Physics - A Career Overview

It is important to understand that employers hire people, not degrees. The skills and knowledge you develop as a result of your education, as well as in your work and community activities, have the greatest impact on hiring decisions. Listed below are some specific knowledge and transferable skills you will acquire as a result of your university education and your focus on Physics.

Specific Knowledge Skills

  • Knowledge of the properties/states of matter and the structure/behaviour of the components of matter
  • Proficiency in understanding and writing detailed, technical information, reports and presentations
  • Ability to conduct, clearly explain and document scientific research and findings
  • Experience in quantitative analysis using mathematics and applied science and physics
  • Knowledge of computer programming and applied computer analysis
  • The ability to use a knowledge of the properties of matter to create new, interesting and useful components
  • Experience making careful measurements using equipment and scientific instrumentation
  • Skills in generating and formatting hypothesis and then conducting tests and analysis
  • The ability to develop complex models of interaction and behaviour for the purpose of testing and/or demonstrating ideas

Valuable Transferable Skills

Information-gathering and Communication Skills

  • The skills required to identify and access a wide range of relevant information and resources
  • The ability to compile and organize facts and information and to comprehend and apply new and/or unfamiliar information to different situations and settings
  • Skills in preparing interesting, creative and informative presentations which target diverse audiences
  • The ability to develop attractive/effective reports, presentations and materials using current technology

Thinking, Planning and Organizational Skills

  • The ability to learn, understand and interpret information and apply knowledge to new situations
  • The ability to set priorities, meet deadlines and effectively plan/manage time, data and resources
  • Problem-solving skills and the ability to make well-reasoned decisions, think creatively and search for, identify and consider all sides of an issue
  • Skills to effectively analyze and interpret a wide range of information and data to discuss, support and/or reject ideas, opinions, reports, theories and proposals

Teamwork and Management Skills

  • Skills enabling you to work effectively as part of a team by identifying your role and contributing, through leading, teaching, motivating and/or encouraging others, to the success of the team
  • An understanding of how to successfully identify, plan and contribute to the goals of a project
  • The ability to oversee, supervise and/or contribute to a project from beginning to end including determining outcomes, planning details, making decisions, assigning roles and completing task

Career Options (Samples Only. Additional education, training or experience may be required.)

Acoustics Physicist
Air Traffic Controller
Airplane Pilot
Amusement Park Ride Designer
Analyst Patent Agent
Arson Investigator
Atmospheric Physicist
Chemical Physicist
Computational Physicist
Computer Programmer
Construction Consultant
Electronic Physicist
Engineering Physicist
Environmental Advisor
Experimental Physicist
Forensic Lab Technician
Health and Safety Co-ordinator
Health Equipment Designer
Industrial Equipment Operator
Industrial Hygienist
Informatics Specialist
Inventory Control Manager
Laboratory Technician
Light and Optics Specialist
Light Show Designer
Manufacturing Engineering
Materials Science Engineer
Medical Physicist
Meteorological Technician
Molecular Physicist
Nuclear Medical Technologist
Nuclear Physicist
Optical Technician
Physicist Technician
Preservation Technician
Production Designer/Technician
Quality Control Specialist
Radiation Safety Technician
Research Physicist
Science Fiction Writer
Science Writer/Journalist
Science-Based Investment
Special Effects Co-ordinator
Systems Analyst
Technical Sales Representative
Technical Writer
Textiles Analyst/Developer
Toy/Game Tester/Developer
Utilities Supervisor

Potential Employers

Aerospace Industry
Aircraft Manufacturers
Automotive Manufacturers
Chemical Manufacturers
Computer Hardware/Software
Educational Institutions
Electrical Equipment Mfg.
Electronics Industry
Petroleum Industry
Power Plants
Research Firms
Steel/Metals Industry
Telephone/Cable Industry
Textiles Industry
Waste Management Firms


The Canadian Association of Physicists -
Physics World -
American Institute of Physics -
American Physical Society -
Alliance of Special Effects & Pyrotechnic Operators -

Are you interested in learning first hand about the careers our alumni have successfully pursued? Connect with Laurier alumni through the Alumni Sharing Knowledge (ASK) program. Participating alumni represent a variety of disciplines, careers and industries.

In addition, the Career Centre has compiled Career Profiles from Laurier alumni. Read about their career paths and how their experiences have led them to their current roles.

This resource is available at the Career Resource Centre.

© 2019 Wilfrid Laurier University - Orbis Career / Co-op Portal Professional v3