Physics researchers study fundamental questions about matter and energy, from the nature of sub-atomic particles to the origin of the universe.
Medical physicists use their knowledge of physics to provide people with medical treatments, such as radiation therapy for cancer.
Job opportunities vary:
- There is likely to be a shortage of medical physicists as few people train in this area, and the number of cancer patients is likely to increase as New Zealand's population ages.
- There are relatively good job opportunities for people working in applied physics research as this is a priority area for government funding.
- Job opportunities for physicists working in basic research are limited to a small number of roles, almost all in universities.
- Many Physics graduates move into other areas where they can use their skills, including telecommunications, IT and electronics
Pay rates depend on qualifications, experience, and the industry:
- $35-50,000 for research technicians with a Bachelor's degree
- $50-95,000 for researchers with a Master's degree or PhD
- Team leaders can earn up to $100,000
- Medical physicists start on $55,000; and can earn up to $100,000 when fully qualified
Key tertiary qualifications:
- Bachelor of Science in Physics, Astronomy or Mathematics
- A Master's degree or PhD may be required for research positions
- Bachelor of Technology in Medical Physics & Imaging Technologies
- Master of Science in Medical Physics
Recommended school subjects:
- Digital Technologies and Electronics
Careers New Zealand: Medical Physicist
Careers New Zealand: Radiation Therapist
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