Career and Professional Development Services

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Physics Careers   Physics Internships 

Prepare for a career

Getting Started

Not sure if you want to work in the private sector, conduct research at a university, or teach? If so, start here:

  1. Look at the career paths other physics graduates have taken. This will help you to determine what careers would suit your interests and also what it takes to get there.
    1. Physicist Profiles 
    2. Job Prospects in Physics
    3. Common Careers of Physicists in the Private Sector
    4. "What are the most rewarding aspects of your job?" 
    5. "Briefly describe your duties and responsibilities in your current job."
  2. Research Areas - Look over the different areas within physics. Once you know what area interests you most, you will have a sense of what career will fit you best. Once you have found an area of interest reach out to faculty in that area to discuss joining their research group. Having research experience as an undergraduate will help boost your application when applying to graduate school.
  3. Depending on the career path you have chosen, you may need a graduate degree. Use GradSchoolShopper  to look up the different graduate schools that thrive in your field. Take a look at these helpful resources: Physics PhDs 1 Year Later and Who's Hiring Physics PhDs?
  4. Network - Whether you want to go into the private sector or pursue a PhD, you'll need references. Make yourself known to your professors by attending office hours, setting up one-on-one meetings, and attending department events. The best letters of recommendation come from those that know you in and outside of the classroom. 
  5. Find a Mentor - Use ASU's mentorship platform to connect to faculty, students, and professionals in your field of interest. Create your profile to get started!

Employment Information

Arizona Specific Employment 

Interested in pursuing a career in Arizona? The American Institute of Physics provides a list of employers in Arizona that hire physics graduates. To see the list of companies, click here

Career Outlook

The Bureau of Labor Statistics provides a database full of career duties, salaries, job summaries and outlooks. Use the BLS handbook to find your perfect fit!

Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Handbook 

Job Boards 

National Science Foundation SPS Job Listing AIP Science Fellowship Listing Physics Today

Use this list to help steer your job search

Systems Engineer

Electrical Engineer

Design Engineer

Mechanical Engineer

Project Engineer

Optical Engineer

Manufacturing Engineer

Manufacturing Technician

Laser Engineer

Associate Engineer

Application Engineer

Development Engineer

Engineering Technician

Field Engineer

Process Engineer

Process Technician

Product Engineer

Product Manager

Research Engineer

Test Engineer

General Engineer

Technical Services Engineer

Software Engineer


Web Developer

IT Consultant

Systems Analyst

Technical Support Staff


High School Physics Teacher

High School Science Teacher

Middle School Science Teacher

Research Assistant

Research Associate

Research Technician

Lab Technician

Lab Assistant

Accelerator Operator

Physical Sciences Technician

Where are they now?

Here is a list of careers for recent ASU physics graduates.

Career Title Company/Organization Location
Tutor/Camp Leader All Around Math Learning Tempe
Government Relations Specialist American Physical Society Washington D.C.
Process Support Engineer Applied Materials Chander
Teacher Assistant Arizona State University Tempe
Teacher BASIS Educational Group Chander
Technician Assistant Don Air, LLC Scottsdale
Quantitative Analyst DriveTime Phoenix
Materials Scientist Headway Technologies, Inc San Jose
Electrical Engineer 2 Racion Tucson
Test Engineer Soraa Fremont
Administrator Stoneman Law Patent Group Phoenix
Director, Photography 282 Studios, LLC Tempe
File Clerk Aiken Schenk Hawkins & Ricciardi P.C. Phoenix
Research Assistant Arizona State University, Biodesign Institute Tempe
Consultation Agent Best Buy Chandler
Director, Flight Challenger Space Center Peoria
Regulatory Affairs Associate CR Bard Tempe
Research Analyst Global Patent Solutions Scottsdale
Process Engineer Intel Corporation Hillsboro
Intern, Application Nanoscience Instruments Phoenix
Failure Analysis Engineer Soraa Fremont
Web Developer Vuurr Chandler
Engineer - Los Angeles
Mechanical Engineer - Tempe
Engineering Aide - Chandler
Process Engineer, Senior American Society for Microbiology, Arizona/Southern Nevada Branch Phoenix
Engineer Boeing Company, The St. Louis
Space Vehicle Controller Boeing Company, The Springfield
Software Engineer Demandbase Inc San Francisco
Associate, Senior Discover Financial Services Phoenix
Process Engineer Lam Researcg Corporation Fremont
Photonics Engineer Optilab, LLC Phoenix
Field Application Engineer Radiall Tempe
Associate Assistant Discover Phoenix
Corporate Accounting - Phoenix
Assistant Director, Finance - Sedona
Research Assistant - -
Tutor Chandler-Gilbert Community College Chandler
Unit Process Engineer IBM Corporation Albany
Software Engineer Intel Corporation Chandler
Systems Engineer Orbital ATK, Inc Gilbert
Traffic Support Lead Sports Entertainment Services Phoenix
Legal Assistant Suzette Lorrey-Wiggs P.C. Tempe
Tutor Varsity Tutors Phoenix

Learn new skills

Use the below resources to learn new skills in areas such as programming, management, organizational leadership, and more. Be aware some courses may require a program fee. 





Prepare for a graduate school

Join a student organization

You'll get a break from school work, gain opportunities to network, give back to your community, and build your resume.


Physics Student Orgs

Build your network

Networking can lead to professional relationships, letters of recommendation, job offers, and much more.


LinkedIn is a great way to stay connected, even after your graduate.

ASU Mentor Network

The ASU Mentor Network is an online community that helps connect students with professionals in their field of interest.


Attending conferences is a great way to meet other like-minded individuals. Conferences also provide you a chance to interact with individuals outside of your home institution, which can help steer your future research or job search. 

Gain Research Experience

Research is an important part of your graduate school application. Having this type of experience shows your level of competency in a lab, your ability to work with other students and faculty, and your eagerness to contribute to the physics community.

Department of Physics Research

Research Experiences for Undergraduates

The Graduate Record Examinations® (GRE®)

For information on test prep, go to

General Test

The GRE (R) General Test is completed by students who wish to attend graduate school. Students are encouraged to check graduate school admissions for their specific prgoram to determine if the GRE General Test is required. The Princeton Review Test Prep is available to ASU Students FREE of cost. Click here to register for a review.

Physics Subject Test

The Physics Subject test is important and required for most physics PhD programs. The test may also be required for physics master's programs. To determine if this exam is required, check the admission requirements at your intended graduate school. 

Fall Dates: September and October 

Spring Dates: April 

Finding a Graduate Program

Finding the right graduate program is more than just a great location. Students should consider a university's specific faculty, funding, notable research, and research area openings.

GradSchoolShopper is a database that compiles information on graduate programs within the physical sciences. 


If you would like information on the climate for women in physics, APS has compiled 92 surveys from various institutions regarding inclusion. 

Graduate School Comparison Worksheet

Use this document provided by Career and Professional Development Services to help narrow down graduate programs. 

Applying to Graduate School

Recommendation Letters

Students should start communicating with their faculty recommenders first semester of their senior year. Students should seek letters from internship supervisors, faculty research advisors, faculty mentors, and instructors. The best recommendation letters are from faculty who can attest to a student's character outside of the classroom. 

Personal Statement

Your personal statement is an important way to let program committees know why you are applying to their program and how you would contribute as a student. 

Create A CV

Creating a CV for graduate school will help showcase all of your achievements that may not be visible on your transcript. You'll want to include any research, internships, or community service you have participated in.