Physicist earnings by seniority

Approximate values based on highest and lowest earning segments.

Physicist salary by state

State Name Average Salary
Pennsylvania $132,905
Oklahoma $170,280
Minnesota $128,110
Wisconsin $154,070
Massachusetts $145,570
New Mexico $148,620
District of Columbia $146,890
Florida $124,070
North Carolina $133,650
Louisiana $127,630
New York $126,740
New Jersey $119,930
Alabama $116,490
New Hampshire $122,340
South Carolina $104,700
Utah $138,100
Hawaii $98,520
Tennessee $126,500
Oregon $87,930
Iowa $86,840
Ohio $117,870
Georgia $97,540
Maine $105,400
Maryland $125,660
Texas $112,420
Arizona $105,565
California $112,980
Missouri $105,770
Illinois $111,160
Idaho $111,110
Vermont $79,110
Washington $103,900
Virginia $102,220
Michigan $81,650
Colorado $100,850
Mississippi $94,160

How much does a Physicist earn?

Individuals with a physics degrees earn more, on average, than their fellow graduates in all but a handful of disciplines. According to a study by, physicists are the sixth-highest-earning group of graduates, with a median physicist salary of approximately $100,000 after at least ten years in the workforce. Physics was one of only three non-engineering majors to be in the top ten, along with computer science and economics. Starting physicists salaries aren’t bad either - approximately $55,000. (Please note that PayScale’s data set is based on information provided by users of the website, not a random sample of US graduates.

The top three industries where physicists work are in the federal government; research and development in the physical, engineering, and life sciences; and colleges, universities, and professional schools.

How do physicist salaries compare to similar careers?

Physicists earn 11% more than similar careers in the United States. On average, they make more than biochemists.

Career Median Salary
Physicist salary $121K
Materials scientist salary $100K
Astronomer salary $106K
Geologist salary $91K
Biochemist salary $93K

Source: CareerExplorer (Aggregated)