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Physicist Salary in Sector of Federal, State, and Local Government

The salary statistics of physicists in the industry sector of federal, state, and local government are shown in Table 1. In Table 2 we compare physicist salaries in different industries within the federal, state, and local government sector.

Average Annual Salary of Physicists

Percentile BracketAverage Annual Salary
10th Percentile Wage
$69,320
25th Percentile Wage
$87,580
50th Percentile Wage
$110,610
75th Percentile Wage
$137,990
90th Percentile Wage
$160,290

Table 1 shows the average annual salary for physicists in the industry sector of federal, state, and local government. The salaries are shown in 5 percentile scales. The average annual salary for the 90th percentile (the top 10 percent of the highest paid) physicists is $160,290. The median annual salary (50th percentile) is $110,610. The average annual salary for the bottom 10 percent paid physicists is $69,320.

Salary Trend (2012 to 2016)

The following table and chart show the trend of the median salary of physicists in the industry sector of federal, state, and local government from 2012 to 2016.

YearMedian SalaryYearly Growth4-Year Growth
2016110,6101.90%3.83%
2015108,510-0.44%-
2014108,9902.17%-
2013106,6200.23%-
2012106,370--

Compare Physicist Salary in Different Industries within the Federal, State, and Local Government Sector

The average salaries of physicists in eight industries in the federal, state, and local government sector are shown below. We note that within this industry sector, the salaries vary among different industries. The highest paying industry for physicist occupations is the federal executive branch (oes designation) industry with an annual salary $116,250. The lowest paying industry is the state government, including schools and hospitals industry (annual salary $66,540). For detailed physicist salary information in a particular industry, use the links provided below.

Industry Name Median Annual Salary
Federal Executive Branch (OES Designation)
$116,250
Federal government, including USPS
$116,250
Federal, State, and Local Government (OES Designation)
$110,610
Local government, including schools and hospitals
$101,700
Public sector -- Federal, state, and local government, including government owned schools and hospit
$96,830
Local Government, excluding schools and hospitals (OES Designation)
$90,870
State Government, excluding schools and hospitals (OES Designation)
$72,490
State government, including schools and hospitals
$66,540

Data source: The national compensation survey conducted by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) in 2016 and published in April 2017 [1].



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