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 2017 and published in April 2018 [1].

Table 1. Physicist Salary in the United States

Percentile BracketAverage 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.

Salary Trend (2012 to 2017)

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

YearMedian SalaryYearly Growth5-Year Growth
2017
$118,830
2.49% 10.09%
2016
$115,870
3.70% -
2015
$111,580
1.77% -
2014
$109,600
-0.47% -
2013
$110,110
2.97% -
2012
$106,840
- -

Table 2. Physicist Salary by Industry Sector

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
$169,110
Management of Companies and Enterprises
$163,820
Other Services (except Federal, State, and Local Government)
$152,200
Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services
$130,120
Manufacturing
$121,290
Mining
$120,410
Federal, State, and Local Government
$112,620
Utilities
$91,000
Administrative and Support and Waste Management and Remediation Services
$88,660
Wholesale Trade
$77,840
Educational Services
$66,280

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 $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
Oklahoma
$164,190
Louisiana
$159,230
District of Columbia
$147,370
New Mexico
$146,040
Kansas
$143,470
Massachusetts
$134,740
Tennessee
$132,290
Utah
$131,840
New Hampshire
$129,150
Pennsylvania
$126,990
Maryland
$123,240
Florida
$121,190
New York
$120,720
Alabama
$120,400
Rhode Island
$117,160
Arizona
$116,320
New Jersey
$115,090
Georgia
$114,040
Kentucky
$113,300
Illinois
$113,250
Ohio
$113,080
California
$112,950
Missouri
$111,250
Minnesota
$110,950
Idaho
$110,220
North Dakota
$109,330
Texas
$105,760
Virginia
$105,610
North Carolina
$103,580
Maine
$103,340
Nevada
$103,140
South Carolina
$102,970
Washington
$99,580
Oregon
$99,330
Colorado
$99,300
Connecticut
$96,490
Hawaii
$96,160
Mississippi
$92,010
Iowa
$86,760
Michigan
$86,580
Nebraska
$85,960
Wisconsin
$80,280
Indiana
$76,590
Vermont
$74,510



Related:

💰 Highest paying states for physicists

💰 Highest paying cities for physicists

💰 Highest paying industries for physicists.