Bureau of Labor Statistics

Field of degree: Physical science

Physical science field of degree. Employment: 1,871,100. Median annual wage: $70,000.

Physical science field of degree. Employment: 1,871,100. Median annual wage: $70,000

Table 1. Physical science degree, 2019.

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Table 1. Physical science degree, 2019
Data Physical science All fields

Employment

1,871,100 56,820,460

Median wage

70,000 60,000

Percent employed part time

14 15

Percent employed in occupations requiring at least a bachelor's degree

67 61

Percent with an advanced degree

52 37

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey.

Chart 1. Types of physical science majors, 2019.

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Chart 1. Types of physical science majors, 2019
Physical science majors Major share

Chemistry

36%

Multi-Disciplinary Or General Science

27

Physics

19

Geology And Earth Science

11

Materials Science

2

Other

6

Note: The sum of percents by major may not total 100 due to rounding.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey.

Chart 2. Employment distribution of workers with a physical science degree, by occupational group, 2019.

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Chart 2. Employment distribution of workers with a physical science degree, by occupational group, 2019
Occupational group Occupational group share

Healthcare practitioners and technical occupations

16%

Management occupations

14

Life, physical, and social science occupations

13

Educational instruction and library occupations

13

Computer and mathematical occupations

7

Other

36

Note: The sum of percents by major may not total 100 due to rounding.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey.

Table 2. Top-employing occupations for workers with a physical science degree.

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Table 2. Top-employing occupations for workers with a physical science degree
Occupational Outlook Handbook profile Percent growth, projected 2020–30 Typical entry-level education Percent degree holders in this field, this occupation, 2019 Percent of this occupation with an advanced degree, 2019

Postsecondary teachers

24% See How to Become One 6% 73%

Software developers and software quality assurance analysts and testers

22 Bachelor's degree 3 34

Registered nurses

9 Bachelor's degree 2 12

Secondary school teachers, except special and career/technical education

8 Bachelor's degree 2 54

Personal service managers, all other; entertainment and recreation managers, except gambling; and managers, all other

7 Bachelor's degree 5 20

Chemists

7 Bachelor's degree 3 40

Elementary school teachers, except special education

7 Bachelor's degree 2 48

Geoscientists, except hydrologists and geographers

7 Bachelor's degree 2 50

Physicians, all other; and ophthalmologists, except pediatric

5 Doctoral or professional degree 6 100

Physical scientists, all other

1 Bachelor's degree 4 69

Note: Occupational profiles may comprise multiple SOC occupations, which may have differing education categories.

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment Projections program (projected growth, entry-level education) and U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey (degree holders, advanced degrees).

Suggested citation:

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Field of degree: Physical science,
at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/field-of-degree/physical-science/physical-science-field-of-degree.htm (visited January 18, 2022).

Last Modified Date: Friday, December 3, 2021

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