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Occupational Employment Statistics
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Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2019

19-2012 Physicists

Conduct research into physical phenomena, develop theories on the basis of observation and experiments, and devise methods to apply physical laws and theories. Excludes “Biochemists and Biophysicists” (19-1021).


National estimates for this occupation
Industry profile for this occupation
Geographic profile for this occupation

National estimates for this occupation: Top

Employment estimate and mean wage estimates for this occupation:

Employment (1) Employment
RSE (3)
Mean hourly
wage
Mean annual
wage (2)
Wage RSE (3)
16,730 5.4 % $63.02 $131,080 2.1 %

Percentile wage estimates for this occupation:

Percentile 10% 25% 50%
(Median)
75% 90%
Hourly Wage $30.03 $42.63 $59.06 $78.95 $97.11
Annual Wage (2) $62,470 $88,670 $122,850 $164,210 $201,990


Industry profile for this occupation: Top

Industries with the highest published employment and wages for this occupation are provided. For a list of all industries with employment in this occupation, see the Create Customized Tables function.

Industries with the highest levels of employment in this occupation:

Industry Employment (1) Percent of industry employment Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage (2)
Scientific Research and Development Services 5,430 0.77 $68.67 $142,840
Colleges, Universities, and Professional Schools 3,210 0.10 $45.24 $94,100
Federal Executive Branch (OES Designation) 3,100 0.15 $57.98 $120,590
General Medical and Surgical Hospitals 1,180 0.02 $89.37 $185,880
Management, Scientific, and Technical Consulting Services 740 0.05 $61.55 $128,020

Industries with the highest concentration of employment in this occupation:

Industry Employment (1) Percent of industry employment Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage (2)
Scientific Research and Development Services 5,430 0.77 $68.67 $142,840
Federal Executive Branch (OES Designation) 3,100 0.15 $57.98 $120,590
Colleges, Universities, and Professional Schools 3,210 0.10 $45.24 $94,100
Specialty (except Psychiatric and Substance Abuse) Hospitals 210 0.08 $77.92 $162,080
Navigational, Measuring, Electromedical, and Control Instruments Manufacturing 230 0.06 $58.20 $121,060

Top paying industries for this occupation:

Industry Employment (1) Percent of industry employment Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage (2)
General Medical and Surgical Hospitals 1,180 0.02 $89.37 $185,880
Computer Systems Design and Related Services 230 0.01 $85.99 $178,850
Specialty (except Psychiatric and Substance Abuse) Hospitals 210 0.08 $77.92 $162,080
Scientific Research and Development Services 5,430 0.77 $68.67 $142,840
Semiconductor and Other Electronic Component Manufacturing 170 0.05 $63.57 $132,220


Geographic profile for this occupation: Top

States and areas with the highest published employment, location quotients, and wages for this occupation are provided. For a list of all areas with employment in this occupation, see the Create Customized Tables function.





States with the highest employment level in this occupation:

State Employment (1) Employment per thousand jobs Location quotient (9) Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage (2)
California 1,950 0.11 0.98 $58.98 $122,670
Maryland 1,880 0.70 6.11 $58.39 $121,450
New Mexico 1,740 2.11 18.52 $80.16 $166,720
Texas 980 0.08 0.69 $55.10 $114,600
Illinois 930 0.15 1.35 $54.38 $113,100




States with the highest concentration of jobs and location quotients in this occupation:

State Employment (1) Employment per thousand jobs Location quotient (9) Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage (2)
New Mexico 1,740 2.11 18.52 $80.16 $166,720
District of Columbia 750 1.03 9.04 $69.43 $144,420
Maryland 1,880 0.70 6.11 $58.39 $121,450
Colorado 910 0.34 2.98 $63.21 $131,480
Virginia 850 0.22 1.92 $53.41 $111,090




Top paying States for this occupation:

State Employment (1) Employment per thousand jobs Location quotient (9) Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage (2)
Kansas 30 0.02 0.19 $87.11 $181,190
Oklahoma 40 0.02 0.20 $83.36 $173,400
New Mexico 1,740 2.11 18.52 $80.16 $166,720
Connecticut 130 0.08 0.69 $79.64 $165,650
Louisiana 40 0.02 0.20 $76.00 $158,090





Metropolitan areas with the highest employment level in this occupation:

Metropolitan area Employment (1) Employment per thousand jobs Location quotient (9) Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage (2)
Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV 1,880 0.59 5.20 $64.36 $133,860
New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA 1,030 0.11 0.93 $73.00 $151,840
Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI 790 0.17 1.48 $56.38 $117,280
Boulder, CO 750 4.05 35.58 $65.22 $135,660
Boston-Cambridge-Nashua, MA-NH 500 0.18 1.57 $69.60 $144,770
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA 480 0.08 0.68 $59.68 $124,130
Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX 380 0.10 0.90 $72.18 $150,140
San Diego-Carlsbad, CA 330 0.22 1.94 $55.08 $114,560
Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA 310 0.16 1.36 $68.48 $142,440
Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC 300 0.39 3.45 $40.73 $84,710




Metropolitan areas with the highest concentration of jobs and location quotients in this occupation:

Metropolitan area Employment (1) Employment per thousand jobs Location quotient (9) Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage (2)
Boulder, CO 750 4.05 35.58 $65.22 $135,660
Idaho Falls, ID 110 1.60 14.07 $56.26 $117,020
Lansing-East Lansing, MI 270 1.23 10.78 $38.40 $79,870
California-Lexington Park, MD 50 1.11 9.74 $51.03 $106,140
Champaign-Urbana, IL 70 0.74 6.48 $35.52 $73,880
Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV 1,880 0.59 5.20 $64.36 $133,860
Huntsville, AL 90 0.41 3.56 $69.77 $145,120
Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC 300 0.39 3.45 $40.73 $84,710
Portsmouth, NH-ME 40 0.38 3.34 $48.88 $101,670
Charlottesville, VA 40 0.38 3.33 $36.46 $75,840




Top paying metropolitan areas for this occupation:

Metropolitan area Employment (1) Employment per thousand jobs Location quotient (9) Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage (2)
Buffalo-Cheektowaga-Niagara Falls, NY 40 0.06 0.57 $92.86 $193,150
Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford, CT (8) (8) (8) $79.05 $164,420
Memphis, TN-MS-AR 30 0.05 0.46 $77.71 $161,640
Kansas City, MO-KS 40 0.03 0.29 $75.85 $157,770
Detroit-Warren-Dearborn, MI 130 0.07 0.59 $74.65 $155,280
Providence-Warwick, RI-MA 50 0.08 0.74 $73.22 $152,290
New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA 1,030 0.11 0.93 $73.00 $151,840
Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX 380 0.10 0.90 $72.18 $150,140
Huntsville, AL 90 0.41 3.56 $69.77 $145,120
Boston-Cambridge-Nashua, MA-NH 500 0.18 1.57 $69.60 $144,770

Nonmetropolitan areas with the highest employment in this occupation:

Nonmetropolitan area Employment (1) Employment per thousand jobs Location quotient (9) Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage (2)
Northeast Virginia nonmetropolitan area 250 5.16 45.33 $53.89 $112,100
Eastern New Mexico nonmetropolitan area 50 0.30 2.61 $51.47 $107,060

Nonmetropolitan areas with the highest concentration of jobs and location quotients in this occupation:

Nonmetropolitan area Employment (1) Employment per thousand jobs Location quotient (9) Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage (2)
Northeast Virginia nonmetropolitan area 250 5.16 45.33 $53.89 $112,100
Eastern New Mexico nonmetropolitan area 50 0.30 2.61 $51.47 $107,060

Top paying nonmetropolitan areas for this occupation:

Nonmetropolitan area Employment (1) Employment per thousand jobs Location quotient (9) Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage (2)
Northeast Virginia nonmetropolitan area 250 5.16 45.33 $53.89 $112,100
Eastern New Mexico nonmetropolitan area 50 0.30 2.61 $51.47 $107,060


About May 2019 National, State, Metropolitan, and Nonmetropolitan Area Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates

These estimates are calculated with data collected from employers in all industry sectors, all metropolitan and nonmetropolitan areas, and all states and the District of Columbia. The top employment and wage figures are provided above. The complete list is available in the downloadable XLS files.

The percentile wage estimate is the value of a wage below which a certain percent of workers fall. The median wage is the 50th percentile wage estimate--50 percent of workers earn less than the median and 50 percent of workers earn more than the median. More about percentile wages.


(1) Estimates for detailed occupations do not sum to the totals because the totals include occupations not shown separately. Estimates do not include self-employed workers.

(2) Annual wages have been calculated by multiplying the hourly mean wage by a "year-round, full-time" hours figure of 2,080 hours; for those occupations where there is not an hourly wage published, the annual wage has been directly calculated from the reported survey data.

(3) The relative standard error (RSE) is a measure of the reliability of a survey statistic. The smaller the relative standard error, the more precise the estimate.

(8) Estimate not released.

(9) The location quotient is the ratio of the area concentration of occupational employment to the national average concentration. A location quotient greater than one indicates the occupation has a higher share of employment than average, and a location quotient less than one indicates the occupation is less prevalent in the area than average.


Other OES estimates and related information:

May 2019 National Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates

May 2019 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates

May 2019 Metropolitan and Nonmetropolitan Area Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates

May 2019 National Industry-Specific Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates

May 2019 Occupation Profiles

Technical Notes

 

Last Modified Date: July 6, 2020