Service Member drawing a diagram on a white board

Service Branches

  • navy logo
  • Air Force logo
  • Space Force logo

Work Environment

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

  • Military Status


  • Median Military Salary This is the median, or the midpoint, of the salary range for this career.


    Military Salary Range Salary varies based on years of service, degree level, special pays, family status and location.

    $55,711 - $258,515


Physicists analyze and test physical properties of materials, including matter affecting living organisms, and apply results of experiments to the solution of problems. They engage in continuous development and modification to improve performance and suitability of products and production processes.

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 physicists primarily consists of classroom instruction and on-the-job learning in various training environments. Like other officers they complete a comprehensive training program covering responsibilities military structure and etiquette traditions and leadership development.

Helpful Attributes

  • Interest in collecting and analyzing data
  • Interest in scientific and technical work
  • Scientific, numerical, and technical skills

Related Civilian Careers

  • Natural Sciences Managers
  • Nuclear Engineers