Employment of physicists and astronomers is projected to grow 7 percent from 2014 to 2024, about as fast as the average for all occupations.
Growth in the federal government’s spending for research in physics and astronomy is expected to be more or less flat, but it should continue to drive the need for physicists and astronomers, especially at colleges, universities, and national laboratories. Federal spending is the primary source of physics- and astronomy-related research funds, especially for basic research. Additional federal funding for energy and for advanced manufacturing research is expected to continue to drive the need for physicists. People with a physics background will continue to be in demand in medicine, information technology, communications technology, semiconductor technology, and other applied research-and-development fields.
These reports and graphics present data on the employment of physicists and astronomers. They discuss the initial employment of recent physics and astronomy degree recipients earning their bachelor’s, master’s, or PhD at a U.S. institution. They document sectors and fields of employment, starting salaries, and skills used. This section also contains data on the number of faculty members, turnover, retirements, and recruitments at physics and astronomy degree-granting departments in the U.S.