Career Attributes

  • 3.8
  • Physics
More Attributes

Overview

In order to prepare for a career as a particle physicist, it is necessary to form a solid scientific and mathematical knowledge base in high school. Success in courses dealing with calculus, trigonometry, and statistics are highly recommended for primary education transcripts.

In undergraduate college, a strong course repertoire and a good GPA is especially important for application to graduate school. Specialization within the general major of physics is available for elementary particle physics. It is recommended to select this discipline as well as others that are useful for future employment as a particle physicist (i.e. engineering, financial management, education). Alternatively, an aspiring physicist can work towards a major in general physics, and then choose their specialization in graduate school.

Following graduate school, 75% of physics majors decide to attain a master's degree. Most physics professors need to have a PhD degree, which may be followed up by postdoctoral research and studies. Postdoctoral studies are not required, but help significantly with steady employment opportunities.

Extensive knowledge of the quantum field theory, gauge theory, and the Higgs mechanism will be required for this career. This includes comprehension of quantum particles such as electrons, neutrinos, quarks, bosons, and muons. Excellence in critical thinking and experimental methods as well as dedication are vital. Not only must a particle physicist have a spectrum of knowledge dealing with particle physics and related topics, but he/she must also be able to communicate research to the scholarly community and the public. The most esteemed particle physicists are the ones who can arouse interest in their field from any sort of audience, so a successful career does not imply staying in a laboratory all the time.

Education History of Particle Physicists

The most common degree held by Particle Physicists is Physics. 100% of Particle Physicists had a degree in Physics before becoming Particle Physicists. That is over 98 times the average across all careers.

Particle Physicist Education History

This table shows which degrees people earn before becoming a Particle Physicist, compared to how often those degrees are obtained by people who earn at least one post secondary degree.

Degree % of Particle Physicists % of population Multiple
Physics 100.0% 1.0% 98.2×

Particle Physicist Education Levels

43% of Particle Physicists have a bachelor's degree. 33% of Particle Physicists have an associate's degree.

No education 2%
High school diploma 21%
Associate's degree 33%
Bachelor's degree 43%
Master's degree 1%
Doctorate degree 0%

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Career Attributes

  • 3.8
  • Physics
More Attributes