to experience while on the job

  • Responsibility
  • Exposure to job hazards
  • Physical activity
  • Decision making
  • Repetitiveness
  • Level of competition
  • Time pressure

Comparable Industries

  • Scientific Research and Development Services
  • Federal Executive Branch (OES Designation)
  • Colleges, Universities, and Professional Schools
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Military Outlook

Service Branches

Jobs in this career field may be available in other service branches. Call or email a particular branch for more info.

  • Army
  • Marine Corps
  • Navy
  • Air Force
  • Coast Guard

Military Status

  • Officer
    • Managerial/professional
    • College degree required

Military Workforce

Physicists in the Military

579

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Salary

Average Salary

$115,721

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Education

Most Common Education Levels

People in this career achieve this level of education.

  • Post-doctoral training 29%
  • Doctoral degree 23%
  • Master's degree 22%
  • Bachelor's degree 17%
  • Associate's degree 3%
  • High school 1%
  • Some college 1%
  • Post baccalaureate 1%
  • Less than high school 0%
  • Post-master's certificate 0%
  • First professional degree 0%
  • Post-secondary certificate 0%

Military training

Officers typically enter the Military after they have completed a four-year college degree; enlisted service members can transition to officer positions through a variety of pathways and earn a degree while serving. Job training for physicists primarily consists of classroom instruction and on-the-job learning in various training environments. Like other officers, they complete a comprehensive training program covering responsibilities, military structure and etiquette, traditions, and leadership development.

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Knowledge

  • Mathematics
  • Physics
  • Engineering and Technology
  • Computers and Electronics
  • English Language

Skills at a Glance

Skills helpful in this career

  • Verbal skills
  • Critical thinking & problem solving
  • Equipment operation & maintenance
  • Math & science skills
  • Technology design & control
  • Leadership
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