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Physicist Salary Information in California

The average annual and hourly salaries for physicists in the state of California are shown in Table 1 and Table 2, respectively. The comparison of the salary statistics of physicists among California cities is shown in Table 3. The salary statistics are based on the national compensation survey conducted by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2016 and published in April 2017 [1].

Table 1 & 2. Annual & Hourly Salary of Physicists in California

Percentile BracketAverage Annual Salary
10th Percentile Wage
$51,830
25th Percentile Wage
$68,960
50th Percentile Wage
$109,880
75th Percentile Wage
$140,210
90th Percentile Wage
$162,490

Table 1 shows the average annual salary for physicists in California in 5 percentile scales. The average annual salary for the 90th percentile (the top 10 percent of the highest paid) is $162,490. The median (50th percentile) annual salary is $109,880. The average annual salary for the bottom 10 percent is $51,830.

Percentile BracketAverage Hourly Salary
10th Percentile Wage
$24.92
25th Percentile Wage
$33.15
50th Percentile Wage
$52.83
75th Percentile Wage
$67.41
90th Percentile Wage
$78.12

Table 2 shows the average hourly salary for physicists in California in 5 percentile scales. The average hourly salary for the 90th percentile is $78.12. The median hourly salary is $52.83. The average hourly salary for the bottom 10 percent is $24.92.

Salary Trend (2012 to 2016)

The following table and chart show the trend of the median salary of physicists from 2012 to 2016.

YearMedian SalaryYearly Growth4-Year Growth
2016109,8801.26%7.37%
2015108,500-0.35%-
2014108,8800.70%-
2013108,1205.86%-
2012101,780--

Table 3. Median Annual Salary of Physicists in California Cities

Table 3 shows the median annual salary of physicists in some California cities and metropolitan areas. We note that the median annual salary of physicists in state of California ranges from $59,580 to $138,460. The highest paying area for physicists in California is San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara with a median annual salary of $138,460. The second highest paying city/area in California State is San Francisco-San Mateo-Redwood City (mean annual salary $131,270). The lowest paying area is Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario with a median annual salary of $59,580.

Cities/Areas Median Annual Salary
San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara
$138,460
San Francisco-San Mateo-Redwood City
$131,270
San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont
$125,080
Santa Ana-Anaheim-Irvine
$115,980
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana
$110,240
Sacramento-Arden-Arcade-Roseville
$93,770
San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos
$87,230
Oakland-Fremont-Hayward
$79,930
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale
$76,810
Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario
$59,580


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