7 highest paying jobs for Physics graduates

Sean Campbell
Sean Campbell
Published on: Dec 15, 20214 min read
7 highest paying jobs for Physics graduates

A degree in Physics can lead you into a whole host of careers, some deeply involved in the subject itself, and others totally unrelated. 

Either way, a physics degree is an impressive one to hold as it demonstrates a sharp, analytical, and curious mind. 

And you’ll be rewarded financially too - the average physics graduate starting salary in the UK is around £3,000 higher than the average overall graduate salary. 

As usual, we’ve done the painstaking research and found a diverse number of careers where physics graduates earn well, get plenty of perks, and make an impact.

Top paying Physics jobs

1. Physics Professor

Average salary: £66,000

Physics Professors find themselves doing a lot on a day-to-day basis. This includes conducting research, writing and publishing papers, and passing on knowledge to the next generation of students.. 

Professors in the UK tend to earn more than double the national average, pulling in a very tidy £66,000! This makes it one of the highest paid jobs for physics graduates.

Of course, getting into a position like this is hard, requiring a lot of post graduate work and qualification, but if you’re willing to rough it for a few years for something you’re passionate about, the rewards are waiting. 

2. Aerospace Engineer

Average salary: £45,000

Designing aircraft and spacecraft is bound to be pretty engaging work, and it’s well paid too. 

Graduate aerospace engineers earn as much as £28,000 in the UK, a number which rises to north of £45,000 after a few years on the job. 

Job satisfaction is generally very high, as there is a feeling of accomplishment with the work, as well as a constant demand - you’re unlikely to have to spend very long looking for a job. 

3. Astronomer

Average salary: £45,000

Astronomers study the universe, the stars and the planets, delving into some of life’s greatest mysteries. 

It’s a research heavy job, requiring great curiosity and patience, with an average UK salary of £45,000. That makes this one of the highest paid professions for physics graduates!

Aside from money, astronomers are generally happy in their work as they’re following a passion, and making discoveries that most people in the world wouldn’t even dream of, and are often employed by high profile government agencies.

4. Software Engineer

Average salary: £38,000

Yes, physics graduates can use their degree to transition into a career in software engineering. They can earn well too, at around £38,000 per year, and they are in high demand, so there are plenty of perks. 

Software engineers are often allowed to work flexible hours, have a relaxed dress code, and work remotely much more than average. 

Why such flexibility though? Well, when software engineers are working, they’re really working. It’s an intense career, often demanding great effort and concentration. 

With that in mind, plus the high demand for software engineers, employers are usually willing to make life as comfortable as possible for their staff. 

5. Research Scientist

Average salary: £38,000

This one might seem pretty obvious, but with good reason. The average research scientist earns about £38,000 per year in the UK, which is £8,000 above the national average. 

There’s plenty of work available in both the private and public sectors, and it’s important work too.  Research scientists make discoveries about just about everything there is to investigate. Without them, we’d know very little. 

Naturally, a career as a research scientist comes with its pressures, as you’ll be carrying out experiments, publishing papers, and constantly seeking funding for your work, but if you're passionate about making new discoveries, then you’re sure to enjoy this one. 

6. Geophysicist

Average salary: £28,000

Using your physics knowledge to figure out how the earth works, while spending ample time in the great outdoors rather than in an office environment? That sounds pretty good to us. 

Geophysicists’ work is wide ranging and the salaries are great too. Most start at least £28,000 per year, and going as high as £50,000 after enough years on the job. 

Generally, geophysicists are happy in their work, and they’re paid well for it too! 

7. Data Scientist

Average salary: £25,000

Data Science careers are actually considered to be one of the very best in the world in terms of job satisfaction, and they’re pretty good in terms of pay too! 

Junior salaries start at between £25,000 and £35,000, and can quickly climb to well above £50,000 per year. 

It’s not an easy job analyzing, interpreting and forming insights from huge volumes of data, but the high job opportunities and great salary makes it one of the best careers out there. 

As well as this, the future looks bright for data scientists: This is a field that is going to keep on growing over the next decades, and the demand for people who can extrapolate and interpret data is only going to grow even more. 

7 highest paying physics graduates jobs

S No. Job Salary Range
1 Physics Professor £66,000
2 Aerospace Engineer £45,000
3 Astronomer £45,000
4 Software Engineer £38,000
5 Research Scientist £38,000
6 Geophysicist £28,000
7 Data Scientist £25,000

If you’re not set on Physics, why not take a look at our blog on the top 10 highest paying degrees in the UK. 

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Written By
Sean Campbell

Sean is a writer, copywriter & editor from Ireland.

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