Summary Report for:
25-1054.00 - Physics Teachers, Postsecondary
Teach courses pertaining to the laws of matter and energy. Includes both teachers primarily engaged in teaching and those who do a combination of teaching and research.
Sample of reported job titles: Assistant Professor, Assistant Professor of Physics, Associate Professor, Instructor, Math and Physics Instructor, Physical Science Professor, Physics Instructor, Physics Professor, Professor, Professor of Physics
Tasks | Technology Skills | Tools Used | Knowledge | Skills | Abilities | Work Activities | Detailed Work Activities | Work Context | Job Zone | Education | Credentials | Interests | Work Styles | Work Values | Related Occupations | Wages & Employment | Job Openings | Additional Information
- Conduct research in a particular field of knowledge and publish findings in professional journals, books, or electronic media.
- Prepare and deliver lectures to undergraduate or graduate students on topics such as quantum mechanics, particle physics, and optics.
- Prepare course materials, such as syllabi, homework assignments, and handouts.
- Write grant proposals to procure external research funding.
- Keep abreast of developments in the field by reading current literature, talking with colleagues, and participating in professional conferences.
- Supervise undergraduate or graduate teaching, internship, and research work.
- Collaborate with colleagues to address teaching and research issues.
- Compile, administer, and grade examinations, or assign this work to others.
- Plan, evaluate, and revise curricula, course content, course materials, and methods of instruction.
- Evaluate and grade students' class work, laboratory work, assignments, and papers.
- Maintain student attendance records, grades, and other required records.
- Maintain regularly scheduled office hours to advise and assist students.
- Initiate, facilitate, and moderate classroom discussions.
- Advise students on academic and vocational curricula and on career issues.
- Select and obtain materials and supplies, such as textbooks and laboratory equipment.
- Participate in student recruitment, registration, and placement activities.
- Serve on academic or administrative committees that deal with institutional policies, departmental matters, and academic issues.
- Act as advisers to student organizations.
- Compile bibliographies of specialized materials for outside reading assignments.
- Supervise students' laboratory work.
- Perform administrative duties, such as serving as department head.
- Maintain and repair laboratory equipment.
- Analytical or scientific software — Gravitation software; The MathWorks MATLAB ; VASP Data Viewer; Wolfram Research Mathematica (see all 11 examples)
- Calendar and scheduling software
- Computer aided design CAD software — Autodesk AutoCAD ; Mathsoft Mathcad
- Computer based training software — Blackboard Learn; Desire2Learn; Learning management system LMS; Sakai CLE (see all 5 examples)
- Data base user interface and query software — Data entry software
- Development environment software — C ; National Instruments LabVIEW ; plotutils; PLplot (see all 9 examples)
- Electronic mail software — Email software; Microsoft Outlook
- Graphics or photo imaging software — Visual Molecular Dynamics VMD
- Information retrieval or search software — DOC Cop; iParadigms Turnitin
- Internet browser software — Web browser software
- Object or component oriented development software — C++ ; Practical extraction and reporting language Perl
- Office suite software — Microsoft Office
- Optical character reader OCR or scanning software — Image scanning software
- Presentation software — Microsoft PowerPoint
- Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel
- Word processing software — Collaborative editing software; Google Docs; LaTeX; Microsoft Word
Hot Technology — a technology requirement frequently included in employer job postings.
- Calorimeters — Microcalorimeters
- Compact disk players or recorders — Compact disk CD players
- Desktop computers
- Digital camcorders or video cameras — Digital video cameras
- Digital cameras — Compact digital cameras
- Digital video disk players or recorders — Digital video disk DVD players
- Epidiascopes — Opaque projectors
- Geiger counters — Nuclear counting equipment
- Global positioning system GPS receiver — Global positioning system GPS receivers
- Holography apparatus — Holography equipment
- Inkjet printers — Poster printers
- Laser fax machine — Laser facsimile machines
- Laser printers — Computer laser printers
- Lasers — Far infrared FIR lasers; Laser systems; Optically pumped molecular lasers
- Liquid crystal display projector — Liquid crystal display LCD projectors
- Microphone stand — Microphone podiums
- Microphones — Handheld microphones; Wireless microphones
- MP3 players or recorders — MP3 digital voice recorders
- Multimedia projectors — Multimedia projection equipment
- Notebook computers — Laptop computers
- Overhead projectors — Overhead data projectors
- Parabolic mirrors — Concave mirrors; Convex mirrors
- Photocopiers — Photocopying equipment
- Pocket calculator — Digital calculators
- Portable data input terminals — Interactive whiteboard controllers; Student response systems
- Projection screens or displays — Projector screens
- Scanners — Computer data input scanners
- Simple harmonic oscillator — Non linear effects equipment
- Slide projectors — Carousel slide projectors
- Special purpose telephones — Multi-line telephone systems
- Spectrofluorimeters or fluorimeters — Stopped-flow fluorimeters
- Spectrometers — Circular dichroism CD spectrometers
- Tablet computers
- Teleconference equipment — Conference telephones
- Televisions — Liquid crystal display LCD televisions; Television monitors
- Touch screen monitors — Interactive whiteboards
- Ultracentrifuges — Analytical ultracentrifuges
- Video projectors
- Videoconferencing systems — Videoconferencing equipment
- Web cameras — Webcams
- Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
- Physics — Knowledge and prediction of physical principles, laws, their interrelationships, and applications to understanding fluid, material, and atmospheric dynamics, and mechanical, electrical, atomic and sub- atomic structures and processes.
- English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- Education and Training — Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
- Computers and Electronics — Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
- Engineering and Technology — Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
- Chemistry — Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods.
- Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
- Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
- Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
- Instructing — Teaching others how to do something.
- Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
- Active Listening — Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
- Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
- Learning Strategies — Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.
- Science — Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
- Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
- Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
- Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
- Mathematics — Using mathematics to solve problems.
- Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
- Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
- Time Management — Managing one's own time and the time of others.
- Management of Personnel Resources — Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, identifying the best people for the job.
- Persuasion — Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.
- Service Orientation — Actively looking for ways to help people.
- Systems Evaluation — Identifying measures or indicators of system performance and the actions needed to improve or correct performance, relative to the goals of the system.
- Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
- Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
- Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
- Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
- Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
- Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
- Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
- Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
- Mathematical Reasoning — The ability to choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem.
- Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
- Number Facility — The ability to add, subtract, multiply, or divide quickly and correctly.
- Fluency of Ideas — The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity).
- Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
- Memorization — The ability to remember information such as words, numbers, pictures, and procedures.
- Originality — The ability to come up with unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop creative ways to solve a problem.
- Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
- Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
- Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
- Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
- Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
- Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Interacting With Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
- Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
- Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
- Coaching and Developing Others — Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.
- Developing Objectives and Strategies — Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.
- Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Guiding, Directing, and Motivating Subordinates — Providing guidance and direction to subordinates, including setting performance standards and monitoring performance.
- Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
- Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
- Scheduling Work and Activities — Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
- Communicating with Persons Outside Organization — Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
- Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
- Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information — Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.
- Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
- Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others — Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.
- Provide Consultation and Advice to Others — Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics.
- Performing Administrative Activities — Performing day-to-day administrative tasks such as maintaining information files and processing paperwork.
- Monitoring and Controlling Resources — Monitoring and controlling resources and overseeing the spending of money.
Detailed Work Activities
- Research topics in area of expertise.
- Write articles, books or other original materials in area of expertise.
- Supervise laboratory work.
- Teach physical science or mathematics courses at the college level.
- Develop instructional materials.
- Write grant proposals.
- Attend training sessions or professional meetings to develop or maintain professional knowledge.
- Stay informed about current developments in field of specialization.
- Supervise student research or internship work.
- Evaluate student work.
- Administer tests to assess educational needs or progress.
- Prepare tests.
- Develop instructional objectives.
- Evaluate effectiveness of educational programs.
- Maintain student records.
- Advise students on academic or career matters.
- Guide class discussions.
- Order instructional or library materials or equipment.
- Select educational materials or equipment.
- Perform student enrollment or registration activities.
- Promote educational institutions or programs.
- Serve on institutional or departmental committees.
- Direct department activities.
- Compile specialized bibliographies or lists of materials.
- Advise educators on curricula, instructional methods, or policies.
- Plan community programs or activities for the general public.
- Electronic Mail — 97% responded “Every day.”
- Freedom to Make Decisions — 91% responded “A lot of freedom.”
- Structured versus Unstructured Work — 84% responded “A lot of freedom.”
- Contact With Others — 67% responded “Constant contact with others.”
- Face-to-Face Discussions — 65% responded “Every day.”
- Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 51% responded “Extremely important.”
- Coordinate or Lead Others — 11% responded “Important.”
- Duration of Typical Work Week
- Spend Time Sitting — 56% responded “More than half the time.”
- Level of Competition — 52% responded “Highly competitive.”
- Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — 56% responded “High responsibility.”
- Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 24% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Work With Work Group or Team — 83% responded “Very important.”
- Telephone — 50% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Public Speaking — 47% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 12% responded “Minor results.”
- Time Pressure — 57% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Importance of Repeating Same Tasks
- Letters and Memos — 33% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Frequency of Decision Making — 56% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
- Deal With External Customers — 22% responded “Extremely important.”
|Title||Job Zone Five: Extensive Preparation Needed|
|Education||Most of these occupations require graduate school. For example, they may require a master's degree, and some require a Ph.D., M.D., or J.D. (law degree).|
|Related Experience||Extensive skill, knowledge, and experience are needed for these occupations. Many require more than five years of experience. For example, surgeons must complete four years of college and an additional five to seven years of specialized medical training to be able to do their job.|
|Job Training||Employees may need some on-the-job training, but most of these occupations assume that the person will already have the required skills, knowledge, work-related experience, and/or training.|
|Job Zone Examples||These occupations often involve coordinating, training, supervising, or managing the activities of others to accomplish goals. Very advanced communication and organizational skills are required. Examples include librarians, lawyers, astronomers, biologists, clergy, surgeons, and veterinarians.|
|SVP Range||(8.0 and above)|
Percentage of Respondents
|Education Level Required|
Interest code: SI Want to discover your interests? Take the O*NET Interest Profiler at My Next Move.
- Social — Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.
- Investigative — Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
- Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
- Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
- Independence — Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
- Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
- Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
- Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
- Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
- Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
- Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
- Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
- Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
- Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
- Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
- Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
- Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
- Achievement — Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
- Recognition — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer advancement, potential for leadership, and are often considered prestigious. Corresponding needs are Advancement, Authority, Recognition and Social Status.
- Working Conditions — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.
Wages & Employment Trends
|Median wages (2017)||$87,340 annual|
|Employment (2016)||18,000 employees|
|Projected growth (2016-2026)||Faster than average (10% to 14%)|
|Projected job openings (2016-2026)||1,600|
|Top industries (2016)|
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2017 wage data and 2016-2026 employment projections . "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2016-2026). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.
Job Openings on the Web
Sources of Additional Information
Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.
- American Association for the Advancement of Science
- American Association of Physics Teachers
- American Association of University Professors
- American Astronomical Society
- American Geophysical Union
- American Institute of Physics
- American Meteorological Society
- American Physical Society
- Astronomical Society of the Pacific
- International Astronomical Union
- National Science Teachers Association
- Occupational Outlook Handbook: Postsecondary teachers
- Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Honor Society
- Society of Physics Students
- The Optical Society