A little less than half (48%) of physics bachelor's degree holders enter graduate school immediately afterwards. A majority of these, about 60% are in physics or astronomy programs, and most of the rest are in various engineering fields, mathematics, other sciences, or education. While some people seeking graduate degrees will continue on in academia, many will use their degree to enter some of the other employment fields listed below. To find out more about what you can do with a Master's or PhD in physics, visit the employment statistics page for PhDs, or physicist profiles of PhD holders or Master's holders.
If graduate school or academia isn't for you, there are many different paths you can take when entering the job market! A little over 50% of bachelors recipients directly enter the job market, and industry represents the largest share of jobs, with about two-thirds of bachelor's working in the private sector. and many of those jobs are not advertised specifically for people with degrees in physics. Job titles can include laboratory scientist, computer scientist, data analyst, and many types of engineers. You can find out more about what physics bachelor's do in industry on the statistics page for bachelor's or by reading profiles of physics bachelor's.
Another prominent sector of the job market for physics degree holders is in education. Between colleges, universities and high schools, 16% of physics bachelor's degree holders went into the education sector in the years 2017 and 2018. Physics bachelor's that become high school teachers often teach multiple types of science, in addition to physics. Other types of education jobs include outreach at observatories and museums. You can find several high school teachers among our physicist profiles.
A small, but consistent, number of physics bachelor's recipients chose to enter the military. There are many engineering and technical jobs in all branches of the military, particularly in nuclear physics.
Another small, but consistent, fraction of physics bachelor's recipients enter jobs in civilian government. These jobs can include policy analysts, or scientists working in one of many national labs across the country. Alison Binkowski, one of the APS physicist profiles, is an example of using physics as a government policy analyst.