Physicists (including Astronomers) study matter, space, time, energy, forces and fields and the interrelationship between these physical phenomena to further understand the laws governing the behaviour of the universe, and seek to apply these laws to solve practical problems and discover new information about the earth and the universe.

Specialisations: Astronomer, Medical Physicist.

A bachelor degree in science majoring in physics or nanotechnology is needed to work as a Physicist (including Astronomer). Many Physicists (including Astronomers) complete postgraduate studies.

Tasks

  • Develops analytical methodologies and techniques to investigate the structure and properties of matter, the relationships between matter and energy, and other physical phenomena.
  • Tests the reliability of these methodologies and techniques by performing tests and experiments under various conditions.
  • Prepares scientific papers and reports, or supervises their preparation.
  • Supervises and co-ordinates the work of technicians and technologists.
  • May specialise in one or more branches of physics such as electrical, luminescent, mechanical, magnetic, radioactive, molecular, nuclear, ionospheric, atmospheric physics and signal analysis.

All Other Natural and Physical Science Professionals

  • $2,094 Weekly Pay
  • Very strong Future Growth
  • Lower unemployment Unemployment

Physicists (including Astronomers)

  • 1,300 workers Employment Size
  • Very high skill Skill level rating
  • 88% Full-Time Full-Time Share
  • 43 hours Average full-time
  • 41 years Average age
  • 24% female Gender Share

The number of people working as Physicists (including Astronomers) (in their main job) fell over 5 years:
from 1,600 in 2011 to 1,300 in 2016.

  • Size: This is a very small occupation.
  • Location: Physicists (including Astronomers) work in many parts of Australia. The Australian Capital Territory and South Australia have a large share of workers.
  • Industries: Most work in Public Administration and Safety; Health Care and Social Assistance; and Education and Training.
  • Full-time: Most work full-time (88%, much higher than the average of 66%).
  • Hours: Full-time workers spend around 43 hours per week at work (compared to the average of 44 hours).
  • Age: The average age is 41 years (compared to the average of 40 years).
  • Gender: 24% of workers are female (compared to the average of 48%).

Employment Outlook

Number of Workers

No data is available for the selected graph for this Occupation.

Weekly Earnings

Weekly Earnings (Before Tax)

No data is available for the selected graph for this Occupation.

Main Industries

Main Employing Industries (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Industries are based on the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC 06).
Main Employing IndustriesIndustry (% share)
Public Administration and Safety31.7
Health Care and Social Assistance29.0
Education and Training19.9
Professional, Scientific and Technical Services17.1
Other Industries2.3

States and Territories

  • NSW

  • VIC

  • QLD

  • SA

  • TAS

  • NT

  • ACT

Employment by State and Territory (% Share)

Source: Based on Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian States and Territories, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
StatePhysicists (including Astronomers)All Jobs Average
NSW27.931.6
VIC24.325.6
QLD10.220.0
SA12.97.0
WA8.110.8
TAS1.32.0
NT1.41.0
ACT14.01.9

Age Profile

Age Profile (% Share)

Source: Based on Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age BracketPhysicists (including Astronomers)All Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
15-190.0-5.05.0
20-241.6-9.39.3
25-3427.9-22.922.9
35-4429.1-22.022.0
45-5424.1-21.621.6
55-598.4-9.09.0
60-645.2-6.06.0
65 and Over3.8-4.24.2

Education Level

Highest Level of Education (% Share)

Source: ABS, ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.
Type of QualificationPhysicists (including Astronomers)All Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate74.5-10.110.1
Bachelor degree19.8-21.821.8
Advanced Diploma/Diploma1.9-11.611.6
Certificate III/IV1.1-21.121.1
Year 122.1-18.118.1
Year 110.0-4.84.8
Year 10 and below0.6-12.512.5

A bachelor degree in science majoring in physics or nanotechnology is needed to work as a Physicist (including Astronomer). Many Physicists (including Astronomers) complete postgraduate studies.

Membership with the Australian Institute of Physics may be useful. Medical Physicists must register with the Australasian College of Physical Scientists and Engineers in Medicine.

Thinking about study or training?

Before starting a course, check it will provide you with the skills and qualifications you need.

  • Search and compare thousands of higher education courses, and their entry requirements from different institutions across Australia at Course Seeker website.
  • Compare undergraduate and postgraduate student experiences and outcomes on the QILT website.

Or check out related courses on Job Outlook.

Useful links and resources


The course listings on this page are provided by Good Education Group.

Employers look for Other Natural and Physical Science Professionals who can communicate clearly, work well in a team and have strong interpersonal skills.

Filter Skills & Knowledge

Knowledge

These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

  1. Mathematics

    95% Skill level

    Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.

  2. Physics

    92% Skill level

    The physical laws of matter, motion and energy, and how they interact through space and time.

  3. Engineering and Technology

    78% Skill level

    The use engineering science and technology to design and produce goods and services.

  4. Computers and Electronics

    76% Skill level

    Circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.

  5. English Language

    74% Skill level

    English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

Occupational Information Network
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The skills and importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 19-2012.00 - Physicists.

Learn about the daily activities, and physical and social demands faced by workers. Explore the values and work styles that workers rate as most important.

Filter Work Environment

Demands

The physical and social demands workers face most often are shown below.

  1. Electronic Mail

    95% Important

    How often do you use electronic mail?

  2. Face-to-Face Discussions

    94% Important

    How often do you talk with people face-to-face?

  3. Structured versus Unstructured Work

    92% Important

    How much freedom do you have to decide on tasks, priorities, and goals?

  4. Telephone

    91% Important

    How often do you talk on the telephone?

  5. Indoors, Heat Controlled

    91% Important

    How often do you work indoors with access to heating or cooling?

Occupational Information Network
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The skills and importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 19-2012.00 - Physicists.

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