Physical Scientist Salary Information

The salary statistics of physical scientists are shown in Table 1. The average hourly salary of physical scientists in the United States is shown in Table 2. In the next few tables we compare the average salaries of physical scientists within different industry sectors and in the 50 states of the United States. The physical scientists annual salary statistics are from the national compensation survey conducted by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2017 and published in April 2018 [1].

Table 1. Physical Scientist Salary in the United States

Percentile BracketAverage Annual Salary
10th Percentile Wage
25th Percentile Wage
50th Percentile Wage
75th Percentile Wage
90th Percentile Wage

Table 1 shows the average annual salary for physical scientists. The average annual salary for the 90th percentile (the top 10 percent of the highest paid) physical scientists is $145,630. The median annual salary (50th percentile) is $78,790. The average annual salary for the bottom 10 percent is $44,050. It is noted that in the United States, the annual salary of the 90th percentile (the top 10 percent of the highest paid) is almost 230% higher than that of the bottom 10 percent.

Salary Trend (2012 to 2017)

The table and chart below show the trend of the median salary of physical scientists from 2012 to 2017.

YearMedian SalaryYearly Growth5-Year Growth
1.27% 5.00%
2.12% -
-0.16% -
0.96% -
0.90% -
- -

Table 2. Physical Scientist Salary by Industry Sector

The average salaries of physical scientists in 17 major industry sectors are shown in Table 2. We note that the salaries vary considerably within different industry sectors. The highest paying industry sector for physical scientists occupations is the mining sector with an annual salary $117,570. The lowest paying sector is the other services (except federal, state, and local government) sector (annual salary $61,090).

Industry Sector Median Annual Salary
Management of Companies and Enterprises
Health Care and Social Assistance
Finance and Insurance
Transportation and Warehousing
Federal, State, and Local Government
Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services
Retail Trade
Wholesale Trade
Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation
Administrative and Support and Waste Management and Remediation Services
Educational Services
Other Services (except Federal, State, and Local Government)

Table 3. Salaries of Physical Scientist Related Occupations

The average annual salary of physical scientist related occupations at the national level is given in Table 3. For more salary information about a specific occupation, use the links below.

Occupation Median Annual Salary
Astronomers and Physicists
Atmospheric and Space Scientists
Materials Scientists
Chemists and Materials Scientists
Environmental Scientists and Geoscientists
Geoscientists (Except Hydrologists and Geographers)
Other Physical Scientists
Environmental Scientists and Health Specialists


💰 Highest paying industries for physical scientists.