Best paying jobs for Physical Sciences - Updated 2020

In addition to job openings resulting from employment growth, openings will arise from the need to replace managers who retire or move into other occupations. Competition for jobs in this occupation is expected to be strong because of its typically higher salaries, greater control over some types of projects, and better access to resources. Experiences can vary widely with the variety of industries and organizations these managers work in.
Job Title 2018 median Pay Education Number of Jobs Job Outlook What they do
Natural Sciences Managers $123,860 Bachelor's degree 56,700 Employment of natural sciences managers is projected to grow 10 percent from 2016 to 2026, faster than the average for all occupations. Employment growth should be affected by many of the same factors that affect employment growth for the scientists whom these managers supervise. Natural sciences managers supervise the work of scientists, including chemists, physicists, and biologists. They direct activities related to research and development, and coordinate activities such as testing, quality control, and production.
Physicists $119,580 Doctoral or professional degree 19,900 Overall employment of physicists and astronomers is projected to grow 14 percent from 2016 to 2026, faster than the average for all occupations. Federal government spending for physics and astronomy research is not likely to grow as in past years, and this will dampen the need for physicists and astronomers at institutions heavily dependent on such funding. Physicists and astronomers study the ways in which various forms of matter and energy interact. Theoretical physicists and astronomers may study the nature of time or the origin of the universe. Some physicists design and perform experiments with sophisticated equipment such as particle accelerators, electron microscopes, and lasers.
Atmospheric and Space Scientists $94,110 Bachelor's degree 10,400 Employment of atmospheric scientists, including meteorologists, is projected to grow 12 percent from 2016 to 2026, faster than the average for all occupations. The best job prospects for atmospheric scientists will be in private industry.  Atmospheric scientists study the weather and climate, and examine how those conditions affect human activity and the earth in general. 
Geoscientists, Except Hydrologists and Geographers $91,130 Bachelor's degree 32,000 Employment of geoscientists is projected to grow 14 percent from 2016 to 2026, faster than the average for all occupations. The need for energy, environmental protection, and responsible land and resource management is projected to spur demand for geoscientists in the future. Geoscientists study the physical aspects of the Earth, such as its composition, structure, and processes, to learn about its past, present, and future.
Hydrologists $79,370 Bachelor's degree 6,700 Employment of hydrologists is projected to grow 10 percent from 2016 to 2026, faster than the average for all occupations. Population growth and environmental concerns are expected to increase demand for hydrologists. Hydrologists study how water moves across and through the Earth’s crust. They use their expertise to solve problems in the areas of water quality or availability.
Materials Scientists $78,330 Bachelor's degree 96,200 Overall employment of chemists and materials scientists is projected to grow 7 percent from 2016 to 2026, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Chemists and materials scientists with an advanced degree, particularly those with a Ph.D., are expected to have better opportunities. Chemists and materials scientists study substances at the atomic and molecular levels and analyze the ways in which the substances interact with one another. They use their knowledge to develop new and improved products and to test the quality of manufactured goods.
Environmental Scientists and Specialists, Including Health $71,130 Bachelor's degree 89,500 Employment of environmental scientists and specialists is projected to grow 11 percent from 2016 to 2026, faster than the average for all occupations. Heightened public interest in the hazards facing the environment, as well as increasing demands placed on the environment by population growth, are expected to spur demand for environmental scientists and specialists. Environmental scientists and specialists use their knowledge of the natural sciences to protect the environment and human health. They may clean up polluted areas, advise policymakers, or work with industry to reduce waste.
Secondary School Teachers, Except Special and Career/Technical Education $60,320 Bachelor's degree 1,018,700 Employment of high school teachers is projected to grow 8 percent from 2016 to 2026, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Rising student enrollment should increase demand for high school teachers, but employment growth will vary by region. High school teachers help prepare students for life after graduation. They teach academic lessons and various skills that students will need to attend college and to enter the job market.
Forensic Science Technicians $58,230 Bachelor's degree 15,400 Employment of forensic science technicians is projected to grow 17 percent from 2016 to 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations. However, because it is a small occupation, the fast growth will result in only about 2,600 new jobs over the 10-year period. Competition for jobs is expected to be strong. Forensic science technicians aid criminal investigations by collecting and analyzing evidence. Many technicians specialize in various types of laboratory analysis.