Physics Employment Facts

What do Physicists do after earning their degree?

Physics is an adaptable major that, instead of preparing you for a narrow career path in just one area, allows you great freedom of choice in your ultimate employment. This may appeal to students who have not yet committed themselves to one career choice. Skills acquired during a physics degree, such as problem solving, information handling, critical reasoning, logical thought, clear communication, and use of computers as an analysis tool are much in demand in many fields of employment. You may end up with 'physicist' as your job title working in research at a university or government laboratory, but equally these skills fit you for a job in healthcare, communications, manufacturing, teaching, journalism, public service, management, finance, and many more.

Many Physics Honours graduates continue with their University studies to obtain a higher degree. Those students who leave us with a PhD often find employment in research facilities or universities within Australia or overseas. Students from The University of Sydney are highly regarded and often succeed in obtaining excellent positions in competition with students from around the world.

Overwhelmingly, graduates refer not so much to the specific knowledge learnt but the range of skills that makes physicists good ‘jack-of-all-trades’.

Here is a list of some of the places where Australian Physics graduates have gone straight out of their studies.

  • Management Consulting (Boston Consulting Group)
  • Mortgage Broker (Aussie Home Loans)
  • Patent attorney (Davies Collison Cave)
  • Data analyst (National Australia Bank)
  • Engineering Officer (Airforce)
  • Programmer (Wizard Information Services)
  • Business Manager
  • Medical Intern (hospital)
  • Radiation oncology medical physicist (Nepean Cancer Care Centre)
  • Research officer (Walter Eliza Hall Institute)
  • Science and Maths teacher
  • Trainee meteorologist (Bureau of Meteorology)
  • Health physicist (Australian Radiation Services)
  • Electronics Technical Officer (Gold Coast City Council)
  • Electrical & Electronic Locomotives Coordinator (QLD Rail)
  • Technical Instructor (Honeywell Australia Ltd)
  • Standard Engineer/contractor (Canon Information Systems)
  • Research Scientist (DSTO)
  • Reactor Engineer (ANSTO)
Graduate jobs

Source: “Forging New Directions in Physics Education in Australian Universities: Graduates in the Workforce Working Party Report”

A more detailed list can be found on our Employers page. A somewhat similar list can be found at
http://www.haverford.edu/astronomy/alumni/careers.php.

Comparisons of what graduates of different courses are doing can be found at Graduate Careers.