Occupational Employment Statistics

Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2011

19-2012 Physicists

Conduct research into physical phenomena, develop theories on the basis of observation and experiments, and devise methods to apply physical laws and theories. Excludes "Biochemists and Biophysicists" (19-1021).


National estimates for this occupation
Industry profile for this occupation
Geographic profile for this occupation

National estimates for this occupation: Top

Employment estimate and mean wage estimates for this occupation:

Employment (1) Employment
RSE (3)
Mean hourly
wage
Mean annual
wage (2)
Wage RSE (3)
16,220 4.1 % $53.89 $112,090 1.4 %

Percentile wage estimates for this occupation:

Percentile 10% 25% 50%
(Median)
75% 90%
Hourly Wage $27.98 $38.10 $51.14 $66.63 $82.42
Annual Wage (2) $58,190 $79,260 $106,360 $138,600 $171,430


Industry profile for this occupation: Top

Industries with the highest published employment and wages for this occupation are provided. For a list of all industries with employment in this occupation, see the Create Customized Tables function.

Industries with the highest levels of employment in this occupation:

Industry Employment (1) Percent of industry employment Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage (2)
Scientific Research and Development Services 5,310 0.84 $52.22 $108,620
Federal Executive Branch (OES Designation) 3,210 0.16 $54.40 $113,150
Colleges, Universities, and Professional Schools 2,780 0.10 $42.63 $88,670
Management, Scientific, and Technical Consulting Services 1,380 0.13 $65.39 $136,000
General Medical and Surgical Hospitals 870 0.02 $74.88 $155,760

Industries with the highest concentration of employment in this occupation:

Industry Employment (1) Percent of industry employment Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage (2)
Scientific Research and Development Services 5,310 0.84 $52.22 $108,620
Federal Executive Branch (OES Designation) 3,210 0.16 $54.40 $113,150
Management, Scientific, and Technical Consulting Services 1,380 0.13 $65.39 $136,000
Colleges, Universities, and Professional Schools 2,780 0.10 $42.63 $88,670
Other Fabricated Metal Product Manufacturing 160 0.06 $43.40 $90,280

Top paying industries for this occupation:

Industry Employment (1) Percent of industry employment Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage (2)
Specialty (except Psychiatric and Substance Abuse) Hospitals 80 0.04 $78.00 $162,230
Offices of Physicians 400 0.02 $77.35 $160,890
General Medical and Surgical Hospitals 870 0.02 $74.88 $155,760
Outpatient Care Centers 60 0.01 $69.63 $144,820
Management, Scientific, and Technical Consulting Services 1,380 0.13 $65.39 $136,000


Geographic profile for this occupation: Top

States and areas with the highest published employment, location quotients, and wages for this occupation are provided. For a list of all areas with employment in this occupation, see the Create Customized Tables function.





States with the highest employment level in this occupation:

State Employment (1) Employment per thousand jobs Location quotient (9) Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage (2)
California 3,030 0.22 1.71 $50.27 $104,550
Illinois 1,390 0.25 1.97 $57.44 $119,480
Maryland 1,350 0.54 4.29 $63.27 $131,600
Virginia 950 0.27 2.11 $54.60 $113,560
Texas 920 0.09 0.70 $43.28 $90,030




States with the highest concentration of jobs and location quotients in this occupation:

State Employment (1) Employment per thousand jobs Location quotient (9) Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage (2)
New Mexico 830 1.07 8.47 $46.89 $97,530
District of Columbia 490 0.76 6.05 $58.65 $121,990
Maryland 1,350 0.54 4.29 $63.27 $131,600
Washington 810 0.30 2.34 $51.39 $106,890
Virginia 950 0.27 2.11 $54.60 $113,560




Top paying States for this occupation:

State Employment (1) Employment per thousand jobs Location quotient (9) Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage (2)
Louisiana 30 0.02 0.13 $75.95 $157,970
Minnesota 160 0.06 0.50 $73.33 $152,520
Florida 320 0.04 0.35 $72.81 $151,450
Missouri 110 0.04 0.35 $69.08 $143,690
Kansas 40 0.03 0.23 $68.83 $143,160





Metropolitan areas with the highest employment level in this occupation:

Metropolitan area Employment (1) Employment per thousand jobs Location quotient (9) Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage (2)
Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV Metropolitan Division 1,370 0.59 4.69 $59.05 $122,820
Chicago-Joliet-Naperville, IL Metropolitan Division 970 0.27 2.15 $56.95 $118,460
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale, CA Metropolitan Division 930 0.24 1.93 $45.02 $93,640
Bethesda-Rockville-Frederick, MD Metropolitan Division 790 1.41 11.19 $68.23 $141,930
San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA 600 0.69 5.45 $58.96 $122,650
San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos, CA 470 0.38 2.99 $44.62 $92,810
Seattle-Bellevue-Everett, WA Metropolitan Division 410 0.30 2.36 $55.24 $114,900
Edison-New Brunswick, NJ Metropolitan Division 400 0.42 3.30 $52.50 $109,190
Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, MA NECTA Division 380 0.23 1.78 $51.50 $107,120
New York-White Plains-Wayne, NY-NJ Metropolitan Division 360 0.07 0.56 $59.92 $124,640




Metropolitan areas with the highest concentration of jobs and location quotients in this occupation:

Metropolitan area Employment (1) Employment per thousand jobs Location quotient (9) Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage (2)
Kennewick-Pasco-Richland, WA 290 2.87 22.71 $49.48 $102,920
College Station-Bryan, TX 240 2.63 20.76 $25.64 $53,320
Bethesda-Rockville-Frederick, MD Metropolitan Division 790 1.41 11.19 $68.23 $141,930
Albuquerque, NM 320 0.87 6.85 $57.04 $118,650
San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA 600 0.69 5.45 $58.96 $122,650
Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV Metropolitan Division 1,370 0.59 4.69 $59.05 $122,820
Ann Arbor, MI 100 0.50 3.95 $45.87 $95,400
Knoxville, TN 160 0.48 3.80 $42.82 $89,060
Las Cruces, NM 30 0.45 3.58 $50.95 $105,970
Huntsville, AL 90 0.44 3.46 $54.83 $114,050




Top paying metropolitan areas for this occupation:

Metropolitan area Employment (1) Employment per thousand jobs Location quotient (9) Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage (2)
Miami-Miami Beach-Kendall, FL Metropolitan Division 30 0.03 0.27 $94.15 $195,820
Indianapolis-Carmel, IN 40 0.04 0.34 $81.18 $168,850
Nassau-Suffolk, NY Metropolitan Division 80 0.07 0.52 $77.95 $162,140
Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, FL 30 0.18 1.41 $73.88 $153,670
Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI 120 0.07 0.57 $73.39 $152,650
Durham-Chapel Hill, NC 90 0.33 2.64 $70.37 $146,370
Bethesda-Rockville-Frederick, MD Metropolitan Division 790 1.41 11.19 $68.23 $141,930
Oakland-Fremont-Hayward, CA Metropolitan Division 70 0.07 0.59 $68.16 $141,770
Phoenix-Mesa-Glendale, AZ (8) (8) (8) $66.85 $139,050
Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, WI 50 0.06 0.45 $64.58 $134,320

Nonmetropolitan areas with the highest employment in this occupation:

Nonmetropolitan area Employment (1) Employment per thousand jobs Location quotient (9) Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage (2)
Northeastern Virginia nonmetropolitan area 210 4.39 34.71 $49.87 $103,720

Nonmetropolitan areas with the highest concentration of jobs and location quotients in this occupation:

Nonmetropolitan area Employment (1) Employment per thousand jobs Location quotient (9) Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage (2)
Northeastern Virginia nonmetropolitan area 210 4.39 34.71 $49.87 $103,720

Top paying nonmetropolitan areas for this occupation:

Nonmetropolitan area Employment (1) Employment per thousand jobs Location quotient (9) Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage (2)
Eastern Tennessee nonmetropolitan area (8) (8) (8) $49.94 $103,880
Northeastern Virginia nonmetropolitan area 210 4.39 34.71 $49.87 $103,720


About May 2011 National, State, Metropolitan, and Nonmetropolitan Area Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates

These estimates are calculated with data collected from employers in all industry sectors, all metropolitan and nonmetropolitan areas, and all states and the District of Columbia. The top employment and wage figures are provided above. The complete list is available in the downloadable XLS files.

The percentile wage estimate is the value of a wage below which a certain percent of workers fall. The median wage is the 50th percentile wage estimate--50 percent of workers earn less than the median and 50 percent of workers earn more than the median. More about percentile wages.


(1) Estimates for detailed occupations do not sum to the totals because the totals include occupations not shown separately. Estimates do not include self-employed workers.

(2) Annual wages have been calculated by multiplying the hourly mean wage by a "year-round, full-time" hours figure of 2,080 hours; for those occupations where there is not an hourly mean wage published, the annual wage has been directly calculated from the reported survey data.

(3) The relative standard error (RSE) is a measure of the reliability of a survey statistic. The smaller the relative standard error, the more precise the estimate.

(8) Estimate not released.

(9) The location quotient is the ratio of the area concentration of occupational employment to the national average concentration. A location quotient greater than one indicates the occupation has a higher share of employment than average, and a location quotient less than one indicates the occupation is less prevalent in the area than average.


Other OES estimates and related information:

May 2011 National Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates

May 2011 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates

May 2011 Metropolitan and Nonmetropolitan Area Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates

May 2011 National Industry-Specific Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates

List of Occupations in SOC Code Number Order

List of Occupations in Alphabetical Order

Download May 2011 Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates in Zipped XLS files

Technical Notes

Last Modified Date: March 27, 2012

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