Explore Careers

Physical Scientists

Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics

Service Branches

  • navy logo
  • Coast Guard logo

Work Environment

Physical scientists in the military work in a variety of settings, both indoors and outdoors, depending on the area of specialization. Many physical scientists perform their work in laboratories or offices. Other physical scientists spend extensive hours outdoors collecting and analyzing data in the field. Although they observe strict safety precautions, some physical scientists may be exposed to hazardous substances.

  • Military Status


  • Average Military Salary



Physical scientists typically carry out research tasks within a chosen field of study. They primarily conduct experiments or make observations, analyze findings, operate necessary equipment, and develop and test theories.

Military Training

Officers typically enter the Military after they have completed a four-year college degree; enlisted service members can transition to officer positions through a variety of pathways and earn a degree while serving. Job training for physical scientists primarily consists of classroom instruction and on-the-job learning in various training environments, and varies depending on service and specialty. Like other officers, they complete a comprehensive training program covering responsibilities, military structure and etiquette, traditions, and leadership development. Job-specific training content may include:

  • Methods of analyzing weather conditions
  • Identification of common weather patterns
  • Techniques and procedures of forecasting
  • Chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and HAZMAT operations

Helpful Attributes

  • Interest in collecting and analyzing data
  • Interest in scientific and technical work

Related Civilian Careers

  • Environmental Scientists and Specialists, Including Health
  • Atmospheric and Space Scientists
  • Architectural and Engineering Managers
  • Natural Sciences Managers