Skip to Main Content
Skip Nav Destination

Careers 2022

30 September 2022

Physics careers are often spoken of as a binary—academia or industry. But the public sector offers many rewarding careers: national lab researcher, patent examiner, policy adviser, and more. This year Physics Today highlights physicists’ opportunities and experiences in government.

Physics careers are often spoken of as a binary—academia or industry. But the public sector offers many rewarding careers: national lab researcher, patent examiner, policy adviser, and more. This year Physics Today highlights physicists’ opportunities and experiences in government. Scroll down to see the best of our past content on other career paths.

Featured online content

Career Q&A: Jami Valentine Miller on reviewing patents.

Career Q&A: Jami Valentine Miller on reviewing patents

Physicists and physical scientists are uniquely suited to determine whether to award patents for novel technologies.

Alex Lopatka

Network of clubs is building a new pipeline of science policy professionals.

Network of clubs is building a new pipeline of science policy professionals

A grassroots network led by early career scientists is offering new windows to policy careers.

Mitch Ambrose

Postdoc program brings PhDs into government research.

Postdoc program brings PhDs into government research

The Research Associateship Programs support 20 federal agencies and more than 1500 research projects.

Madison Brewer

Physicists in government, by the numbers

Physicists in government, by the numbers

A look at where government physicists work and what they do, with a focus on recent physics graduates.

Andrew Grant, Heather M. Hill, and Patrick Mulvey

From the October 2022 careers issue

Commentary: Thinking of moving from academia into industry? Here are some things to consider.

Commentary: Thinking of moving from academia into industry? Here are some things to consider

David Rahmlow

Stepping into NSF.

Stepping into NSF

Christine Middleton

An American’s five-country research tour.

An American’s five-country research tour

Tess Jaffe

My journey from academia to the US government and beyond.

My journey from academia to the US government and beyond

Carl J. Williams

Past careers coverage

Staff scientists in academia and government labs follow rewarding careers.

Staff scientists in academia and government labs follow rewarding careers

Being a faculty member is not the only way for scientists to stay in basic research.

Toni Feder

Risky business: A study of physics entrepreneurship.

Risky business: A study of physics entrepreneurship

Physicists who work at startup companies create and improve marketable technologies. But their goals are not always aligned with those of the funders who pay the bills.

Orv Butler and Joe Anderson

Commentary: Lessons learned from leaving academia.

Commentary: Lessons learned from leaving academia

Among the lessons: Leaving academia doesn’t make you a failure.

Elizabeth Frank

How to become a successful physicist.

How to become a successful physicist

All scientists and engineers solve research problems by calling on relevant knowledge to make a series of common, critical decisions.

Carl Wieman

Previous careers issues

October 2021 cover.

October 2021

Physicists in private industry

October 2020 cover.

October 2020

Early career physicists

October 2019 cover.

October 2019

Becoming and being a physicist

Close Modal

or Create an Account

Close Modal
Close Modal