Physical Sciences

Stem Major

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Total Degrees​
Awarded in 2017

52,433

growing 2.26%

Median In-State​
Public Tuition

$7,125

growing 3.17%

Median Out-of-State​
Private Tuition

$38,150

growing 3.42%

Average Wage

$109,220

growing 2.37%

People in Workforce

1.11M

growing 2.35%

Average Employee Age

45

declining 0.792%

About

The locations with the highest concentration of Physical Sciences degree recipients are New York, NY, Seattle, WA, and San Diego, CA. The locations with a relatively high number of Physical Sciences degree recipients are Socorro, NM, Haverford College, PA, and Naval Academy, MD. The most common degree awarded to students studying Physical Sciences is a bachelors degree.

Institutions

Information about the types of higher education institutions that grant degrees in Physical Sciences and the types of students that study this field. University of Washington-Seattle Campus awards the most degrees in Physical Sciences in the US, but Richard Bland College of William and Mary and California Institute of Technology have the highest percentage of degrees awarded in Physical Sciences.

Tuition costs for Physical Sciences majors are, on average, $7,125 for in-state public colleges, and $38,150 for out of state private colleges.

The most common sector, by number of institutions, that offers Physical Sciences programs are Private not-for-profit, 4-year or above institutions (699 total). The most common sector, by number of degrees awarded, is Public, 4-year or above (34,661 completions).

Institutions

The most common sector, by number of degrees awarded in Physical Sciences, is Public, 4-year or above (34,661 completions).

The following chart shows the share of universities that offer Physical Sciences programs, by the total number of completions, colored and grouped by their sector.

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Tuition Costs for Common Institutions

$7,125

Median In-State Public

$38,150

Median Out of State Private

University of Washington-Seattle Campus has the most Physical Sciences degree recipients, with 571 degrees awarded in 2017.

The following bar chart shows the state tuition for the top 5 institutions with the most degrees awarded in Physical Sciences.

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Specialized Colleges

Out of all institutions that offer Physical Sciences programs and have at least 5 graduates in those programs, Richard Bland College of William and Mary and California Institute of Technology have the highest percentage of degrees awarded in Physical Sciences, with 90.5% and 26.2%, respectively.

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Degrees Awarded by County

Counties with the Most Degrees Awarded in Physical Sciences

This map shows the counties in the United States colored by the highest number of degrees awarded in Physical Sciences by year.

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Growth in Awarded Degrees

Counties with the Fastest Growing Number of Degrees Awarded

This map shows the counties in the United States colored by the highest growth in degrees awarded for Physical Sciences.

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Employment

Information on the businesses and industries that employ Physical Sciences graduates and on wages and locations for those in the field.

The average salary for Physical Sciences majors is $109,220 and the most common occupations are Postsecondary teachers, Physicians, and Other managers.

The industry that employs the most Physical Sciences majors is Colleges, universities & professional schools, including junior colleges, though the highest paying industry, by average wage, is Water transportation.

Wages

Yearly Income for Common Jobs

$109,220

Average Wage in Workforce

± $2,588

2.37%

1 Year Growth

± 3.26%

The average salary for Physical Sciences majors is $109,220 and the most common occupations are Postsecondary teachers, Physicians, and Other managers.

This chart shows the average annual salaries of the most common occupations for Physical Sciences majors.

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Highest Paying Locations

This map shows the public use micro areas (PUMAs) in the United States colored by the average salary of Physical Sciences majors.

Note that the census collects information tied to where people live, not where they work. It is possible that Physical Sciences majors live and work in the same place, but it is also possible that they live and work in two different places.

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Occupations

Most Common

The most common occupations Physical Sciences majors, by number of employees, are Postsecondary teachers, Physicians, and Other managers.

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Most Specialized

Compared to other majors, there are an unusually high number of Physical Sciences majors working as Geoscientists and hydrologists, except geographers, Astronomers & physicists, and Atmospheric & space scientists.

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Highest Paid

The highest paid occupations by median income for Physical Sciences majors are Securities, commodities, & financial services sales agents, Surgeons, and Physicians.

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Occupations by Share

1.11M

2018 Workforce

± 25,760

2.35%

1 Year Growth

± 3.23%

The number of Physical Sciences graduates in the workforce has been growing at a rate of 2.35%, from 1.08M in 2017 to 1.11M in 2018.

The largest single share of Physical Sciences graduates go on to work as Postsecondary teachers (8.19%). This chart shows the various jobs filled by those with a major in Physical Sciences by share of the total number of graduates.

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Industries

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Highest Paid

The highest paying industries of Physical Sciences majors, by average wage, are Water transportation, Offices of physicians, and Agricultural chemical manufacturing.

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Industries by Share

1.11M

2018 Workforce

± 25,760

2.35%

1 Year Growth

± 3.23%

The number of Physical Sciences graduates in the workforce has been growing at a rate of 2.35%, from 1.08M in 2017 to 1.11M in 2018.

The industry which employs the most Physical Sciences graduates by share is Colleges, universities & professional schools, including junior colleges, followed by General medical and surgical hospitals, and specialty (except psychiatric and substance abuse) hospitals. This visualization shows the industries that hire those who major in Physical Sciences.

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Specialty Locations

This map shows the public use micro areas (PUMAs) in the United States where there are a relatively high population of Physical Sciences majors.

Note that the census collects information tied to where people live, not where they work. It is possible that Physical Sciences majors live and work in the same place, but it is also possible that they live and work in two different places.

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Diversity

Demographic information on those who earn a degree in Physical Sciences in the US. The average age of a person in the workforce with a degree in Physical Sciences is 45, and the most common degree type these workers hold is a Bachelors Degree. Male employees are more likely to hold Physical Sciences degrees, and White students earn the majority (29,586) of the degrees.

Workforce Age

45

Average Age in 2018

± 0.326 Years

0.792%

1 Year Change

± 1.04%

This chart shows distribution of ages for employees with a degree in Physical Sciences. The most common ages of employees with this major are 35 and 27 years old, which represent 2.59% and 2.57% of the population, respectively.

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Degrees Awarded

The most common degree types awarded to students graduating in Physical Sciences are Bachelors Degree, Masters Degree, and Research Doctorate.

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Workforce Degrees

The most common degree types held by the working population in Physical Sciences are Bachelors Degree, Masters Degree, and Doctorate degree.

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Gender Imbalance for Common Institutions

Male (61.2%)

Most Common Gender with a Degree in this Field

This chart shows the granted degrees by gender at the 5 institutions that graduate the most students in Physical Sciences.

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Race & Ethnicity by Degrees Awarded

Most Common Race or Ethnicity

  1. White

    29,586 degrees awarded

  2. Non-resident Alien

    6,949 degrees awarded

  3. Hispanic or Latino

    5,343 degrees awarded

This chart shows the number of degrees awarded in Physical Sciences for each race & ethnicity. White students earned the largest share of the degrees with this major.

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Race & Ethnicity by Gender

Most Common Race/Ethnicity and Gender Combination

  1. White Male

    13,119 degrees awarded

  2. White Female

    7,677 degrees awarded

  3. Hispanic or Latino Male

    1,981 degrees awarded

This chart illustrates the differences by gender for each race & ethnicity of Bachelors Degree recipients in Physical Sciences. White Male students, who earn most of the degrees in this field, are the most common combination of race/ethnicity and gender.

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Global Diversity

Most Common Countries of Origin

  1. India

    54,125 degree recipients

  2. China

    51,324 degree recipients

  3. Korea

    11,608 degree recipients

High Relative Number of Students

  1. Sri Lanka

    5.36 times more than expected

  2. USSR

    4.49 times more than expected

  3. China

    3.73 times more than expected

There are a relatively high number of people that were born in Sri Lanka that hold Physical Sciences degrees (5.36 times more than expected), and the most common country of origin by total numbers for non-US students earning a degree in this field is India (54,125 degree recipients).

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Skills

Data on the critical and distinctive skills necessary for those working in the Physical Sciences field from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Physical Sciences majors need many skills, but most especially Speaking. The revealed comparative advantage (RCA) shows that Physical Sciences majors need more than the average amount of Science, Equipment Maintenance, and Equipment Selection.

These two visualizations, one a radial chart and one a bar chart, show the same information, a rating of how necessary the following skills are for Physical Sciences majors. Toggle between "value" and "RCA" to see the absolute rating of that skill (value) and the revealed comparative advantage (RCA), or how much greater or lesser that skill's rating is than the average. The longer the bar or the closer the line comes to the circumference of the circle, the more important that skill is. The importance of Science is very distinctive for majors, but the Speaking, Reading Comprehension, and Writing are the three most important skills for people in the field.

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Bar Chart

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