Department of Physics and Physical Oceanography

Careers in Physics

A bachelor's degree in physics can be the first step in your choice of a variety of career options. With a physics degree you can go directly into business, industrial, or government employment as a design, research, quality control or development scientist or engineer. Or you can go into the teaching profession. Should you decide to continue your education, you can enter graduate school in physics, mathematics, chemistry, engineering, or business administration, or even continue in a professional program such as medicine, dentistry, physical therapy, or law. If you are interested in a research-oriented career, you must pursue a doctorate. The type of research in physics can vary from basic to applied, and can be carried out at a college or university (often combined with teaching), or at an industrial or government laboratory.

The study of physics leads to a unique and effective approach to problem solving. Employers value this, and physicists often find themselves in exciting fields, from computers to finance.

Nearly half of all physics graduates work in an industrial firm, a government laboratory, a research center, or teach at a high school or two-year college. Another third pursue graduate study in physics, and the remainder enter graduate school in another field, such as engineering, medicine, etc.

The UNCW Career Services Center will help you find prospective employers and arrange for on-campus interviews. And if you decide on graduate study, physics faculty can guide you in choosing graduate schools suited to your interests and abilities.

Some of our most recent graduates have been accepted into graduate programs at top-ranking schools, including Brown University, Cornell University, North Carolina State University, and UNC Chapel Hill, while others have become valued employees with local organizations such as Progress Energy, General Electric, and Corning.

New Data - 2011-2012 Payscale College Salary Report