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Edel Butler
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Occupation Details

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Physicist

Job Zone

Education
Most of these occupations require post-graduate qualifications. For example, they may require a masters degree, and some require a Ph.D., or M.D.

Related Experience
Extensive skill, knowledge, and experience are needed for these occupations. Many require more than five years of experience plus specialist training to be able to do their job.

Job Training
Employees may need some on-the-job training, but most of these occupations assume that the person will already have the required skills, knowledge, work-related experience, and/or training.

Job Zone Examples
These occupations often involve coordinating, training, supervising, or managing the activities of others to accomplish goals. They may also require very specialist skills. Very advanced communication and organisational skills are required. Examples include lawyers, aerospace engineers, wildlife biologists, school psychologists, surgeons, treasurers, and most scientists.

€28k > 60
Medical Physicist
Salary Range
(thousands per year)*
€28 - 60
Related Information:
Data Source(s):
Payscale.com

Last Updated: March, 2017

* The lower figures typically reflect starting salaries. Higher salaries are awarded to those with greater experience and responsibility. Positions in Dublin sometimes command higher salaries.
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At a Glance... header image

Conducts research into physical phenomena, develops theories and laws on the basis of observation and experiments, and devises methods to apply laws and theories to industry and other fields.


Videos & Interviews header image

1Total Records:1

Dr Arlene O'Neill
Physicist
Arlene's favourite subject in school was physics, so when it came to choosing an undergraduate degree programme she choose physics in Dublin City University (DCU). From there she decided to specialise in Nano Science and went to Trinity College Dublin (TCD) to completed a PHD.
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Follow the links below to watch videos related to this occupation:

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Go..Search YouTube for Physicist videos

The Work header image

Physicists study the Earth and the universe, in terms of matter, force and energy. They explain the world around us, for example, by finding out more about the particles we are made of. Physicists also develop the use of science and technology in everyday life.  
 
Research into energy is increasingly important to the environment. Physicists may study and develop alternative ways to produce energy, for example, from solar, tidal or wind power. Some physicists make sure nuclear energy is produced safely. Research into energy sources involves fieldwork, for example, to measure wave energy. They work in medicine and engineering.  
 
Most opportunities for physicists are in manufacturing, technology and engineering. For example, in the transport industry, some physicists develop cars that make better use of fuel, or are safer and quieter. In the aerospace industry, physicists research and develop lighter, stronger and safer aircraft, spacecraft and satellites. They may work on commercial or military equipment.  
 
Physicists play an important role in health services. Medical physicists prevent, diagnose and treat disease. They use calculated and measured doses of radiation to treat cancer, avoiding damage to healthy tissue. They may work with lasers to treat blindness, cancer, or to support surgery.  
 
Some physicists work with universities to develop computer models of parts of our bodies, for example, the heart, using their knowledge of biophysics to design new materials to be used in 'spare part' surgery.


Tasks & Activitiesheader image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported tasks and activities for this occupation

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Perform complex calculations as part of the analysis and evaluation of data, using computers.

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Describe and express observations and conclusions in mathematical terms.

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Analyze data from research conducted to detect and measure physical phenomena.

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Report experimental results by writing papers for scientific journals or by presenting information at scientific conferences.

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Design computer simulations to model physical data so that it can be better understood.

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Collaborate with other scientists in the design, development, and testing of experimental, industrial, or medical equipment, instrumentation, and procedures.

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Direct testing and monitoring of contamination of radioactive equipment, and recording of personnel and plant area radiation exposure data.

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Observe the structure and properties of matter, and the transformation and propagation of energy, using equipment such as masers, lasers, and telescopes to explore and identify the basic principles governing these phenomena.

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Develop theories and laws on the basis of observation and experiments, and apply these theories and laws to problems in areas such as nuclear energy, optics, and aerospace technology.

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Teach physics to students.

Work Activities header image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported work activities in this occupation.

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Thinking Creatively: Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.

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Processing Information: Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.

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Making Decisions and Solving Problems: Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.

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Getting Information: Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.

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Analyzing Data or Information: Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.

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Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others: Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.

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Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge: Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.

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Provide Consultation and Advice to Others: Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics.

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Communicating with Persons Outside Organization: Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.

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Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events: Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.


Knowledge header image

The following is a list of the five most commonly reported knowledge areas for this occupation.

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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.

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Mathematics: Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.

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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.

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Engineering and Technology: Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.

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Computers and Electronics: Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.


Skillsheader image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported skills used in this occupation.

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Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

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Science: Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.

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Mathematics: Using mathematics to solve problems.

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Active Learning: Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.

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Writing: Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

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Learning Strategies: Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.

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Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

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Instructing: Teaching others how to do something.

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Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

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Complex Problem Solving: Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.

Personal Qualitiesheader image

As a physicist, you will need strong analytical skills, numerical, reasoning, communication and problem solving skills. Mathematical ability and strong computing skills to work with specific software programmes are aslo valuable.

To design complex experiments, you will need to be both practical and imaginative. You must have a logical, enquiring mind, and good powers of concentration, observation and perseverance.  
 
You need to be able to explain ideas clearly, both verbally and in writing, and work as part of a team. Physics, Maths and Chemistry are essential subjects for this career. Analytical and high numerical ability would be an advantage.


Entry Routesheader image

Most careers in physics require graduate-level education, especially in theoretical physics. Degrees in relevant disciplines such as astronomy, astrophysics, medical physics or geophysics may also be acceptable.

Increasingly employers expect candidates to have a postgraduate qualification. 
 
Continuing professional development (CPD) is expected throughout your career.

Last Updated: November, 2014


Further Informationheader image

A detailed description of this occupation can be found on a number of online databases. Follow the link(s) below to access this information:

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Go..Physicist - from: N.C.S. [UK]
Go..Physicist - from: GradIreland

Related Occupationsheader image

Contactsheader image

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Organisation: Smart Futures
Address: Discover Science & Engineering, Wilton Park House, Wilton Place, Dublin, 2
Tel: (01) 607 3171
Email: Click here
Url Click here

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Organisation: Institute of Physics in Ireland
Address: Department of Physics, University of Limerick, Limerick
Tel: (061) 202 290/ (01) 708 3953
Email: Click here
Url Click here

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Organisation: Smart Futures
Address: Discover Science & Engineering, Wilton Park House, Wilton Place, Dublin, 2
Tel: (01) 607 3171
Email: Click here
Url Click here

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Organisation: Institute of Physics in Ireland
Address: Department of Physics, University of Limerick, Limerick
Tel: (061) 202 290/ (01) 708 3953
Email: Click here
Url Click here

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Career Guidance

This occupation is popular with people who have the following Career Interests...


...and for people who like working in the following Career Sectors:

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