Science Jobs that Pay Well

Jan 18, 2020

Career Options in the Science Field that Pay Well

The science field is full of possibilities. From all the various types of engineering, to geoscience, to physics, individuals with a proclivity towards science have so many options to choose from when deciding on a career path. Many of the jobs within the science field pay very well, making choosing a career in science an even more attractive option. Below, we will explore a few scientific careers that also offer an attractive salary.

Job Title Median Salary (2018)* Job Growth (2018-2028)*
Physicist $120,950 9%
Aerospace Engineer $115,220 2%
Nuclear Engineer $107,600 -1%
Postsecondary Physics Teacher $90,800 7%
Geoscientist $91,130 6%
Atmospheric Scientist $94,110 (Atmospheric scientists, including meteorologists) 8% (Atmospheric scientists, including meteorologists)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Career Information for Jobs in the Science Field that Pay Well


Physicists are science professionals who study the different laws regarding how space, time, and energy work. They may work primarily in research, crafting different theories that attempt to explain phenomena. This may involve conducting experiments in order to test theories and applying for grants in order to continue research. Many physicists focus on space and have an interest in astronomy. Physicists generally need to have very highly developed mathematical skills. Physicists in the top 10% of their field earned $193,280 annually. To become a physicist, you will need to earn a Ph.D. in physics if you want to work in research. Other physicist jobs only require a bachelor's degree in physics.

Aerospace Engineer

Aerospace engineers usually work in one of two types of engineering, either aeronautical or astronautical. Aeronautical engineers focus on designing different types of aircrafts systems, while astronautical engineers work primarily with spacecraft. Regardless of which type you are interested in pursuing, both of these engineers perform similar tasks. They are responsible for creating the designs for new products, building prototypes, running tests, and determining if their designs should move forward into production. The top 10% of employees in this field made $164,210 annually in 2018, making it a very high paying job. To become an aerospace engineer, you will need a bachelor's degree in aerospace engineering.

Nuclear Engineer

As a nuclear engineer, you are responsible for designing and testing different types of nuclear equipment. You could work at a nuclear power plant and oversee general operations or you may work as a researcher and designer for new products. Nuclear engineers have to be experts in knowing how to properly handle nuclear materials and how to safely dispose of nuclear waste and byproducts. The majority of nuclear engineers do work in power plants, while others are employed by the federal government and others work in research. With the top 10% making $162,360 annually, a career in nuclear engineering certainly has the potential to yield high pay. To become a nuclear engineer, you will need to obtain a bachelor's degree in nuclear engineering. Some jobs may require advanced degrees, like a master's or Ph.D.

Postsecondary Physics Teacher

As a college, university, or other postsecondary professor of physics, you will be responsible for preparing a new generation for many exciting career options in the field of physics. Some of your duties include preparing lesson plans, working with students who are unsure about their future careers, advising research projects, and creating exams and assessments. Some professors may also be involved in research of their own. Postsecondary physics professors at the top of the field earn over $174,490 per year. To become a physics professor at the postsecondary level, you must earn at least a master's degree in the field, though most professors have a doctoral degree.


Geoscientists are interested in studying the earth's physicality. This includes understanding the structure of the earth, its composition, and its evolution and development. Many geoscientists work as researchers in the field. They may collect samples, like rocks or soil, to analyze and study. They also often keep very detailed logs of the locations they visit. There are a number of subfields of geoscience, including geochemistry, geology, oceanography, and seismology. Depending on your interests and education, one of these options may be an ideal fit. Geoscientists in the top 10% of their field earned $187,990 annually in 2018. To become a geoscientist, you will need at least a bachelor's degree, though a Ph.D. is typically necessary for more advanced and research-oriented positions.

Atmospheric Scientist

As an atmospheric scientist, you are mainly involved in studying the climate and weather. You will use different types of technology and computer software programs to analyze the atmosphere and make predictions about the weather. Some atmospheric scientists may work as broadcast meteorologists and share their findings with the public on a TV news program. Others work as climatologists and may study weather patterns in the past and present in order to predict what the climate will be like in the future. With an earning potential reaching $142,500 and beyond, atmospheric science definitely is a lucrative career choice. You will need to obtain a bachelor's degree in meteorology or a related to field to find entry-level work, though research positions will require either a master's or Ph.D.

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