Career Opportunities In Physics

career opportunities in physics

Career Opportunities In Physics- Are you contemplating getting some degrees in the field of science precisely physics. Are you wondering what career opportunities in Physics abound. Then you should read this article to the very end. You will be amazed at the different career paths that awaits you.

List Of Career Opportunities In Physics

  • Data Scientist
  • Nuclear Physicist
  • Meterologist
  • Optical Engineer
  • Astronomer
  • Materials Scientist
  • Laser Engineer
  • Geophysicist
  • Application Engineer
  • Design Engineer
  • Biophysicist

1. Data Scientist

One of the career opportunities in physics is that of data science. As a data scientist, you would be using series  of data to understand  and explain some phenomenon . They develop predictive models for forecasting and theorizing. The profession is in serious demand all over the world.

How To Become A Data Scientist

  • Get a data science degree
  • Get some soft skills like programming languages, machine learning , data visualization, big data, communications.
  • Get an entry level job to get some experience
  • Move on for higher jobs    

2. Nuclear Physicist

Nuclear physicists are always on the look-out to improve nuclear energy. They run test, evaluate new discoveries and apply modern science in new and various ways. In the lab, they study the properties of nuclear materials. They are also on the look-out for better ways to detect nuclear material. This role is very important in the war against terrorism as nuclear physicists invent new ways to detect bomb-making materials.

As a nuclear physicist, you can work in governmental agencies, big research labs. You need the following skills:

  • Knowledge of physics
  • Strong maths background
  • Knowledge of Engineering, Science and Technology
  • Strong attention to details
  • Analytical skills
  • Communication skills 

How To Become A Nuclear Physicist

  • Get a Bachelor degree in a related field e.g Physics, Computer Science, Engineering, Mathematics
  • Go through a research internship
  • Go for Masters or PhD in Physics or Nuclear Engineering
  • Start applying for jobs

3. Meterologist

As a Meterologist, your main job  description is to study the atmosphere . You would be analyzing patterns and changes in the weather condition and inform the public of such changes when the need arise. A meteorologist work in research laboratories and also appear in the media to report about the weather.

How To Become A Meterologist

  • Choose a career path: You can work as a weather forecaster in a TV station. Here, you will need a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism or communications. And you can decide to trail the science career path where you will work as a meteorologist studying the atmosphere
  • Obtain a degree in meterology or atmospheric science
  • Acquire some technology and computer skills
  • Go for internship to get some experience
  • Start applying for jobs

4. Optical Engineer

Optical Engineers are involved in the design and building of lasers and light-emitting devices using lenses and other materials. They can work in different industries such as medicine, mechanics, entertainment and computer programming. Optical Engineers build new light and laser technology.

These are some of the things they do:

  • Design product concept
  • Create computer made models
  • Develop laser application
  • Test and revise prototypes

How To Become An Optical Engineer

  • Get a Bachelor’s degree in Engineering or related field such as Physics, Optics, etc.
  • Get a professional Engineering license
  • Go through additional training and get some experience e.g through internship
  • Apply for job

Critical Skills Needed For Optical Engineers

  • Mathematical skills
  • Problem solving
  • Ability to work in a team

5. Astronomer

An Astronomer is involved in the study of the solar system ,stars, planets and other celestial objects. An Astronomer research how the universe works.

Skills An Astronomer Must Possess

  • A PhD in Astronomy, Physics, Mathematics or related subject.
  • 5 years in a post-doctoral research role
  • Great research skill
  • Collaborative skills
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Communication skills
  • You msut be proficient in the use of Astronomical mathematics and physics software packages

Astronomers spend a good time on the computer  using advanced software to analyze data relating to planetary movement. Astronomers can get to work in government agencies , education and private sector.

6. Materials Scientist

As a material scientist, you will be involved in the analysis of structural and chemical properties of materials ( both artificial and natural). Examples of such materials include glass , rubber, ceramics & metals.

Job Description Of A Materials Scientist

  • Carry out research on the properties of materials
  • Carry out computer modelling and experiment to check out a material’s properties and its responses to applied forces.
  • Educate Technicians and Scientist on how to carry out chemical processing and testing procedures

Skills/Qualifications Required For A Material Scientist

  • A Master’s degree in Chemistry, Engineering , Technology or related field
  • Acquire relevant qualifications
  • Communication skills
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Organization skills
  • Get some work experience through internship
  • Apply for a job

7. Laser Engineer

Job Roles Of A Laser Engineer

  • They diagnose technical problems
  • Test equipment in carrying out repairs
  • Develop new laser procedures
  • They analyze , monitor and optimize the performance  of lasers in use
  • They develop programs to assist with preventative maintenance

How To Become A Laser Engineer

  • Get a Bachelor degree in Electrical Engineering, Optics or related field
  • Get higher degree (M.Sc , PhD)
  • Get some experience
  • Get some relevant certifications

Laser Engineers work in research laboratories , manufacturing plants, processing plants, clinics, hospitals.

8. Geophysicist

Skills You Need To Be A Geophysicist

You need the following skills in order to be a geophysicist

  • IT skills
  • Problem solving
  • Mathematical skills
  • Analytical skills
  • Problem solving skills
  • Strong attention to details
  • Project management

Roles Of A Geophysicist

  • Plan & conduct field tests
  • Gather, analyse and interpret geophysical data
  • Weather forecasting
  • Maintain geophysical equipment
  • Present geophysical data to stakeholders to assist them in making good decisions

Geophysicists are involved in investigation of mineral deposits to check if they can be mined. They also stay in lab to study samples and use computer models to do some calculations.

How To become A Geophysicist

  • Get a Bachelor degree in Geophysics, Geosciences
  • Get some working experience

9. Application Engineer

Application Engineers are involved in the development and building of software. They access the needs of customers and businesses, design and test software. They also create hardware components

Job Roles of  An Application Engineer

  • Assess needs of their clients, then go ahead to design software to meet such needs
  • Create different models and diagrams for programme
  • Ensure that software continually works well after installation
  • Design and develop software for a wide variety of uses

Skills An Application Engineer Need

  • Communication skills
  • Problem –solving skills
  • Attention to details
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Problem-solving skills

How To Become An Application Engineer

  • Have a Bachelor’s degree in Computer science, software, software or other similar fields.
  • Strong background in programming and other computer languages
  • Must have gone through internship
  • Master’s degree will be an added advantage

10. Design Engineer

It is a lucrative job and one of the career opportunities in Physics. As a Design Engineer, you will develop designs to solve problems . They are also known as Product Engineer, they turn ideas from products into functional prototypes via efficient and affordable processes. They work with team members to do product design, research and development.

Roles of Design Engineer

  • Carry out research in different areas like user experience, market trends, general functionality, etc.
  • Create different kinds of design prototypes with the help of computer-aided design tools
  • Evaluate designs against industry standards and regulations.
  • Provide companies with model that can be used in production of different tools and consumer tools.

Skills and qualifications Required To Be A Design Engineer

  • Good leadership skills
  • Time management and prioritization skills
  • Strong attention to details
  • Advanced design
  • Good knowledge of computer-aided design  (CAD)
  • Good problem solving skills

11. Biophysicist

They use experiments and technology to develop solutions  for local and global problem. They use the principles of physics to study biological systems of the world. They carry out research on molecules and organization, they analyze and interpret data for medical & other scientific purpose.

The study of Biophysics has led to a lot of new discoveries and advancement in medicine. For example , X-ray machines, DNA sequencing, etc.

Role of A Biophysicist

  • Develop predictive and computational models
  • Develop computational techniques for analysis of data
  • Carry out scientific experiments on different topics
  • Invent/ create imaging & analysis tools for medical purposes

Last Note

This article has been on career opportunities in Physics. Aside from the ones mentioned in this article, other opportunities also abound. You can work as a Physics teacher in a secondary school or as a lecturer in the university.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where can a physicist work in Nigeria?

A physicist can work in the following fields:

  • Science
  • Engineering
  • Government
  • Petroleum and gas
  • Technology
  • Business and Finance
  • Construction
  • Health

What branch of Physics is in high demand?

Bio and medical physics are in high demand. A lot of opportunities are available in academics, research and teaching.

What higher degree can I acquire after obtaining B.Sc in Physics

You can go for any of the following degrees :

  • M.Sc Physics
  • M.Sc in Applied Physics
  • M.Sc in Partial/ Nuclear physics
  • M.Sc in Biophysics
  • M.Sc in Space Exploration systems
  • M.Sc in Acoustics
  • M.Sc in Optical physics


  • www. consultantsreview. com – 10 Physics Career Opportunities in 2020
  • www. aeccglobal. in – Courses after B.Sc physics
  • www. indeed. com – 5 Steps to becoming a Nuclear Physicist (with skill)


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