Occupational Employment Statistics

Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2015

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)
15,650 3.7 % $56.97 $118,500 1.4 %

Percentile wage estimates for this occupation:

Percentile 10% 25% 50%
(Median)
75% 90%
Hourly Wage $26.74 $38.79 $53.65 $71.16 $89.06
Annual Wage (2) $55,610 $80,670 $111,580 $148,020 $185,230


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 4,260 0.66 $60.63 $126,120
Federal Executive Branch (OES Designation) 3,100 0.16 $55.37 $115,170
Colleges, Universities, and Professional Schools 2,780 0.09 $37.76 $78,540
General Medical and Surgical Hospitals 1,160 0.02 $81.31 $169,120
Management, Scientific, and Technical Consulting Services 980 0.08 $62.11 $129,190

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 4,260 0.66 $60.63 $126,120
Federal Executive Branch (OES Designation) 3,100 0.16 $55.37 $115,170
Colleges, Universities, and Professional Schools 2,780 0.09 $37.76 $78,540
Management, Scientific, and Technical Consulting Services 980 0.08 $62.11 $129,190
Navigational, Measuring, Electromedical, and Control Instruments Manufacturing 250 0.06 $62.45 $129,900

Top paying industries for this occupation:

Industry Employment (1) Percent of industry employment Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage (2)
Outpatient Care Centers 100 0.01 $87.47 $181,950
Specialty (except Psychiatric and Substance Abuse) Hospitals 80 0.03 $83.85 $174,400
Offices of Physicians 600 0.02 $81.59 $169,700
General Medical and Surgical Hospitals 1,160 0.02 $81.31 $169,120
Computer Systems Design and Related Services 60 (7) $71.87 $149,500


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 2,220 0.14 1.26 $52.65 $109,520
Maryland 1,160 0.45 3.93 $60.96 $126,800
New York 1,110 0.12 1.09 $59.12 $122,960
Texas 1,020 0.09 0.78 $47.93 $99,680
New Mexico 980 1.23 10.83 $63.04 $131,110




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 980 1.23 10.83 $63.04 $131,110
District of Columbia 420 0.63 5.51 $62.34 $129,670
Maryland 1,160 0.45 3.93 $60.96 $126,800
Virginia 960 0.26 2.29 $55.30 $115,010
Washington 720 0.24 2.13 $59.50 $123,750




Top paying States for this occupation:

State Employment (1) Employment per thousand jobs Location quotient (9) Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage (2)
Oklahoma 50 0.03 0.26 $74.22 $154,380
Kansas (8) (8) (8) $73.03 $151,900
Florida 610 0.08 0.68 $71.79 $149,320
South Carolina 70 0.04 0.32 $67.51 $140,410
Ohio 490 0.09 0.82 $65.80 $136,870





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 990 0.41 3.59 $63.68 $132,460
Silver Spring-Frederick-Rockville, MD Metropolitan Division 630 1.10 9.71 $64.19 $133,510
Chicago-Naperville-Arlington Heights, IL Metropolitan Division 610 0.17 1.51 $59.59 $123,950
Nassau County-Suffolk County, NY Metropolitan Division 530 0.42 3.66 $64.27 $133,670
Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX 530 0.18 1.58 $51.78 $107,710
Boston-Cambridge-Newton, MA NECTA Division 520 0.29 2.59 $42.89 $89,200
New York-Jersey City-White Plains, NY-NJ Metropolitan Division 420 0.06 0.57 $69.75 $145,080
Boulder, CO 410 2.42 21.29 $44.90 $93,400
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale, CA Metropolitan Division 370 0.09 0.79 $45.16 $93,920
Seattle-Bellevue-Everett, WA Metropolitan Division 330 0.22 1.90 $68.24 $141,930




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-Richland, WA 250 2.44 21.54 $53.81 $111,930
Boulder, CO 410 2.42 21.29 $44.90 $93,400
Silver Spring-Frederick-Rockville, MD Metropolitan Division 630 1.10 9.71 $64.19 $133,510
Lansing-East Lansing, MI 180 0.85 7.50 $35.33 $73,480
Huntsville, AL 160 0.73 6.41 $60.17 $125,160
Durham-Chapel Hill, NC 150 0.51 4.52 $35.16 $73,130
Charlottesville, VA 50 0.49 4.31 $58.08 $120,810
Knoxville, TN 180 0.48 4.21 $52.43 $109,060
Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC 310 0.42 3.69 $42.10 $87,560
Nassau County-Suffolk County, NY Metropolitan Division 530 0.42 3.66 $64.27 $133,670




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)
Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, FL (8) (8) (8) $94.25 $196,050
Cincinnati, OH-KY-IN 100 0.10 0.85 $83.47 $173,620
Newark, NJ-PA Metropolitan Division 70 0.06 0.52 $75.96 $157,990
Cleveland-Elyria, OH 90 0.09 0.79 $71.58 $148,890
Warren-Troy-Farmington Hills, MI Metropolitan Division 40 0.04 0.31 $71.25 $148,190
Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, AZ 40 0.02 0.20 $70.16 $145,940
Pittsburgh, PA 30 0.03 0.27 $70.12 $145,850
New York-Jersey City-White Plains, NY-NJ Metropolitan Division 420 0.06 0.57 $69.75 $145,080
Buffalo-Cheektowaga-Niagara Falls, NY 30 0.06 0.52 $69.55 $144,660
Seattle-Bellevue-Everett, WA Metropolitan Division 330 0.22 1.90 $68.24 $141,930


About May 2015 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 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.

(7) The value is less than .005 percent of industry employment.

(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 2015 National Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates

May 2015 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates

May 2015 Metropolitan and Nonmetropolitan Area Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates

May 2015 National Industry-Specific Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates

May 2015 Occupation Profiles

Technical Notes

Last Modified Date: March 30, 2016