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Medical Physics Major

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Medical Physics

43 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
115 Master's Degrees Annually
#87 in Popularity
$122,320 Median Salary

Types of Degrees Medical Physics Majors Are Getting

The following table lists how many health/medical physics graduations there were in 2018-2019 for each degree level.

Education Level Number of Grads
Master’s Degree 115
Doctor’s Degree 44
Bachelor’s Degree 43
Graduate Certificate 9

What Medical Physics Majors Need to Know

In an O*NET survey, health/medical physics majors were asked to rate what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important in their occupations. These answers were weighted on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the most important.

Knowledge Areas for Health/Medical Physics Majors

Health/Medical Physics majors often go into careers in which the following knowledge areas are important:

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  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Skills for Health/Medical Physics Majors

health/medical physics majors are found most commonly in careers in which the following skills are important:

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  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • 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.
  • Complex Problem Solving - Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.

Abilities for Health/Medical Physics Majors

As a health/medical physics major, you will find yourself needing the following abilities:

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  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • 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).

What Can You Do With a Medical Physics Major?

People with a health/medical physics degree often go into the following careers:

Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary
Health Specialties Professors 25.9% $97,370
Physicists 14.5% $120,950

Who Is Getting a Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Physics?

43 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
58% Percent Women
42% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities*
This major is dominated by women with about 58% of recent graduates being female.

Racial-Ethnic Diversity

At the countrywide level, the racial-ethnic distribution of health/medical physics majors is as follows:

Racial-Ethnic Diversity of Health/Medical  Physics Students with Bachelor's Degrees
Race/Ethnicity Number of Grads
Asian 6
Black or African American 2
Hispanic or Latino 7
White 21
International Students 3
Other Races/Ethnicities 4

Geographic Diversity

Americans aren’t the only ones with an interest in Health/Medical Physics. About 7.0% of those with this major are international students.

How Much Do Medical Physics Majors Make?

Salaries According to BLS

Health/Medical Physics majors often go into careers where salaries can range from $122,320 to $125,280 (25th to 75th percentile). This range includes all degree levels, so the salary for a person with just a bachelor’s degree may be a little less and the one for a person with an advanced degree may be a little more.

To put that into context, according to BLS data from the first quarter of 2020, the typical high school graduate makes between $30,000 and $57,900 a year (25th through 75th percentile). The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $45,600 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,600 and $125,400.

Median Salary for a Medical Physics Major  ( 122320 to 125280 )
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250K
Median Salary for a High School Graduate  ( 30000 to 57900 )
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250K
Median Salary for a Bachelor's Degree Holder  ( 45600 to 99000 )
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250K
Median Salary for an Advanced Degree Holder  ( 55600 to 125400 )
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250K

Some careers associated with health/medical physics require an advanced degree while some may not even require a bachelor’s. In general, the more advanced your degree the more career options will open up to you. However, there is significant time and money that needs to be invested into your education so weigh the pros and cons.

Find out what the typical degree level is for health/medical physics careers below.

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Education Level Percentage of Workers
High School Diploma - or the equivalent (for example, GED) 0.8%
Post-Secondary Certificate - awarded for training completed after high school (for example, in agriculture or natural resources, computer services, personal or culinary services, engineering technologies, healthcare, construction trades, mechanic and repair technologies, or precision production) 1.5%
Some College Courses 0.7%
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree) 4.0%
Bachelor’s Degree 15.0%
Post-Baccalaureate Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Baccalaureate degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees carrying the title of Master. 0.7%
Master’s Degree 29.3%
Doctoral Degree 24.0%
Post-Doctoral Training 24.0%

Online Medical Physics Programs

In 2018-2019, 38 schools offered a health/medical physics program of some type. The following table lists the number of programs by degree level, along with how many schools offered online courses in the field.

Degree Level Colleges Offering Programs Colleges Offering Online Classes
Certificate (Less Than 1 Year) 1 0
Certificate (1-2 years) 0 0
Certificate (2-4 Years) 0 0
Associate’s Degree 0 0
Bachelor’s Degree 3 0
Post-Baccalaureate 1 0
Master’s Degree 26 2
Post-Master’s 7 0
Doctor’s Degree (Research) 7 0
Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice) 3 0
Doctor’s Degree (Other) 0 0

Is a Degree in Medical Physics Worth It?

The median salary for a health/medical physics grad is $122,320 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

This is 207% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $1,648,400 after 20 years!

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You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to health/medical physics.

Major Number of Grads
General Public Health 19,923
Public Health Education and Promotion 4,529
Other Public Health 2,994
Health Services Administration 2,882
Community Health and Preventive Medicine 2,322
International Public Health/International Health 1,444
Environmental Health 1,229
Behavioral Aspects of Health 529
Occupational Health and Industrial Hygiene 334
Maternal and Child Health 172

References

*The racial-ethnic minorities count is calculated by taking the total number of students and subtracting white students, international students, and students whose race/ethnicity was unknown. This number is then divided by the total number of students at the school to obtain the racial-ethnic minorities percentage.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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