Physical Scientist Career

Science and Research

 
Science and Research Careers | Physical Scientist

Physical Scientist

Career Area: Science and Research

Occupation Group: Chemical and Physical Science

Salary

Percentile wages tell how much a certain percentage of an overall population in a geographic area or within a given industry or field makes. The percentile wage estimate is the value of a wage below which a certain percent of workers fall.

An example would be the 25th percentile, 25 percent of workers employed in that occupation earn less and 75 percent earn more than the estimated wage value. At the 75th percentile, 75 percent of workers employed in that occupation earn less and 25 percent earn more than the estimated wage value.

A typical Physical Scientist earns the following wages (national and state):

State

The average salary in North Carolina for those pursuing this career is $87,156

*The salaries depicted here are representative of the range of salaries posted in job listings over the past year. Living wage in North Carolina is $30,000.

National

The average salary in the United States for those pursuing this career is $88,824

*The salaries depicted here are representative of the range of salaries posted in job listings over the past year. Living wage in North Carolina is $30,000.

What Does a Professional in this Career Do?

Studies and conducts research in one of many specialized areas within the natural sciences including biology, chemistry and physics.

Employment Trends

The job demand and job growth statistics shown here were derived from job posts over the past year. Expected job growth projections are extrapolated from year-over-year job post listing history.

Job demand and job growth is expected at the following rates:

Growth
North Carolina68+9.9%
Nationwide1432+6.8%

Skills

A professional in this position typically utilizes the following skills in the course of everyday work in this exciting and challenging field:

Baseline Skills

The following are baseline skills every Physical Scientist is expected to have in order to experience success in this field:

  • Research: Experience performing creative and systematic work to understand a product, market, or customer, either before building a new solution, or to troubleshoot an existing issue
  • Communication Skills: The ability to convey information to another effectively and efficiently.
  • Planning: Working experience with the process of thinking about and organizing the activities required to achieve desired goals.
  • Written Communication: Working experience of Written Communication, which involves any type of message that makes use of the written word. Written communication is the most important and the most effective of any mode of business communication.
  • Writing: Experience expressing business messages effectively in written form. This may include planning drafting and revising as necessary.

Specialized Skills

These skills are specific to working in this career:

  • Physics: Knowledge and working experience of the branch of science concerned with the nature and properties of matter and energy.
  • Remote Sensing: Remote sensing is the acquisition of information about an object or phenomenon without making physical contact with the object and thus in contrast to on-site observation.
  • Data Analysis: Data analysis, also known as analysis of data or data analytics, is a process of inspecting, cleansing, transforming, and modeling data with the goal of discovering useful information, suggesting conclusions, and supporting decision-making.
  • Python: Python is a widely used high-level programming language for general-purpose programming, created by Guido van Rossum and first released in 1991.
  • Calibration: Calibration in measurement technology and metrology is the comparison of measurement values delivered by a device under test with those of a calibration standard of known accuracy.

Distinguishing Skills

Any Physical Scientist that possesses the following skills will stand out against the competition:

  • Natural Resource Management: Natural resource management refers to the management of natural resources such as land, water, soil, plants and animals, with a particular focus on how management affects the quality of life for both present and future generations (stewardship).
  • Meteorology: Meteorology is a branch of the atmospheric sciences which includes atmospheric chemistry and atmospheric physics, with a major focus on weather forecasting.
  • Hydrology: Hydrology is the scientific study of the movement, distribution, and quality of water on Earth and other planets, including the water cycle, water resources and environmental watershed sustainability.
  • Land Management: Land management is the process of managing the use and development (in both urban and rural settings) of land resources.
  • Environmental Research: Environmental Research is a peer-reviewed environmental science and environmental health journal published by Elsevier.

Education

This career typically requires the following level of education. The numbers presented in the pie charts below were derived from actual job posts over the past year. Not all job postings list education requirements.

.
Education Level%
Bachelor's Degree51%
Master's Degree40%
Doctoral Degree9%

Experience

This position typically requires the following level of experience. The numbers presented in the pie charts below were derived from actual job posts over the past year. Not all job postings list experience requirements.

Experience Required%
0 to 2 years69%
3 to 5 years26%
6 to 8 years1%

Many of the programs offered through NC State are designed for working professionals who need additional credentials to enhance existing work experience.

Students who do not have the expected level of experience may wish to look into internship and employment opportunities.

Common Job Titles

It is possible to find work in this field in positions commonly listed as the following job titles:

  • Physical Scientist
  • Construction Materials Technician
  • Principal Remote Sensing Scientist/Engineer
  • Intermediate Remote Sensing Scientist/Engineer
  • Physical Scientist, Gs

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