Physicist Salary Information

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 2016 and published in April 2017 [1].

Table 1. Physicist Salary in the United States

Percentile BracketAverage Annual Salary
10th Percentile Wage
$57,640
25th Percentile Wage
$82,850
50th Percentile Wage
$115,870
75th Percentile Wage
$153,710
90th Percentile Wage
$189,560

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 $189,560. The median annual salary (50th percentile) is $115,870. The average annual salary for the bottom 10 percent is $57,640. Note that in the United States, the annual salary of the 90th percentile (the top 10 percent of the highest paid) is almost 228% 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 physicists from 2012 to 2016.

YearMedian SalaryYearly Growth4-Year Growth
2016115,8703.70%7.79%
2015111,5801.77%-
2014109,600-0.47%-
2013110,1102.97%-
2012106,840--

Table 2. Physicist Salary by Industry Sector

The average salaries of physicists in 9 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 $158,920. The lowest paying sector is the educational services sector (annual salary $66,930).

Industry Sector Median Annual Salary
Health Care and Social Assistance
$158,920
Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services
$130,680
Management of Companies and Enterprises
$129,050
Mining
$120,410
Manufacturing
$112,250
Federal, State, and Local Government
$110,610
Administrative and Support and Waste Management and Remediation Services
$104,570
Utilities
$86,480
Educational Services
$66,930

Table 3. Median Annual Wage of Physicists by States

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 $76,590 to $159,230. The highest paying state for physicists is Louisiana with a median annual salary of $159,230. The lowest paying state is Indiana with a median annual salary of $76,590. For more salary information of physicists profession in a specific state, use the links in the table.

State Name Median Annual Salary
Louisiana
$159,230
Oklahoma
$147,280
District of Columbia
$144,710
Kansas
$143,470
New Mexico
$143,330
New Hampshire
$136,750
Pennsylvania
$136,070
Georgia
$135,750
Oregon
$126,040
Maryland
$125,250
Ohio
$119,320
Rhode Island
$117,160
Illinois
$116,700
Massachusetts
$116,150
Arizona
$115,350
Alabama
$115,170
New Jersey
$115,090
Kentucky
$113,300
Tennessee
$113,220
New York
$113,130
California
$109,880
Virginia
$109,060
Utah
$108,410
Florida
$105,340
North Carolina
$104,150
Nevada
$103,140
Minnesota
$102,460
Washington
$99,310
Texas
$99,260
Maine
$98,770
Mississippi
$98,610
Colorado
$96,560
Missouri
$96,510
Connecticut
$96,490
Hawaii
$94,310
Michigan
$92,640
Nebraska
$85,960
Idaho
$84,270
Wisconsin
$80,130
Indiana
$76,590



Related:

Highest paying states for physicists

Highest paying cities for physicists

Highest paying industries for physicists.