Can You Become A Physicist With Engineering Degree( A Midlife Career Change).

Can You Become A Physicist With An Engineering Degree

With physicist engineering careers enjoying a surge in earnings, job openings, and work balance, more and more graduates with an engineering degree are looking to switch and become physicists. 

Rightly so, studying for a physics degree today has proven to open up enormous job prospects and career development options in numerous disciplines which include engineering. 

Now, I know many of you here have been wondering if becoming a Physicist from an engineering degree background is even possible?

A quick answer is Yes! You can become a physicist once you complete your engineering degree successfully and then study for a Masters’s degree in Physics that major in Engineering Physics.

Even better, why not just study for a bachelor’s degree in physics with an engineering major? The majority of graduates who took physics engineering degrees to end up working either as a technical physicist, AI, and machine learning, electrical engineering or a hardcore robotics engineer in a production setting.

And, that’s because a degree in physics engineering major equips you with mathematical abilities, quantitative background, analytical abilities for complex problem solving which make them more prepared for applied technical acumen only possible with a bachelor of science in engineering physics 

Are you thinking of studying for a bachelor of science in engineering physics? I can tell you that the recent growth of job opportunities and varying career options for degree holders with a major in engineering physics, it makes sense that more and more students are looking into this career route. 

But, if you are on the fence, I can tell you that the study of physics has been around longer than any of us can even remember. 

From the invention of the first television, radio, camera, and computer technology to the development of flying cars in our modern world, we know that physics has played a huge part in our lives. If it wasn’t for physics, the world would have been very different. 

Physics has allowed us to develop theories such as quantum theory, the theory of relativity and the big bang.

To become a physicist, you need to have a great knowledge of subjects such as mathematics, since a lot of your work will revolve around it. You will also need to have an in-depth knowledge of scientific principles. 

This article will look at some of the best jobs you can do with a bachelor of science in engineering physics. So let’s dive right in. 

What do physics candidates do?

A physics degree can lead you to just about any industry. Whether you are a fan of exploration and discovery of matter or other fascinating physical elements, this degree has your back.  

It is particularly very common for physics undergraduates to go into research positions, where they work in industries such as education, automotive, defense, healthcare, energy, materials, technology, computing and, of course, information technology. We are going to look at the statistics below. 

After physics candidates, a higher fraction of them get employed in as little as six months, particularly in positions like computer programmer and software development expert.

Of the total number of physics graduates, about 47.2% of them go into employment in various sectors, 36.9% continue their studies, 3.8% tend to work and study at the same time and 4.4% go into other activities, leaving about 7.7% unemployed. 

On the population of the graduates that get employed, about 21.1% of them go into the financial and human resource sector, another 21.1% go into information technology, 9.3% join the catering and bar work industry, 8% are said to head into the engineering and building sector and about 40.5% join other sectors. 

Skills for Physics Majors

According to the American Physical Society (APS), specialists that study physics tend to develop similar characteristics and skills, not forgetting an in-depth knowledge of a great variety of scientific instruments and techniques. Since physics is one of the widest fields of study, you are likely to develop the following skills. 

  • Research Skills, which will enable you to discover new things 
  • Fluency in using scientific equipment 
  • Programming, depending on which industry you will go
  • Problem solving, which involves having a systematic approach to problems
  • Reasoning skills, will come useful when constructing logical arguments
  • Numeracy, the ability to use mathematics in order to find solutions to underlying problems
  • Practical skills, in planning, executing and reporting experiments, as well as being able to use technical equipment and paying 
  • Attention to detail
  • Communication, both written and verbal in order to convey ideas and use technical language correctly.
  • Team working skills 
  • Time management and organizational skills, to fulfill project deadlines
  • Information technology, which will allow you to use specialist software packages

Work experience

You may come across a lot of job opportunities indicating that they are in search of an individual that has some work experience. As a fresh graduate with no experience whatsoever, this can really let you down. 

Why do they indicate this as a requirement? The answer is simple. They are looking for an individual who has the understanding of his work, or someone who has been in that position (or related position) before. Ultimately, we all have to start somewhere.

In order to gain work experience, it is advised that you should take advantage of any opportunities, such as an industry placement. 

Taking a year out in the industry as part of your degree can also help. You can then use this time to gain practical skills to complement your academic studies. You will also have an opportunity of building a network of contacts.

Also, it is important that you should get involved with specialist groups as well as any other applicable professional bodies like, let’s say, the Institute of Physics.

Another good strategy would be to find part-time work (or vacation work) in the industry that interests you. For instance, If you want a career in science, look for part-time work in a laboratory, where you will likely work as an assistant. Alternatively, if you want to be a professor, then try to get some part-time work in lecturing. You get the idea. 

No matter which direction you will decide to take, you will be gaining relevant work experience that will enable you to get a leg up into the competition. At the end of the day, you have better chances of having that job.

What Are The Top 10 Best Jobs You Can Do With A Bachelor Of Science In Engineering Physics?

Having looked at the most important skills as well as work experience that you need to possess in the physics field, let’s take a closer look at the top 10 best jobs that you can do with your bachelor of science in engineering physics degree. 

  1. Meteorologist
  2. Astronomer
  3. Radiographer
  4. Aerospace Engineer
  5. Research scientist
  6. Renewable energy scientist
  7. Robotics
  8. Professor
  9. Physics Teacher
  10. Data Scientist


With the right drive and passion, meteorology is one of the most satisfying careers you can pursue. There is always a need for someone who has an in-depth understanding of the climate and patterns. That’s where you come in. 

As a meteorologist, you will center your focus on areas such as daily weather forecasting. Besides that, you will be required to conduct continuous researches in order to learn about the long-term effects of climate change. 

After you do your research, you are supposed to prepare a report to the interested parties. As such, you will need to have excellent skills in both written and verbal communications. 

Thanks to the scientific understanding that you will gain from your bachelor’s degree, especially about the earth, you will easily be able to begin your career as a meteorologist.


Remember when you were in grade school and your teacher asked you what you wanted to become when you grow up and you said “An Astronaut”? Well, I got good news for you. If you study engineering physics, you actually have a great chance of becoming one. 

Generally, an astronomer has the job of studying the universe. This normally involves collecting data from sources like satellites, spacecraft, operating radio as well as optical telescopes. 

On a typical day, you have the responsibility of researching new technologies. Likewise, you will often measure the performance of existing technologies, and work on solving a number of identified problems at the design stage.

Of course, it is worth knowing that the positions in the astronomy field are very limited, especially when compared to other industries. Because of this, the positions face a stiff competition and most roles don’t really involve actually travelling to space. 

Besides a space station, your astronomy skills could land you a job in other organizations like include museums, planetariums and any other institution that offers roles related to astronomy.

A lot of specialized astronomers have found themselves conducting researches in laboratories, with most of them teaching within universities and colleges.

Your bachelor of science in engineering physics or other related undergraduate degrees can land you an administrative and trainee roles in this sector, 

If you aim on working in higher positions, you should definitely consider having at least a master’s degree in the field. This should prove your specialty for those roles.  


Let’s be honest. Working in the healthcare industry is the last thing that crosses your mind, especially when you have a degree in engineering physics. These two sides just don’t seem to be connected, or do they?

If you think your physics knowledge and skills can’t apply in this field, you would be surprised. There are numerous positions you can work, including as a radiographer.

In the health sector, physics intersects with biomedical engineering- in some measure. Here, biomedical engineers are able to create, test and maintain medical equipment, with the help of physicists, of course.

Also, physicists are frequently hired to work in areas such as radiology and nuclear medicine. In such fields, they are able to test and approve the latest and forthcoming equipment.

You can also find yourself in research-based. Such opportunities are often available in medical equipment companies, healthcare providers, research centers as well as academic organizations. 

Aerospace Engineer

Ordinarily, most candidates that study physics (or its equivalent), find themselves in the engineering discipline. In this field, physics graduates are either involved in manufacturing or other fields, provided they are tech-based fields. A common position is aerospace engineering.

As an aerospace engineer, you will often be required to partake in improving and developing products as well as manufacturing processes.

You will also have the advantage of being able to work in a wide range of sectors such as telecommunications, transport, and space study.

Research scientist

There is always going to be a need to learn new information about a certain product or service, depending on the field. This is all possible through research. 

As a research scientist, you have a task of using your knowledge in physics to assist companies in introducing innovations and updating their old technologies. 

While it is very possible to come into scientific research either as a trainee or a technician with a good undergraduate degree, it is essential to continue your studies if you want to be in a senior position someday. 

Upgrading to a master’s degree will definitely prove your specialty in the field. Also, if you are also considering a PhD qualification, go for it. With a PhD, you will be well ahead of a lot of competing candidates. 

Your bachelor of science in engineering physics will attract research jobs in astrophysics, atom physics, biotechnology, nanotechnology, meteorology, thermonuclear and laser dynamics, atmospheric and planetary physics well as climate science.

Renewable energy scientist

With an increase in the energy oil and gas industry, the demand for candidates that specialize in physics is also in a steady rise. 

Besides renewable energy, physics specialists may also find opportunities in the non-renewable energy sector. 

Since fossil fuels’ usage is on a decline, companies that manufacture or use energy are branching out of fossil fuels and moving into renewable alternatives, such as wind and solar energy. On top of this, such companies are said to be investing heavily in research and development in this area. 

As a renewable energy scientist, your main role is to join forces with other scientists and engineers. As a team, you will be able to develop proficient and functional energy systems and possibly the ones that are cost-effective. 

Robotics Engineer

As we said earlier, a higher fraction of physics graduates go into the information technology sector. Since this broad industry is a constant growth, new opportunities are frequently available. 

As a robotics scientist, you are required to join forces with other specialists (for idea contribution) to develop new ideas and new products. 

Also, your job will involve a lot of research. As such, you need to develop the right research skills. After conducting research, you will be preparing reports of your findings and presenting them to team members and stakeholders. 

Technology professions in physics may obtainable be in public or private-sector research centers. The salary generally depends on the ranking of your role, experience as well as the size of the organization.


If you are fascinated by working in university circles, then you might find becoming a professor very satisfying. Besides the “professor” role, you might be an associate professor, assistant professor or an adjunct professor.

Outside of your lecturing job, a lot of university professors regularly involve themselves in activities, especially researching. 

After you conduct your research, you will then write research paper and submit to peer-reviewed journals. Every so often, you will be attending conferences, which may involve travelling. 

What Is The Average Salary For An Engineering Physicist Working As A Professor?

Based on your qualification, you should certainly earn an average salary of $114,134 per year as a professor. 

Physics Teacher

Alternatively, you might go for a career as a physics teacher, particularly if you want to have a less centered role on research. In this case, this is the ideal position for you. 

Contrary to belief, a career in education is very lucrative. Physics teachers often receive a salary that is higher than others. This is very common in cases when a teacher has a specialized background. 

What Is The Average Salary For An Engineering Physicist Working As A Teacher?

As a physics teacher, you will be earning an average salary of $57,321 per annum. Besides being a physics teacher, you may also work in positions like Science Teacher, Teacher or Teaching Assistant.

Data Scientist

Last but not least, your bachelor of science in engineering physics can land you a data scientist occupation.

Compared to other specialties, this is one of the most satisfying jobs. In fact, Glassdoor named Data Scientist as the Number 1 Top Career in America not once or twice, but four consecutive times. 

This was predominantly due to the salaries as well as the number of open jobs. Alternatively, you can also find yourself in related positions, such as Machine Learning Engineer, Data Engineer, Data Analyst or Business Analyst.

What Is The Average Salary For An Engineering Physicist Working As A Data Scientist?

As a data scientist, you will largely be involved in analyzing, interpreting and deriving actionable insights from large quantities of data. You are expected to receive an average salary of $117,345 per annum. 

If you didn’t find a field that you loved, do not despair. The versatility of the Bachelor of Science in engineering physics degree allows you to work in other fields.

With your mathematical skills, you can easily go into the financial sector, where you can work as a financial manager or analyst. 

Also, your familiarity with technological modernization will allow you to go into an applicable field of the legal division, like forensics. 

You are also likely to find yourself in the Media and entertainment industry. In this sector, you can work as a computer game programmer or scientific journalism- just to mention a few.

Continuing Education and Certifications

While you may have a happy and successful career with a bachelor’s degree, most candidates prefer going for a graduate program. As long as you have the motivation to continue your school, there is nothing stopping you from advancing. 

If your desire is to teach physics to secondary school students, you will probably need to possess some additional certifications.

To get the certification, you should first compete with a student-teaching program and a teacher education program. After passing the programs, you will then become qualified to apply for a license or certification that will enable you to teach in your state.

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