The physical sciences is a broad field connecting many disciplines together through its focus on the earth and its components, from rocks and soils to the ocean and atmosphere. While opportunities vary by field, most professionals in the physical sciences should experience good job prospects. Read on to learn more about becoming a physical scientist.
Inside Physical Sciences
Physical science is a broad discipline concerned with natural phenomena of the earth, atmosphere and space. It encompasses a variety of fields that include astronomy, chemistry, geology, physics, atmospheric science and oceanography.
Physical sciences degree programs are generally structured to provide flexibility for students wanting to focus on a specific field within physical science. Alternatively, students may elect to take a variety of major and elective courses in different departments, which can range from astronomy and physics to mathematics and computer science. Some programs offer forensic science and pre-medicine tracks for students planning to continue on to graduate school in these fields.
Physical scientists are people who love studying the earth and all its processes and components. A physical science bachelor's degree program prepares students for careers as science teachers, science writers or a range of scientific positions related to their areas of emphasis. It also serves as good preparation for graduate-level studies in any physical science discipline. Physical science graduate degrees are rarer, but they do exist.
In general, physical scientists will experience good job prospects over the 2008-2018 period. Per the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov), faster-than-average job growth is expected over this period for geoscientists, hydrologists, physicists, astronomers and atmospheric scientists. However, chemists and materials scientists may see slower job growth. Physical scientists typically earn good wages, but these do vary by field. As of May 2010, median annual wages were $68,320 for chemists, $106,370 for physicists, $75,690 for hydrologists and $87,780 for atmospheric and space scientists, also per the BLS.
Learn More About the Physical Sciences
Students in physical sciences degree programs take core courses in the basic sciences, such as chemistry and physics, as well as mathematics and computer science. Electives may be used to concentrate in one area of physical science. The type of degree program and concentration you choose will depend on your career aspirations. Education-Portal.com is your online source for degree and career information.
A range of degree options exists for students in the physical sciences. Students wanting to become science technicians, writers or educators can obtain generalized degrees in physical science. Those wanting to pursue careers requiring more specialized knowledge and skills may pursue degrees in a particular field within the physical sciences. The list below offers information on degree programs in physical science and related fields.
- Bachelor of Science in Physical Science
- Bachelor's Degree in Geology
- Bachelor's Degree in Oceanography
- Master of Science in Physics
- Ph.D. in Chemistry
Individuals with degrees in the physical sciences work a wide range of scientific jobs. The list below includes some jobs physical scientists may hold. Visit Education-Portal.com to find additional career opportunities.
Distance Learning Options
A wide variety of options is also available to students wanting to pursue their studies online. Many degree programs in fields within physical sciences are available fully online or as hybrid degree programs. Students can also take many physical science courses online.
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