The salary statistics of physicists are shown in Table 1. In the next few tables we compare the average salaries of physicists within different industry sectors and in the 50 states of the United States. The physicists 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 .
|Percentile Bracket||Average Annual Salary|
|10th Percentile Wage||$57,430|
|25th Percentile Wage||$83,380|
|50th Percentile Wage||$118,830|
|75th Percentile Wage||$155,620|
|90th Percentile Wage||$190,540|
Table 1 shows the average annual salary for physicists. The average annual salary for the 90th percentile (the top 10 percent of the highest paid) physicists is $190,540. The median annual salary (50th percentile) is $118,830. The average annual salary for the bottom 10 percent is $57,430. Notice that in the United States, the annual salary of the 90th percentile (the top 10 percent of the highest paid) is almost 231% higher than that of the bottom 10 percent.
The table and chart below show the trend of the median salary of physicists from 2012 to 2017.
|Year||Median Salary||Yearly Growth||5-Year Growth|
The average salaries of physicists in 11 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 physicists occupations is the health care and social assistance sector with an annual salary $169,110. The lowest paying sector is the educational services sector (annual salary $66,280).
|Industry Sector||Median Annual Salary|
|Health Care and Social Assistance|| |
|Management of Companies and Enterprises|| |
|Other Services (except Federal, State, and Local Government)|| |
|Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services|| |
|Federal, State, and Local Government|| |
|Administrative and Support and Waste Management and Remediation Services|| |
|Wholesale Trade|| |
|Educational Services|| |
From the above tables we note that not only physicists salaries vary considerably based on one's education and experience, and the industry sectors, they also change considerably from state to state. In the following table we compare the median salary of physicists in all 50 states of the United States. We note that the median annual salaries range from $74,510 to $164,190. The highest paying state for physicists is Oklahoma with a median annual salary of $164,190. The lowest paying state is Vermont with a median annual salary of $74,510. For more salary information of physicists profession in a specific state, use the links in the table.
|State Name||Median Annual Salary|
|District of Columbia|| |
|New Mexico|| |
|New Hampshire|| |
|New York|| |
|Rhode Island|| |
|New Jersey|| |
|North Dakota|| |
|North Carolina|| |
|South Carolina|| |