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Physics is not only an exciting and engaging course of study, it is also the gateway to a number of satisfying and rewarding careers.

From traditional scientific industries to more unusual pathways, there are a great many opportunities open to physics specialists which are sure to appeal to students with an interest in the field.

Here are just five of the potential career paths which are open to those who study physics.


The oil and gas industry is going from strength to strength and is certainly one of the most lucrative career paths that physics students can follow.

Playing a key role in these valuable industries, geophysicists help to build up a clear picture of what is happening under the surface of the Earth, interpret seismic data and examine the rock’s physical properties.

Geophysics is an especially good choice of careers for anyone with an interest in travel, since many positions involve postings overseas.


Although the idea of working in manufacturing may not be especially appealing, physics specialists who work in the field of metallurgy can look forward to an exciting career working with cutting edge technology, developing metals to be used for new applications, and helping to improve traditional manufacturing techniques.

With three main fields in this discipline – chemical metallurgy, physical metallurgy and process metallurgy – physics specialists can be at the forefront of the industry.


Physics students who are interested in pushing the boundaries of science would do well to consider a career in nanotechnology.

Working on the creation of new equipment and materials, diagnostic tools and drugs on a nanoscale level, nanotechnologists design and conduct experiments in their chosen field in order to develop new ways of applying methodologies.

This exciting career path is ideal for those who have an enquiring mind and who want to lead the way in new developments.


The field of meteorology encompasses a wide range of sectors, from the armed forces and government services to the shipping industry and the media.

When many people think of meteorology, the TV weather forecast probably comes to mind, however there is much more to it than that as meteorologists also study the environmental impact of weather as well as research climate change and weather patterns to provide key information for the aviation industry, farmers and insurance companies.

Some specialists in this field have the opportunity to travel overseas, or to work in unusual environments like the Antarctic.


It is no secret that the UK is currently struggling to attract highly qualified science graduates into the education profession, and statistics have shown that more than a third of all physics classes are taught by a teacher without a qualification in the subject.

Those who have studied physics at a high level would be well placed to take advantage of the lucrative recruitment and retention packages on offer from UK schools today, whilst also enjoying the satisfaction of imparting knowledge to a whole new generation of learners.

The starting salary for physics teachers is from £22,917, or £28,660 in inner London. Applications for training bursaries and scholarships are now being accepted on the Get In To Teaching website.

Careers within the field of physics are not only satisfying, they play a major role in society’s welfare. By encouraging keen physics students to pursue career paths within this sector, the nation as a whole will surely benefit.