Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2016

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)
16,680 3.8 % $58.54 $121,770 1.5 %

Percentile wage estimates for this occupation:

Percentile 10% 25% 50%
(Median)
75% 90%
Hourly Wage $27.71 $39.83 $55.71 $73.90 $91.14
Annual Wage (2) $57,640 $82,850 $115,870 $153,710 $189,560


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 5,340 0.79 $64.24 $133,620
Federal Executive Branch (OES Designation) 3,130 0.15 $56.35 $117,200
Colleges, Universities, and Professional Schools 3,080 0.10 $38.55 $80,190
General Medical and Surgical Hospitals 1,280 0.02 $83.48 $173,640
Management, Scientific, and Technical Consulting Services 610 0.05 $55.92 $116,310

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 5,340 0.79 $64.24 $133,620
Federal Executive Branch (OES Designation) 3,130 0.15 $56.35 $117,200
Colleges, Universities, and Professional Schools 3,080 0.10 $38.55 $80,190
Management, Scientific, and Technical Consulting Services 610 0.05 $55.92 $116,310
Navigational, Measuring, Electromedical, and Control Instruments Manufacturing 220 0.05 $51.14 $106,380

Top paying industries for this occupation:

Industry Employment (1) Percent of industry employment Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage (2)
Outpatient Care Centers 100 0.01 $85.88 $178,640
General Medical and Surgical Hospitals 1,280 0.02 $83.48 $173,640
Specialty (except Psychiatric and Substance Abuse) Hospitals 80 0.03 $83.33 $173,330
Computer Systems Design and Related Services (8) (8) $83.23 $173,130
Offices of Physicians 560 0.02 $69.70 $144,970


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 2,860 0.18 1.51 $52.13 $108,440
New Mexico 1,640 2.04 17.16 $69.68 $144,920
Maryland 1,140 0.43 3.63 $62.53 $130,060
New York 1,070 0.12 0.99 $59.43 $123,610
Colorado 1,010 0.40 3.38 $48.93 $101,770




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 1,640 2.04 17.16 $69.68 $144,920
District of Columbia 570 0.82 6.87 $67.81 $141,050
Maryland 1,140 0.43 3.63 $62.53 $130,060
Colorado 1,010 0.40 3.38 $48.93 $101,770
Idaho 160 0.24 2.04 $47.97 $99,780




Top paying States for this occupation:

State Employment (1) Employment per thousand jobs Location quotient (9) Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage (2)
Oklahoma 50 0.03 0.28 $73.45 $152,770
New Mexico 1,640 2.04 17.16 $69.68 $144,920
Pennsylvania 210 0.04 0.31 $67.95 $141,340
District of Columbia 570 0.82 6.87 $67.81 $141,050
Ohio 510 0.10 0.80 $67.33 $140,040





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 Metropolitan Division 1,030 0.41 3.48 $66.61 $138,560
Boulder, CO 850 4.80 40.41 $48.84 $101,580
San Francisco-Redwood City-South San Francisco, CA Metropolitan Division 730 0.69 5.80 $63.42 $131,910
Silver Spring-Frederick-Rockville, MD Metropolitan Division 670 1.15 9.67 $65.59 $136,420
Chicago-Naperville-Arlington Heights, IL Metropolitan Division 560 0.15 1.30 $60.76 $126,390
New York-Jersey City-White Plains, NY-NJ Metropolitan Division 490 0.07 0.62 $71.95 $149,660
Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX 460 0.16 1.31 $50.44 $104,910
San Diego-Carlsbad, CA 360 0.26 2.17 $43.57 $90,620
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale, CA Metropolitan Division 320 0.08 0.65 $44.46 $92,480
Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC 290 0.39 3.26 $43.50 $90,480




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 850 4.80 40.41 $48.84 $101,580
Silver Spring-Frederick-Rockville, MD Metropolitan Division 670 1.15 9.67 $65.59 $136,420
Lansing-East Lansing, MI 180 0.86 7.20 $35.72 $74,290
San Francisco-Redwood City-South San Francisco, CA Metropolitan Division 730 0.69 5.80 $63.42 $131,910
Portsmouth, NH-ME 60 0.66 5.58 $60.83 $126,540
Charlottesville, VA 60 0.54 4.57 $57.09 $118,750
Huntsville, AL 120 0.53 4.46 $60.47 $125,770
Durham-Chapel Hill, NC 150 0.53 4.44 $36.33 $75,570
Augusta-Richmond County, GA-SC 110 0.53 4.45 $54.65 $113,680
Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV Metropolitan Division 1,030 0.41 3.48 $66.61 $138,560




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)
Cincinnati, OH-KY-IN 90 0.09 0.73 $82.86 $172,360
Memphis, TN-MS-AR 30 0.05 0.43 $76.26 $158,620
Greensboro-High Point, NC 30 0.09 0.78 $73.59 $153,070
Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, AZ 40 0.02 0.19 $72.55 $150,910
New York-Jersey City-White Plains, NY-NJ Metropolitan Division 490 0.07 0.62 $71.95 $149,660
Warren-Troy-Farmington Hills, MI Metropolitan Division (8) (8) (8) $71.88 $149,510
Newark, NJ-PA Metropolitan Division 70 0.06 0.53 $71.83 $149,410
Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC 30 0.03 0.24 $70.47 $146,580
Pittsburgh, PA 40 0.03 0.28 $70.31 $146,240
Ann Arbor, MI 40 0.19 1.64 $69.48 $144,510

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)
Los Alamos County, New Mexico nonmetropolitan area 1,280 84.82 714.02 $71.35 $148,410

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)
Los Alamos County, New Mexico nonmetropolitan area 1,280 84.82 714.02 $71.35 $148,410

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)
Los Alamos County, New Mexico nonmetropolitan area 1,280 84.82 714.02 $71.35 $148,410
Northeastern Wisconsin nonmetropolitan area (8) (8) (8) $34.49 $71,730


About May 2016 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 2016 National Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates

May 2016 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates

May 2016 Metropolitan and Nonmetropolitan Area Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates

May 2016 National Industry-Specific Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates

May 2016 Occupation Profiles

Technical Notes

 

Last Modified Date: March 31, 2017