Career Opportunities for Majors in Physics


A branch of the physical sciences, physics is the study of energy and the behavior of single atoms and their component pieces. Physicists are the most fundamental of scientists, for they examine the basic laws of nature. They seek to study and understand what happens when atoms and subatomic particles break down and assemble, how they react to collisions with each other and to electro-magnetic radiation. Physicists use mathematics to understand, explain and predict their theories and equations. They often apply their predictions and theories to other fields - chemistry, biology, geophysics, engineering, communication, transportation, electronics and health.

A physicist can be either an experimentalist or a theoretician. Almost all have doctorates, essential for college and university teaching and research, upper level research positions in government and industry, and higher administrative positions. Those with bachelors degrees may work in applied research and development as research assistants or in design, administration or engineering. Some specialized areas include: biophysics, health/medical physics, nuclear physics, optical physics, fluid physics and plasma physics.

The Physics Department offers two options, the professional option and the applied option, for students pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in physics. The general option leads to a Bachelor of Arts degree. The professional option is intended for students who, usually after graduate study, expect to become physicists in industrial or government research and development laboratories, or in teaching institutions. The applied option is intended for students who plan to pursue a technical career in physics or other technical areas, usually without further study. The general option is a flexible liberal arts program with physics as a major component for students who do not necessarily wish to become physicists.

A Sample Of Related Occupations

Acoustical Physicist Geophysicist Optical Physicist
Astrophysicist Health Physicist Plasma Physicist
Biophysicist Materials Scientist Quality Assurance Specialist
Engineer Medical Physicist Research Physicist
Fiber Optic Engineer Molecular Physicist Teacher/Professor
Fluid Physicist Nuclear Physicist Technical Consultant

Types of Employers

Private & Nonprofit Organizations
Aircraft & instrument manufacturers Engineering Firms Scientific Journals
Chemical Manufacturers Health Care Clinics Technical consulting firms
Defense manufacturing companies Information technology companies Testing Labs
Educational Institutions Production facilities
Electrical equipment companies Research & Development Labs
Government Agencies
Centers for Disease Control Environmental Protection Agency National Science Foundation
Department of Agriculture Food and Drug Administration Occupational Safety and Health Administration
Department of Defense National Aeronautic and Space Administration (NASA) Patent & Trademark Office
Department of Energy National Bureau of Standards Smithsonian Institution
Department of Health and Human Services National Institutes of Health

Jobs Obtained by Rutgers Graduates - First Jobs of Recent Graduates - Physics

Organization Job Title
NJ Dept. of Envir. Protection Environmental Specialist
Rutgers Univ. Dept. of Ceramics Fiber Optic Engineer
Allied Signal Lab Technician
Chicopee Research Lab Technician
Lowe Paper Company Project Engineer
Frigidaire Corp. Quality Engineer
Clemson University Research Assistant
Compulink Management Center Systems Engineer
Infotech Development Systems Engineer
New Brunswick School System Teacher
Hamamatsu Technical Consultant

Jobs Obtained by Rutgers Graduates - Jobs of Experienced Alumni - Physics

AT&T Corporate Headquarters (MS) Associate Manager
G.H. Besselaar Associates Clinical Research Associate
AT&T (PhD) Engineer
Technical Staff, David Sarnoff Research Center (MS) Member
Henleal Corp. (JD) Patent Attorney
Hoechst Celanese Corp. Physicist
University of Pennsylvania (PhD) Physics Professor
Syracuse University (PhD) Research Associate
Allied Signal, Inc. Research Physicist
GEC - Marconi (MS) Senior Engineer
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Graduate Schools Attended

Institution Degree Field
Dartmouth College MBA Computers & Technology
Drexel University MS Physics
Hunter College MS Occupational Safety & Health
Massachusetts Institute of Technology MS Engineering Management
Rutgers University JD Law
Rutgers University MS Ceramic Engineering

Additionally, you may:


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