Physicists use mathematical terms to describe the structure of the universe and the
interaction between matter and energy. They develop theories that describe the fundamental
forces and laws of nature. Physicists are the force behind new technologies that have
a profound effect on our lives such as laser surgery and microwave ovens.
Representative Job Titles and Areas of Specialization
* See Training section
||Quality Assurance Engineer
|Failure Diagnosis Engineer
||Scientific Equipment Salesperson
|High Energy Physicist
||Weights and Measures Inspector
Nature of the Work
Most physicists work in research and development of new technologies. Some conduct
basic research to increase scientific knowledge. Others conduct applied research to
develop new devices, products and processes.
Today, more physicists are specializing in fields combining physics with a related
science such as biology, chemistry, geology and engineering.
Places of Employment
||National Aeronautics and Space Administration
|Army, Navy, Air Force
|Central Intelligence Agency
|Colleges, universities, high schools
||National oceanic and atmospheric agencies
|Telecommunication equipment companies
||Nuclear Regulatory Commission
|Department of Energy
||Department of State
|Federal Bureau of Investigation
|Medical/scientific instrument companies
|Makers of business machines, computers
||Audio equipment companies
A bachelor's degree in Physics can get you a position in quality assurance, technical
sales or assisting physicists in research and development laboratories. If that sort
of career appeals to you, you should choose more applied courses as an undergrad and
get some and career-related experience while in school.
Most entry-level positions bearing the title "physicist" require Graduate training
in physics or a closely related field. If you want to teach and perform research at
a university or administer a research and development program, you will need a Ph.D.
For further information and/or career counseling contact the UCR Career Center, (951)
The following documents may provide further ideas for exploration.