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 2016 and published in April 2017 [1].

Table 1. Physical Scientist Salary in the United States

Percentile BracketAverage Annual Salary
10th Percentile Wage
$43,520
25th Percentile Wage
$56,560
50th Percentile Wage
$77,790
75th Percentile Wage
$108,440
90th Percentile Wage
$143,300

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 $143,300. The median annual salary (50th percentile) is $77,790. The average annual salary for the bottom 10 percent is $43,520. Notice that in the United States, the annual salary of the 90th percentile (the top 10 percent of the highest paid) is almost 229% higher than that of the bottom 10 percent.

Salary Trend (2012 to 2016)

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

YearMedian SalaryYearly Growth4-Year Growth
201677,7902.12%3.78%
201576,140-0.16%-
201476,2600.96%-
201375,5300.90%-
201274,850--

Table 2. Physical Scientist Salary by Industry Sector

The average salaries of physical scientists in 16 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 $116,970. The lowest paying sector is the other services (except federal, state, and local government) sector (annual salary $58,790).

Industry Sector Median Annual Salary
Mining
$116,970
Management of Companies and Enterprises
$106,470
Health Care and Social Assistance
$99,050
Transportation and Warehousing
$95,780
Information
$91,870
Utilities
$88,920
Finance and Insurance
$82,480
Federal, State, and Local Government
$78,110
Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services
$78,010
Construction
$77,280
Manufacturing
$75,910
Wholesale Trade
$72,490
Administrative and Support and Waste Management and Remediation Services
$69,650
Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation
$69,480
Educational Services
$62,020
Other Services (except Federal, State, and Local Government)
$58,790

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
Physicists
$115,870
Astronomers and Physicists
$114,870
Astronomers
$104,740
Materials Scientists
$99,430
Other Physical Scientists
$96,070
Atmospheric and Space Scientists
$92,460
Geoscientists (Except Hydrologists and Geographers)
$89,780
Hydrologists
$80,480
Chemists and Materials Scientists
$75,420
Chemists
$73,740
Environmental Scientists and Geoscientists
$73,320
Environmental Scientists and Health Specialists
$68,910



Related:

Highest paying industries for physical scientists.