Physics

Careers

Many careers directly related to physics require higher education - and sometimes post  graduate - qualifications in either physics or a related subject. They include:

  • Astronomer
  • Geophysicist
  • Materials scientist
  • Medical physicist
  • Research scientist
  • Teacher / Lecturer

There are a number of careers where physics is useful or preferred although there may  be other entry requirements too. They include:

  • Acoustics engineer
  • Architect
  • Architectural technologist
  • Audiologist
  • Automotive engineer
  • Broadcast engineer
  • Building technician
  • Civil engineer
  • Clinical engineer
  • Computer service technician
  • Dental technician
  • Electrical engineer
  • Electrician
  • Energy engineer
  • Engineering technician
  • Investment analyst
  • Materials technician
  • Medical physics technician
  • Meteorologist
  • Motor vehicle technician
  • Operational researcher
  • Optometrist
  • Patent attorney
  • Quantity surveyor
  • Radiographer
  • Site manager
  • Software developer
  • Sound technician
  • Systems engineer
  • Telecoms technician

Skills

Studying physics will help you develop wider skills such as:

  • Accuracy
  • Attention to detail
  • Communication
  • Data handling
  • ICT
  • Logical thinking
  • Numeracy
  • Observation
  • Organising and planning
  • Practical
  • Problem solving
  • Reasoning and analysis
  • Research
  • Team working
  • Time management
  • Working independently

These skills are needed for many jobs at different levels and with a range of entry  requirements. Here’s a selection:

  • Accountant
  • Accounting technician
  • Air traffic controller
  • Care assistant
  • Customer service assistant
  • Dental nurse
  • Financial Adviser
  • Helpdesk adviser
  • Insurance broker
  • Legal executive
  • Logistics manager
  • Management consultant
  • Market researcher
  • Medical receptionist
  • Motor vehicle parts worker
  • Nurse
  • Police officer
  • Plumber
  • Retail manager
  • Sales manager
  • Social worker
  • Solicitor

Routes

There are different routes into many careers, including further education, higher education  and apprenticeships. There are higher and degree apprenticeships in sectors such as engineering, construction, health care and facilities management. These involve studying for university level qualifications while you work and earn a salary. 

You may need other subjects alongside physics, particularly maths, English and sciences  such as chemistry or biology. 

You may have a choice between studying GCSE Double Science (sometimes called  ‘Combined Science’ and equivalent to two GCSEs) or separate biology, chemistry and physics. Speak to your teachers and careers adviser about which might suit you best, particularly if you’re thinking about taking sciences at A Level.

Did You Know?

The physicist and TV presenter, Professor Brian Cox used to play keyboards with chart  toppers D:Ream! 

Angela Merkel, the Chancellor of Germany studied for a degree in physics.