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Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics
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Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2020

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)
16,160 5.1 % $ 66.20 $ 137,700 2.0 %

Percentile wage estimates for Physicists:

Percentile 10% 25% 50%
(Median)
75% 90%
Hourly Wage $ 32.43 $ 45.68 $ 62.43 $ 82.12 (5)
Annual Wage (2) $ 67,450 $ 95,020 $ 129,850 $ 170,810 (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 5,310 0.71 $ 72.26 $ 150,310
Federal Executive Branch (OEWS Designation) 3,130 0.15 $ 60.38 $ 125,580
Colleges, Universities, and Professional Schools 2,790 0.09 $ 48.14 $ 100,130
General Medical and Surgical Hospitals 1,260 0.02 $ 88.37 $ 183,820
Management, Scientific, and Technical Consulting Services 730 0.05 $ 66.74 $ 138,820

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 5,310 0.71 $ 72.26 $ 150,310
Federal Executive Branch (OEWS Designation) 3,130 0.15 $ 60.38 $ 125,580
Colleges, Universities, and Professional Schools 2,790 0.09 $ 48.14 $ 100,130
Navigational, Measuring, Electromedical, and Control Instruments Manufacturing 290 0.07 $ 63.49 $ 132,070
Management, Scientific, and Technical Consulting Services 730 0.05 $ 66.74 $ 138,820

Top paying industries for Physicists:

Industry Employment (1) Percent of industry employment Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage (2)
Computer Systems Design and Related Services 190 0.01 $ 95.56 $ 198,760
Offices of Physicians 480 0.02 $ 92.69 $ 192,790
General Medical and Surgical Hospitals 1,260 0.02 $ 88.37 $ 183,820
Outpatient Care Centers 160 0.02 $ 81.89 $ 170,340
Scientific Research and Development Services 5,310 0.71 $ 72.26 $ 150,310


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.





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)
Maryland 2,010 0.79 6.84 $ 61.64 $ 128,220
New Mexico 1,920 2.45 21.07 $ 81.00 $ 168,480
California 1,360 0.08 0.71 $ 62.16 $ 129,290
Texas 1,020 0.08 0.73 $ 53.88 $ 112,060
Colorado 1,000 0.39 3.35 $ 66.04 $ 137,360




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)
New Mexico 1,920 2.45 21.07 $ 81.00 $ 168,480
District of Columbia 680 0.99 8.55 $ 73.01 $ 151,860
Maryland 2,010 0.79 6.84 $ 61.64 $ 128,220
Colorado 1,000 0.39 3.35 $ 66.04 $ 137,360
Virginia 800 0.22 1.87 $ 57.99 $ 120,620




Top paying states for Physicists:

State Employment (1) Employment per thousand jobs Location quotient (9) Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage (2)
Connecticut 140 0.09 0.77 $ 83.64 $ 173,970
New Mexico 1,920 2.45 21.07 $ 81.00 $ 168,480
South Carolina 90 0.04 0.37 $ 79.38 $ 165,120
New York 860 0.10 0.85 $ 78.51 $ 163,290
Louisiana 40 0.02 0.20 $ 78.33 $ 162,930





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 1,790 0.59 5.11 $ 67.34 $ 140,070
New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA 1,050 0.12 1.02 $ 76.58 $ 159,290
Boulder, CO 890 4.91 42.24 $ 66.90 $ 139,160
Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI 510 0.12 1.01 $ 55.49 $ 115,420
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA 500 0.09 0.74 $ 59.63 $ 124,020
Boston-Cambridge-Nashua, MA-NH 500 0.19 1.66 $ 69.52 $ 144,590
Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX 420 0.12 1.01 $ 67.11 $ 139,590
Albuquerque, NM 380 1.01 8.67 $ 71.15 $ 148,000
Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA 280 0.15 1.25 $ 69.50 $ 144,570
Knoxville, TN 280 0.74 6.38 $ 70.51 $ 146,660




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 890 4.91 42.24 $ 66.90 $ 139,160
Lansing-East Lansing, MI 200 1.03 8.84 $ 41.22 $ 85,740
Albuquerque, NM 380 1.01 8.67 $ 71.15 $ 148,000
Idaho Falls, ID 70 0.99 8.49 $ 54.54 $ 113,440
Knoxville, TN 280 0.74 6.38 $ 70.51 $ 146,660
Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV 1,790 0.59 5.11 $ 67.34 $ 140,070
Dayton, OH 150 0.41 3.56 $ 56.89 $ 118,320
Charlottesville, VA 40 0.41 3.50 $ 36.48 $ 75,880
Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC 260 0.36 3.07 $ 46.92 $ 97,590
Huntsville, AL 80 0.35 3.02 $ 62.25 $ 129,480




Top paying metropolitan areas for Physicists:

Metropolitan area Employment (1) Employment per thousand jobs Location quotient (9) Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage (2)
Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford, CT (8) (8) (8) $ 82.06 $ 170,690
San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA 130 0.06 0.48 $ 79.05 $ 164,420
New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA 1,050 0.12 1.02 $ 76.58 $ 159,290
Detroit-Warren-Dearborn, MI 160 0.09 0.79 $ 76.20 $ 158,490
Memphis, TN-MS-AR 40 0.06 0.55 $ 75.53 $ 157,100
Kansas City, MO-KS 30 0.03 0.27 $ 73.53 $ 152,940
Indianapolis-Carmel-Anderson, IN 50 0.05 0.46 $ 72.59 $ 150,980
Albany-Schenectady-Troy, NY (8) (8) (8) $ 71.83 $ 149,410
Albuquerque, NM 380 1.01 8.67 $ 71.15 $ 148,000
Knoxville, TN 280 0.74 6.38 $ 70.51 $ 146,660

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)
Northern New Mexico nonmetropolitan area 1,460 18.67 160.72 (8) (8)
Northeast Virginia nonmetropolitan area 250 5.22 44.94 $ 55.70 $ 115,850

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)
Northern New Mexico nonmetropolitan area 1,460 18.67 160.72 (8) (8)
Northeast Virginia nonmetropolitan area 250 5.22 44.94 $ 55.70 $ 115,850

Top paying nonmetropolitan areas for Physicists:

Nonmetropolitan area Employment (1) Employment per thousand jobs Location quotient (9) Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage (2)
Northeast Virginia nonmetropolitan area 250 5.22 44.94 $ 55.70 $ 115,850
Eastern New Mexico nonmetropolitan area (8) (8) (8) $ 54.22 $ 112,780


About May 2020 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.

(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 OEWS estimates and related information:

May 2020 National Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates

May 2020 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates

May 2020 Metropolitan and Nonmetropolitan Area Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates

May 2020 National Industry-Specific Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates

May 2020 Occupation Profiles

Technical Notes

 

Last Modified Date: March 31, 2021