Career Profile:

Physicist, 2015, 2015 


Median Yearly





Physicists conduct theoretical and applied research to extend knowledge of natural phenomena and to develop new processes and devices in a variety of fields such as electronics, communications, power generation and distribution, and remote sensing.

Work type:

full-time, self-employed

Most likely to work in:


Most employees have:

Post-Graduate Degree / Bachelor's Degree



What you do

In the oceans technology sector, physicists conduct research that focuses on air-sea interactions on local and global scales, mixing processes, sediment transport, estuarine and coastal hydrodynamics, ocean acoustics, underwater communication, internal waves, signal processing, and physical- biological processes. In this sector, physicists also work alongside other specialists in order to design and develop new ideas and products.

A Physicist performs some or all of the following duties:

  • Design and conduct research in experimental and theoretical physics;
  • Carry out analysis of research data and prepare research reports; and
  • Participate as a member of a research or development team in the design and development of experimental, industrial equipment, instrumentation and procedures.

What you need

  • Being inventive, patient, persistent, and curious are desired skills;
  • Strengths in Mathematics, analytics, and mechanics. You must have the ability to conduct research, use computers, and perform complex calculations; and
  • Have excellent organizational and communication skills.

Who might be hiring?

References and further reading

* The employment outlook over the next few years for this occupational group is "limited", which indicates the chances of a qualified individual finding work is below average.

Your Career Pathway

Opportunities for Hands-on Experience

Secondary School
Co-op Options and Opportunities (Science Streams)

Post-Secondary Educational Programs

University Bachelor's Degree
Acadia, Dalhousie, Saint Francis Xavier, Saint Mary's: Faculty of Science - Physics and Atmospheric Science
4 years, $9,000 / year

Graduate Programs

NSCC Oceans Technology Program
Advanced one year diploma for students with a Bachelor of Science or Engineering or an Engineering Diploma to further enhance skills in the oeceans technology sector.
Masters Degree
Dalhousie: Faculty of Science - Graduate Studies in Physics and Atmospheric Science
2 years, $10,000 / year
Doctorate Degree
Dalhousie: Faculty of Science - Graduate Studies in Physics and Atmospheric Science
4 years, $10,000 / year