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Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics
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Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2021

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 Physicists
Industry profile for Physicists
Geographic profile for Physicists

National estimates for Physicists:

Employment estimate and mean wage estimates for Physicists:

Employment (1) Employment
RSE (3)
Mean hourly
wage
Mean annual
wage (2)
Wage RSE (3)
20,020 4.4 % $ 72.88 $ 151,580 0.7 %

Percentile wage estimates for Physicists:

Percentile 10% 25% 50%
(Median)
75% 90%
Hourly Wage $ 37.92 $ 51.46 $ 73.29 $ 88.60 (5)
Annual Wage (2) $ 78,870 $ 107,030 $ 152,430 $ 184,280 (5)


Industry profile for Physicists:

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

Industries with the highest levels of employment in Physicists:

Industry Employment (1) Percent of industry employment Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage (2)
Scientific Research and Development Services 9,810 1.23 $ 78.00 $ 162,240
Federal Executive Branch (OEWS Designation) 3,120 0.15 $ 61.02 $ 126,930
Colleges, Universities, and Professional Schools 2,080 0.07 $ 50.02 $ 104,050
General Medical and Surgical Hospitals 1,250 0.02 $ 96.78 $ 201,310
Specialty (except Psychiatric and Substance Abuse) Hospitals 430 0.16 $ 97.17 $ 202,110

Industries with the highest concentration of employment in Physicists:

Industry Employment (1) Percent of industry employment Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage (2)
Scientific Research and Development Services 9,810 1.23 $ 78.00 $ 162,240
Specialty (except Psychiatric and Substance Abuse) Hospitals 430 0.16 $ 97.17 $ 202,110
Federal Executive Branch (OEWS Designation) 3,120 0.15 $ 61.02 $ 126,930
Colleges, Universities, and Professional Schools 2,080 0.07 $ 50.02 $ 104,050
Navigational, Measuring, Electromedical, and Control Instruments Manufacturing 210 0.05 $ 60.14 $ 125,100

Top paying industries for Physicists:

Industry Employment (1) Percent of industry employment Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage (2)
Offices of Physicians 400 0.01 $ 104.86 $ 218,120
Outpatient Care Centers 100 0.01 $ 97.82 $ 203,460
Specialty (except Psychiatric and Substance Abuse) Hospitals 430 0.16 $ 97.17 $ 202,110
General Medical and Surgical Hospitals 1,250 0.02 $ 96.78 $ 201,310
Scientific Research and Development Services 9,810 1.23 $ 78.00 $ 162,240


Geographic profile for Physicists:

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



Map of employment of physicists by state, May 2021


States with the highest employment level in Physicists:

State Employment (1) Employment per thousand jobs Location quotient (9) Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage (2)
California 5,160 0.31 2.20 $ 83.39 $ 173,440
Virginia 1,250 0.33 2.34 $ 62.20 $ 129,380
New York 1,030 0.12 0.84 $ 79.57 $ 165,500
Maryland 990 0.39 2.74 $ 64.74 $ 134,650
Colorado 890 0.34 2.39 $ 70.14 $ 145,880


Map of location quotient of physicists by state, May 2021


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

State Employment (1) Employment per thousand jobs Location quotient (9) Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage (2)
District of Columbia 590 0.89 6.23 $ 62.15 $ 129,260
Maryland 990 0.39 2.74 $ 64.74 $ 134,650
Colorado 890 0.34 2.39 $ 70.14 $ 145,880
Virginia 1,250 0.33 2.34 $ 62.20 $ 129,380
Rhode Island 140 0.31 2.21 $ 68.42 $ 142,310


Map of annual mean wages of physicists by state, May 2021


Top paying states for Physicists:

State Employment (1) Employment per thousand jobs Location quotient (9) Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage (2)
Pennsylvania 290 0.05 0.36 $ 96.73 $ 201,200
Kansas 30 0.02 0.18 $ 88.27 $ 183,600
Arizona 70 0.02 0.16 $ 84.38 $ 175,510
California 5,160 0.31 2.20 $ 83.39 $ 173,440
Missouri 50 0.02 0.14 $ 81.62 $ 169,760



Map of employment of physicists by area, May 2021


Metropolitan areas with the highest employment level in Physicists:

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 1,930 0.66 4.63 $ 66.33 $ 137,960
New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA 930 0.11 0.76 $ 80.71 $ 167,880
Boulder, CO 800 4.40 30.94 $ 71.38 $ 148,470
San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA 510 0.48 3.39 $ 84.37 $ 175,490
Albuquerque, NM 380 1.04 7.32 $ 72.90 $ 151,630
Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC 300 0.43 3.00 $ 50.07 $ 104,140
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA 290 0.05 0.35 $ 73.58 $ 153,040
Boston-Cambridge-Nashua, MA-NH 280 0.11 0.77 $ 69.79 $ 145,160
Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD 240 0.09 0.65 $ 96.07 $ 199,830
Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX 230 0.07 0.46 $ 68.63 $ 142,750


Map of location quotient of physicists by area, May 2021


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

Metropolitan area Employment (1) Employment per thousand jobs Location quotient (9) Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage (2)
Boulder, CO 800 4.40 30.94 $ 71.38 $ 148,470
Albuquerque, NM 380 1.04 7.32 $ 72.90 $ 151,630
Lansing-East Lansing, MI 190 0.95 6.67 $ 42.54 $ 88,480
Charlottesville, VA 70 0.68 4.77 $ 46.22 $ 96,150
Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV 1,930 0.66 4.63 $ 66.33 $ 137,960
Dayton, OH 190 0.52 3.68 $ 59.91 $ 124,610
Idaho Falls, ID 40 0.49 3.42 $ 66.37 $ 138,060
San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA 510 0.48 3.39 $ 84.37 $ 175,490
Las Cruces, NM 30 0.48 3.34 $ 51.56 $ 107,240
Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC 300 0.43 3.00 $ 50.07 $ 104,140


Map of annual mean wages of physicists by area, May 2021


Top paying metropolitan areas for Physicists:

Metropolitan area Employment (1) Employment per thousand jobs Location quotient (9) Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage (2)
Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD 240 0.09 0.65 $ 96.07 $ 199,830
Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, AZ 50 0.02 0.16 $ 93.90 $ 195,300
Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX 180 0.06 0.43 $ 90.51 $ 188,250
San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA 510 0.48 3.39 $ 84.37 $ 175,490
San Antonio-New Braunfels, TX 40 0.04 0.31 $ 83.35 $ 173,370
Indianapolis-Carmel-Anderson, IN 50 0.04 0.32 $ 81.63 $ 169,800
New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA 930 0.11 0.76 $ 80.71 $ 167,880
St. Louis, MO-IL 30 0.03 0.18 $ 75.75 $ 157,570
Memphis, TN-MS-AR 40 0.07 0.51 $ 73.96 $ 153,840
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA 290 0.05 0.35 $ 73.58 $ 153,040

Nonmetropolitan areas with the highest employment in Physicists:

Nonmetropolitan area Employment (1) Employment per thousand jobs Location quotient (9) Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage (2)
Southern Indiana nonmetropolitan area 80 0.44 3.07 $ 48.81 $ 101,520

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

Nonmetropolitan area Employment (1) Employment per thousand jobs Location quotient (9) Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage (2)
Southern Indiana nonmetropolitan area 80 0.44 3.07 $ 48.81 $ 101,520

Top paying nonmetropolitan areas for Physicists:

Nonmetropolitan area Employment (1) Employment per thousand jobs Location quotient (9) Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage (2)
Southern Indiana nonmetropolitan area 80 0.44 3.07 $ 48.81 $ 101,520


About May 2021 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.

(5) This wage is equal to or greater than $100.00 per hour or $208,000 per year.

(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 OEWS estimates and related information:

May 2021 National Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates

May 2021 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates

May 2021 Metropolitan and Nonmetropolitan Area Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates

May 2021 National Industry-Specific Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates

May 2021 Occupation Profiles

Technical Notes

 

Last Modified Date: March 31, 2022