Physics BS Jobs in the Private Sector

Career Profile

What They Do

Examples of activities of physics bachelors working in the private sector include:
  • Contributing to group or project research goals
  • Collecting and analyzing data
  • Maintaining, troubleshooting, and repairing manufacturing or analytical equipment
  • Creating instructional documentation
  • Rendering designs in formats such as CAD, Labview
  • Modeling, simulating, and prototyping systems or system elements

The AIP Statistical Research Center reports that over 80% of physics bachelor’s in private sector STEM positions describe themselves as satisfied with their current position overall. Job security and level of responsibility rank as the highest contributors toward this overall satisfaction.

Education & Background

In addition to a bachelor’s degree, a background in experimental research - through on-campus research, summer research projects, or REUs - is very helpful. For more information on how to gain this kind of experience, please see our webinar on Finding an REU program below.

Additional Training

Broad exposure to related fields, such as engineering or computer science, helps one navigate the cross-disciplinary teams that are common in private sector research. Having a firm understanding of fundamental physics principles and being familiar with other disciplines is more important than expertise in a narrowly-focused area.

Internships are a valuable way to gain experience and, often, get a foot in the door at a company. An internship provides the opportunity to hone specific skills such as programming, data acquisition, or equipment operation and maintenance. Beyond these hard skills, an internship can also help one develop verbal and written communication skills, find a mentor, and grow a dynamic network.

For a listing of current internship and research opportunities, please visit the APS Physics Job Center.
Gray Arrow APS Physics Job Center Internship Postings

Career Path

Generally, a physics bachelor begins at a company in an entry or junior level position, with opportunities for advancement with experience. Often, upon attaining a senior level position, the potential career path diverges into two distinct leadership tracks: technical or managerial.

Additional Resources

AIP Statistical Research Center Graphs
Gray arrow Job Satisfaction of Recent BS Graduates
Gray arrow Initial Employment of Physics BS Grads

APS Webinar: How I Got My Six Figure Salary in the Private Sector

APS Webinar: Finding Research Opportunities for Undergraduates

APS Webinar: Physics Careers - To the Bachelor's Degree and Beyond!



A bachelor's degree in physics or in a related field


Additional training

Additional Training

BS level - prior research, e.g. REUs




Bachelor's Level Starting:
$40,000 - $65,000




About 40% of BS graduates find initial employment in the private sector

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