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Physical Science Professionals

What they do?

Professionals in the field of physical science conduct research in their field of specialization.

A. Physicists conduct basic research of natural phenomena and develop new processes/devices in areas such as electronics, aerodynamics, communications, power utilities, optics, and lasers.

B. Astronomers research the universe and develop instrumentation/software for astronomical observation/analysis.

C. Chemists conduct research and are involved in process control, product development, industrial operations, environmental control, biotechnology, and other areas.

D. Geologists, geochemists, and geophysicists conduct research/exploration to extend knowledge of the earth's surface/subsurface; locate mineral, hydrocarbon, and water resources; plan/implement extraction programs; and conduct environmental assessments.

E. Meteorologists forecast weather; conduct research into weather, climate, and atmosphere; and provide consultation on atmospheric phenomena.

F. Metallurgists study the properties/production of metals/alloys.

Where they find work?

1. Public administration - 15.0%
2. Scientific research and development services - 12.0%
3. Chemical manufacturing - 12.0%
4. Architectural engineering and related services - 11.0%
5. Oil and gas extraction - 8.0%
6. Educational services - 7.0%
7. Health care and social assistance - 6.0%

What education do I need?

1. To be a physical science professional, you need a bachelor's degree in your science or a related field. To conduct research or teach in a post-secondary establishment, you usually need a master's or doctoral degree.

2. To be a physicist or astronomer, you need a master's or doctoral degree.

3. To be a geologist or geophysicist, you may need to become registered by a provincial or territorial association.

4. Most recent entrants have an undergraduate university degree, and almost 2 in 5 have a graduate degree.

High School Subject that will help:

1. Math
2. English
3. Physics
4. Chemistry

What can you expect to make:

The average hourly wages for Physical Science Professionals is $29.23/HR, which is close to the average for occupations in the natural and applied sciences and related occupations and above average for all professional occupations. These wages grew at an average rate from 2002 to 2004.

Average Wage

Physical Science Professionals wages

Expected Wage by Age

Physical Science Professionals Wage By Age


2% of Physical Science Professionals are unemployed. This rate is close to the average for professionnal occupations.


Physical Science Professionals Unemployment

Trends in Unemployment

Physical Science Professionals Trends in Unemployment

Current Job Outlook:

The job outlook for Physical Science Professionals is considered Average because:

1. Employment grew at an above-average rate.

2. Hourly wages ($29.23) are above the average ($18.07), and the rate of wage growth is close to the average.

3. The unemployment rate (2%) is below the 2004 average (7%).

Future Job Prospects:

Your job outlook will continue to be Average because:

1. The employment growth rate will likely be close to the average.

2. Although the retirement rate will likely be average, the number of retiring workers should contribute to job openings.

3. The number of job seekers will likely exceed the number of job openings.

Highest Concetration:

The highest concentrations (per 10,000 people) of Physical Science Professionnals are found in Quebec and Saskatchewan while the lowest concentrations are in New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island.

Unionization Rate:

The unionization rate (30%) is close to the average (32%) for all occupations.

Useful Experience:

1. Project management

2. Team project work

3. Proposal writing

Part Time Workers

Physical Science Professionals Part Time Workers

Part time workers:

5% of Physical Science Professionals are employed only on a part-time basis. There were 29,600 workers employed in these occupations in 2004, an increase of 18% since 1997.

Age Demographics

Physical Science Professionals Age Demographics

Age Demographics:

The relatively low percentage of younger workers suggests few entry-level job openings, and could point to a greater need for workers with experience or a number of years of training. The retirement rate to 2009 will likely be average reflecting the age/retirement structure of the occupation.

Self Employed

Physical Science Professionals Self Employed

Self Employed:

Roughly 10% of Physical Science Professionals are self-employed. This is considered Average for the industry as a whole.

Men vs Women

Physical Science Professionals Men vs Women

Men vs Women:

38% of the individuals employed as Physical Science Professionals are women. Compared to other industries, this is Average.