How much does a Physicist make in the United States?

Average Physicist Yearly Salary in the United States

Physicists earn an average yearly salary of $118,722. Salaries typically start from $55,535 and go up to $187,305.

Average Physicist Hourly Wage in the United States

Physicists earn an average hourly wage of $57.08. Hourly wages typically start from $26.70 and go up to $90.05.

Source: Sokanu (Aggregated)

These numbers may vary depending on several factors, like level of education, amount of experience, industry, company size and location.

Learn more about the Physicist job market for salaries of real jobs in your area.

Individuals with a physics degrees earn more, on average, than their fellow graduates in all but a handful of disciplines. According to a study by PayScale.com, physicists are the sixth-highest-earning group of graduates, with a median physicist salary of approximately $100,000 after at least ten years in the workforce. Physics was one of only three non-engineering majors to be in the top ten, along with computer science and economics. Starting physicists salaries aren’t bad either - approximately $55,000. (Please note that PayScale’s data set is based on information provided by users of the website, not a random sample of US graduates.

The top three industries where physicists work are in the federal government; research and development in the physical, engineering, and life sciences; and colleges, universities, and professional schools.

Employment Type Mix

72%
Full-Time
28%
Part-Time

Source: Sokanu user data. View more Physicist demographics

Salary Satisfaction

3.2
SCORE
257
RATINGS
Physicists average a score of 3.2 out of 5 on our salary satisfaction scale. This places Physicists in the 68th percentile of salary satisfaction.

Source: Sokanu user data. View more Physicist satisfaction

How to Become a Physicist

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Physicist Earnings by Seniority

Top End Physicist Earnings

The highest earning Physicists in the United States earn:

$90.05
an hour
$187,304.6
per year
Senior Physicist Earnings

Senior Physicists in the United States earn:

$72.04
an hour
$149,842.8
per year
Experienced Physicist Earnings

Experienced Physicists in the United States earn:

$53.94
an hour
$112,194.4
per year
Junior Physicist Earnings

Junior Physicists in the United States earn:

$38.29
an hour
$79,649.4
per year
Starting Physicist Earnings

Starting Physicists in the United States earn:

$26.70
an hour
$55,535.1
per year

Approximate values based on highest and lowest earning segments.

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Physicist Salary Comparison

Physicists earn more than 98% percent of similar careers in the United States.

Physicist Salary $118k
Astronomer Salary $110k
Mathematician Salary $103k
Nanotechnology Engineer Salary $99k
Geologist Salary $99k
Source: Sokanu (Aggregated)

Physicist salary by state

Click on a state to learn more

State Hourly Wage Annual Salary Rank
Physicist Salary in Oklahoma $73.45 $152,770 # 1
Physicist Salary in New Mexico $69.67 $144,920 # 2
Physicist Salary in Pennsylvania $67.95 $141,340 # 3
Physicist Salary in District of Columbia $67.81 $141,050 # 4
Physicist Salary in Ohio $67.33 $140,040 # 5
Physicist Salary in Georgia $66.78 $138,900 # 6
Physicist Salary in Florida $65.77 $136,800 # 7
Physicist Salary in New Hampshire $64.09 $133,300 # 8
Physicist Salary in Arizona $63.95 $133,020 # 9
Physicist Salary in Maryland $62.53 $130,060 # 10
Physicist Salary in Oregon $62.50 $130,000 # 11
Physicist Salary in Alabama $61.33 $127,560 # 12
Physicist Salary in Utah $60.94 $126,760 # 13
Physicist Salary in Minnesota $60.90 $126,680 # 14
Physicist Salary in Illinois $60.10 $125,000 # 15
Physicist Salary in New York $59.43 $123,610 # 16
Physicist Salary in Tennessee $59.03 $122,780 # 17
Physicist Salary in South Carolina $58.62 $121,920 # 18
Physicist Salary in Massachusetts $58.41 $121,500 # 19
Physicist Salary in United States $57.08 $118,721.7 # 20
Physicist Salary in Iowa $56.74 $118,020 # 21
Physicist Salary in Virginia $54.50 $113,350 # 22
Physicist Salary in Michigan $53.63 $111,550 # 23
Physicist Salary in Washington $53.09 $110,420 # 24
Physicist Salary in Hawaii $52.35 $108,880 # 25
Physicist Salary in California $52.13 $108,440 # 26
Physicist Salary in Texas $50.75 $105,570 # 27
Physicist Salary in North Carolina $50.13 $104,280 # 28
Physicist Salary in Indiana $49.56 $103,090 # 29
Physicist Salary in Wisconsin $49.04 $102,010 # 30
Physicist Salary in Colorado $48.93 $101,770 # 31
Physicist Salary in Missouri $48.52 $100,920 # 32
Physicist Salary in Idaho $47.97 $99,780 # 33
Physicist Salary in Mississippi $46.76 $97,260 # 34