Is Engineering Physics a Good Degree

Last Updated on May 27, 2023 by

MSUM Engineering Physics graduates enjoy 100 percent job placement (class of 2015) with average starting salaries varying by engineering focus. Chemical, electrical and mechanical engineers’ mean starting salary falls between $59,000 and $65,000 a year. You can explore careers in industrial research and development, applied science and advanced technology. You will be equipped to work for a high-tech company, engineering firm or any company involved in the manufacturing of technological devices.

Engineering Physics

Does solving difficult technological puzzles pique your interest? With a dual degree in engineering and physics, you’ll be prepared to enter highly technical fields such as aerospace and nuclear science. If that sounds like a career path meant for you, then keep reading to find out more.

Inside Engineering Physics

Students with a degree in engineering physics may find jobs in a number of industries as well as academia. Such jobs may include aerospace engineer, nuclear engineer and materials scientist, as well as acoustical engineer, medical physicist and optical engineer. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), most research positions in the field of physics require a doctoral degree (www.bls.gov). However, the majority of engineers enter the field with a bachelor’s degree in engineering with a specific concentration. Additionally, many engineering jobs require licensing. Study.com has information about programs in both engineering and physics that will help you further explore possible education and career options.

Education Information

Engineering physics is typically a dual-degree program combining physics and mathematics courses that are geared toward a systems approach to engineering. With a degree in engineering physics, students are prepared to solve complex technological problems in fields such as nuclear science, aerospace and computing. Most programs integrate an applied physics major with a specialized engineering major, such as mechanical, computer or aerospace engineering. Degree programs are rigorous with a strong emphasis on advanced mathematics, chemistry and physics.

If you’re interested in engineering physics, you’ll likely want to focus your engineering degree in a concentration that best suits your intended career. For instance, the engineering part of your major should specialize in aerospace engineering if you wish to work in the aerospace industry.

While Study.com does not have specific articles relating to dual-degree programs in engineering physics, there are articles pertaining to both physics and engineering that may help you decide if a double major is right for you.

Distance Learning Options

Online degree programs in engineering physics are rare to nonexistent, but there are online physics and engineering courses that may help you earn credit toward a degree or decide if the field is of interest to you.

Career Options

A dual degree in engineering physics may lead to a number of careers. Check out the articles below to explore some of them.

Employment Information

The BLS does not have statistical information for engineering physicists. However, as of May 2019, it did report that materials engineers earned a mean annual wage of $97,890, while nuclear engineers earned $120,700. The BLS also reported that physicists had a mean annual wage of $131,080.

The BLS projected that overall employment of engineers would grow nine percent from 2018-2028, though that number varies by specialty. Materials engineers face little to no change in employment during the decade while nuclear engineers also have an expected little or no change in job growth. Physicists, on the other hand, were projected to see a 9% growth in employment.

High Paying Careers for Engineering Physics Majors

Salaries for engineering physics graduates can vary widely by the occupation you choose as well. The following table shows the top highest paying careers engineering physics grads often go into.

Occupation NameMedian Average Salary
Architectural and Engineering Managers$148,970
Natural Sciences Managers$139,680
Physicists$125,280
Engineering Professors$113,680
Engineers$99,410

What Are The Requirements For a Degree in Engineering Physics

Studying physics and engineering is a challenge reserved for the boldest and brightest of students. Be prepared to work hard in your classes and don’t be intimidated to ask for help from either your classmates or your professors. All your hard work will pay off as you will get to engage in fascinating research ranging from topics such as space science, thermodynamics or nuclear engineering.

As a student you will get to practice and learn how to use high tech equipment in the lab. Through experiments and research you will be prepared to create engineering solutions through your enhanced understanding of the both physics and engineering. You should also be prepared to work on your communication skills so that you can clearly articulate your findings.

Prior Education for an Engineering Physics Program

New students will need to have completed high school or a GED program and each school will have their own minimum GPA and SAT/ACT test requirements. Once you obtain your degree, additional engineering physics certifications required to pursue a career in this field.

Engineering Physics Degree Types

There are various different levels of engineering physics degrees. You can spend many years getting as high as a in engineering physics to something that takes less time like a . The type of engineering physics degree you choose will determine how long it takes to get your diploma.

DegreeCredit RequirementsTypical Program Length
Associate Degree60-70 credits2 years
Bachelor’s Degree120 credits4 years
Master’s Degree50-70 credits1-3 years
DoctorateProgram required coursework including thesis or dissertationAt least 4 years

A bachelor’s degree is the most common level of education achieved by those in careers related to engineering physics, with approximately 38.4% of workers getting one. Find out other typical degree levels for engineering physics workers below.

Level of EducationPercentage of Workers
Bachelor’s Degree41.0%
Master’s Degree24.2%
Doctoral Degree16.9%
Post-Doctoral Training7.1%
Post-Baccalaureate Certificate4.3%

55.8% of engineering physics workers have at least a master’s. See the chart below for the most common degree level workers in engineering physics have received.

Why study Engineering Physics

Great boost

An undergraduate degree in Engineering Physics is a complex of courses in probably all basic technical disciplines. Students receive a broad and deep knowledge background which will allow them to continue education in any area of Engineering, in Physics, Chemistry or other Natural Sciences – your academic interests are the only limit.

Challenging education

If you are choosing between education in Physics and Engineering Physics, you may already noticed that in many universities (such as Stanford University) entry requirements for Engineering Physics are more strict than for Physics. This is due to the fact that education in the field of engineering physics is usually more saturated than in the field of physics. Of course, it’s very difficult to enter a program in engineering physics, especially if you want to study at a foreign university. It is even more difficult to get a scholarship for education – but this is still real if you have good grades and love for this discipline. In addition, you will study together with excellent outstanding students, which is also a great reason to apply for a degree in Engineering Physics.

Transferable skills

A degree in Engineering Physics gives its students a variety of skills which are useful in all technical areas and in academic career – students receive engineering and analysis skills, teamwork, ability to work on their own research projects and present them, numeracy and practicality.

Various career options

A variety of useful skills leads to a variety of different career options in technical and engineering area, government, law, medicine, education, finance and business. Many graduates in Engineering Physics continue their education, but a lot of various career paths are available for Bachelor graduates.

What Can You Do With An Engineering Physics Degree?

Best Jobs For Engineering Physics Major

It can be hard to find the perfect job after you graduate from college. Luckily for students who graduated with an Engineering Physics degree, we have got you covered. We found the jobs that most Engineering Physics majors prefer by examining millions of job listings and 826 Engineering Physics major resumes.

1. Mechanical Engineer

Top Locations:Houston, TX;  New York, NY;  San Diego, CA;  Boston, MA;  Pittsburgh, PA;  Saint Louis, MO;  Chicago, IL;  Philadelphia, PA;  Orlando, FL;  Rochester, NY;  Job Description:Mechanical engineering is one of the broadest engineering disciplines. Mechanical engineers design, develop, build, and test mechanical and thermal sensors and devices, including tools, engines, and machines.Overview.Jobs.Salaries

2. Engineer

Top Locations:Houston, TX;  New York, NY;  Chicago, IL;  Atlanta, GA;  San Diego, CA;  Austin, TX;  Dallas, TX;  Los Angeles, CA;  Denver, CO;  Las Vegas, NV;  Job Description:Mechanical engineering is one of the broadest engineering disciplines. Mechanical engineers design, develop, build, and test mechanical and thermal sensors and devices, including tools, engines, and machines.Overview.Jobs.Salaries

3. Physicist

Top Locations:Houston, TX;  Chicago, IL;  Nashville, TN;  Philadelphia, PA;  Gainesville, FL;  Greenville, MS;  Hiram, GA;  Johnson City, TN;  Lansing, MI;  Livermore, CA;  Job Description:Physicists and astronomers study the ways in which various forms of matter and energy interact. Theoretical physicists and astronomers may study the nature of time or the origin of the universe. Some physicists design and perform experiments with sophisticated equipment such as particle accelerators, electron microscopes, and lasers.Overview.Jobs.Salaries

4. Engineering Internship

Top Locations:Houston, TX;  New York, NY;  Chicago, IL;  San Diego, CA;  Dallas, TX;  San Jose, CA;  Philadelphia, PA;  Atlanta, GA;  San Francisco, CA;  Los Angeles, CA;  Job Description:Civil engineering technicians help civil engineers to plan, design, and build highways, bridges, utilities, and other infrastructure projects. They also help to plan, design, and build commercial, industrial, residential, and land development projects.Overview.Jobs.Salaries

5. Research Internship

Top Locations:New York, NY;  Washington, DC;  Boston, MA;  Chicago, IL;  Philadelphia, PA;  San Diego, CA;  Los Angeles, CA;  Houston, TX;  Baltimore, MD;  Atlanta, GA;  Job Description:Market research analysts study market conditions to examine potential sales of a product or service. They help companies understand what products people want, who will buy them, and at what price.Overview.Jobs.SalariesJob type you wantFull TimePart TimeInternshipTemporary

6. Electrical Engineer

Top Locations:Houston, TX;  New York, NY;  Philadelphia, PA;  Newport News, VA;  Irvine, CA;  Atlanta, GA;  San Diego, CA;  Charlotte, NC;  Tucson, AZ;  Dallas, TX;  Job Description:Electrical engineers design, develop, test, and supervise the manufacturing of electrical equipment, such as electric motors, radar and navigation systems, communications systems, and power generation equipment. Electronics engineers design and develop electronic equipment, such as broadcast and communications systems—from portable music players to global positioning systems (GPSs).Overview.Jobs.Salaries

7. Systems Engineer

Top Locations:New York, NY;  Houston, TX;  Dallas, TX;  Atlanta, GA;  Austin, TX;  Washington, DC;  San Diego, CA;  Huntsville, AL;  Chicago, IL;  Charlotte, NC;  Job Description:Software developers are the creative minds behind computer programs. Some develop the applications that allow people to do specific tasks on a computer or another device. Others develop the underlying systems that run the devices or that control networks.Overview.Jobs.Salaries

8. Software Engineer

Top Locations:San Francisco, CA;  New York, NY;  Austin, TX;  San Diego, CA;  San Jose, CA;  Seattle, WA;  Houston, TX;  Chicago, IL;  Boston, MA;  Atlanta, GA;  Job Description:Software developers are the creative minds behind computer programs. Some develop the applications that allow people to do specific tasks on a computer or another device. Others develop the underlying systems that run the devices or that control networks.Overview.Jobs.Salaries

9. Test Engineer

Top Locations:San Diego, CA;  Austin, TX;  Houston, TX;  San Jose, CA;  Dallas, TX;  New York, NY;  Atlanta, GA;  Redmond, WA;  Chicago, IL;  Santa Clara, CA;  Job Description:A Test Engineer is focused on planning, designing, and evaluating products. They interact with other engineering groups to define, analyze, and perform tests for products, systems, and components.Overview.Jobs.Salaries

10. Systems Analyst

Top Locations:Houston, TX;  New York, NY;  Atlanta, GA;  Pittsburgh, PA;  Chicago, IL;  Austin, TX;  Washington, DC;  Indianapolis, IN;  Boston, MA;  Seattle, WA;  Job Description:Computer systems analysts study an organization’s current computer systems and procedures and design information systems solutions to help the organization operate more efficiently and effectively. They bring business and information technology (IT) together by understanding the needs and limitations of both.

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