Occupational Employment Statistics

Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2012

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)
17,820 4.3 % $54.88 $114,150 1.5 %

Percentile wage estimates for this occupation:

Percentile 10% 25% 50%
(Median)
75% 90%
Hourly Wage $27.71 $38.38 $51.37 $67.57 $84.92
Annual Wage (2) $57,640 $79,830 $106,840 $140,550 $176,630


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 5,960 0.95 $53.55 $111,380
Federal Executive Branch (OES Designation) 3,140 0.15 $54.42 $113,190
Colleges, Universities, and Professional Schools 3,010 0.10 $42.61 $88,640
Management, Scientific, and Technical Consulting Services 1,500 0.14 $67.08 $139,520
General Medical and Surgical Hospitals 940 0.02 $77.44 $161,080

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 5,960 0.95 $53.55 $111,380
Oil and Gas Extraction 330 0.18 $77.39 $160,960
Federal Executive Branch (OES Designation) 3,140 0.15 $54.42 $113,190
Management, Scientific, and Technical Consulting Services 1,500 0.14 $67.08 $139,520
Colleges, Universities, and Professional Schools 3,010 0.10 $42.61 $88,640

Top paying industries for this occupation:

Industry Employment (1) Percent of industry employment Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage (2)
Offices of Physicians 370 0.02 $77.97 $162,180
General Medical and Surgical Hospitals 940 0.02 $77.44 $161,080
Oil and Gas Extraction 330 0.18 $77.39 $160,960
Outpatient Care Centers 70 0.01 $74.87 $155,720
Specialty (except Psychiatric and Substance Abuse) Hospitals 140 0.06 $70.74 $147,140


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 3,730 0.26 1.90 $51.26 $106,610
Maryland 1,520 0.61 4.43 $59.22 $123,170
Texas 1,340 0.13 0.92 $56.74 $118,020
Illinois 1,100 0.20 1.43 $52.55 $109,310
Virginia 960 0.27 1.95 $53.77 $111,840




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 860 1.11 8.10 $49.33 $102,600
District of Columbia 480 0.73 5.36 $58.62 $121,920
Maryland 1,520 0.61 4.43 $59.22 $123,170
Washington 750 0.27 1.98 $53.71 $111,710
Virginia 960 0.27 1.95 $53.77 $111,840




Top paying States for this occupation:

State Employment (1) Employment per thousand jobs Location quotient (9) Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage (2)
Minnesota 120 0.05 0.34 $83.12 $172,880
Louisiana 40 0.02 0.15 $74.51 $154,980
Hawaii 110 0.18 1.35 $74.00 $153,920
Florida 340 0.05 0.34 $71.64 $149,010
Rhode Island 70 0.16 1.20 $69.33 $144,200





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 1,470 0.63 4.60 $55.89 $116,250
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale, CA Metropolitan Division 1,050 0.27 1.98 $45.56 $94,770
Chicago-Joliet-Naperville, IL Metropolitan Division 950 0.26 1.92 $53.70 $111,700
Bethesda-Rockville-Frederick, MD Metropolitan Division 730 1.31 9.59 $68.76 $143,010
Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown, TX 620 0.23 1.72 $75.60 $157,240
San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA 610 0.68 4.96 $61.38 $127,670
San Francisco-San Mateo-Redwood City, CA Metropolitan Division 480 0.47 3.47 $55.92 $116,310
San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos, CA 450 0.36 2.60 $44.88 $93,360
Seattle-Bellevue-Everett, WA Metropolitan Division 400 0.29 2.09 $58.98 $122,680
Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, MA NECTA Division 390 0.23 1.67 $64.96 $135,120




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)
College Station-Bryan, TX 240 2.56 18.70 $27.50 $57,200
Kennewick-Pasco-Richland, WA 240 2.48 18.11 $49.64 $103,250
Boulder, CO 280 1.76 12.86 $61.56 $128,040
Bethesda-Rockville-Frederick, MD Metropolitan Division 730 1.31 9.59 $68.76 $143,010
Albuquerque, NM 360 0.99 7.24 $59.38 $123,500
San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA 610 0.68 4.96 $61.38 $127,670
Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV Metropolitan Division 1,470 0.63 4.60 $55.89 $116,250
Portsmouth, NH-ME 30 0.58 4.27 $48.95 $101,810
Knoxville, TN 170 0.51 3.71 $44.81 $93,200
San Francisco-San Mateo-Redwood City, CA Metropolitan Division 480 0.47 3.47 $55.92 $116,310




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)
Indianapolis-Carmel, IN 40 0.04 0.30 $84.41 $175,570
Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI 90 0.05 0.38 $79.82 $166,020
Miami-Miami Beach-Kendall, FL Metropolitan Division 100 0.10 0.73 $76.37 $158,840
Honolulu, HI 90 0.22 1.59 $76.27 $158,640
Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown, TX 620 0.23 1.72 $75.60 $157,240
Pittsburgh, PA 40 0.03 0.23 $74.53 $155,020
Santa Ana-Anaheim-Irvine, CA Metropolitan Division 60 0.04 0.29 $69.88 $145,350
Bethesda-Rockville-Frederick, MD Metropolitan Division 730 1.31 9.59 $68.76 $143,010
Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL 30 0.03 0.21 $67.50 $140,400
Providence-Fall River-Warwick, RI-MA 70 0.14 1.00 $67.20 $139,790


About May 2012 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.

(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 2012 National Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates

May 2012 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates

May 2012 Metropolitan and Nonmetropolitan Area Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates

May 2012 National Industry-Specific Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates

May 2012 Occupation Profiles

Technical Notes

Last Modified Date: March 29, 2013

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