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What are the Different Physics Jobs?

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  • Written By: Erin Oxendine
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 27 November 2016
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A career in science and research can be an exciting opportunity for individuals with a background in physics. These professionals work with innovative technology, and their research paves the way to innovation ranging from planetary discoveries to disaster prevention. There are a variety of physics jobs available ranging from positions in laboratories to commercially funded projects.

The most common job for someone with a physicist degree is that of a physicist. Some physicists work at government facilities, researching nuclear physics and reactors. Military physicists are responsible for tasks such as analyzing unexplained phenomena and developing weapons for space.

Research scientists are another choice for physics jobs and are responsible for performing scientific experiments and analyzing research studies. These scientists perform investigations in a laboratory that may lead to discoveries in areas such as medicine and the environment. Other duties include designing clinical trials and writing scientific documents. Most facilities also require the scientist to submit documentation necessary to get funding for additional research projects.

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Astrophysicists, also known as astronomers, have a different category of physics jobs. An astrophysicist studies constellations and other planetary matter. Some tasks this scientist may be responsible for are studying the properties of nearby galaxies by using data from satellites and reviewing images from computerized telescopes. The majority of astrophysicists in the United States are employed with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the military or planetariums. Astrophysicists also use mathematical equations and physics to develop theories about space and the solar system.

One of the physics jobs that use a combination of physics and seismology is that of a geophysicist. A geophysicist uses physics principles to study the earth’s movement and the planetary system. This researcher analyzes earthquakes and seismic movement to predict future disasters. Other responsibilities this person include studying the planets’ electromagnetic pull and using simulation software to simulate volcanic activity and tidal wave forces.

Physicist professors prepare students for physics jobs by teaching classes in astronomy, orbital mechanics and physics. Professors teach undergraduate classes as well as courses for advanced degree programs. Instructors also demonstrate experiments to students and administer exams to students. Some professors represent the department at faculty meetings and write reports for physics lectures.

Individuals who are interested in any number of the available physics jobs should get a degree in physics and take advanced classes in their specific field of interest. Most agencies require several years of laboratory experience. Students are encouraged to seek an internship with a governmental agency or research facility in order to meet this requirement.

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