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Physical Science Careers

Describes some careers in the physical sciences and the preparation needed to become a physical scientist.

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Physical Science Careers

Imagine floating in space outside the International Space Station, like the astronaut pictured here. What an exciting career! Did you ever want to become an astronaut? A good place to start is by getting a degree in physical science.

Studying Physical Science

Physical science is the study of matter and energy. It includes the sciences of chemistry and physics. Most careers in physical science require a 4-year college degree in one of these fields. Some careers require more advanced education as well. For example, an astronaut might have a master’s degree or even a doctoral degree.

Q: Besides becoming an astronaut, a degree in physical science can prepare you for many other careers. What careers do you think might be available to people with degrees in physical science?

A: People with degrees in physical science might become pharmacists, forensic technicians, or research scientists, to name just three possible careers. Four additional careers in physical science are described below.

Careers in Chemistry and Physics

Training in the physical science field of chemistry or physics is needed for the careers described in the Figure below. Do any of these careers interest you? 

Careers in chemistry and physics

These careers in chemistry and physics vary in the level of education they require.


  • Physical science includes the fields of chemistry and physics. Most careers in physical science require a minimum of 4 years of college in one of these fields.
  • Examples of careers in physical science include pharmacist, laboratory supervisor, teacher, and surveyor.


  1. What preparation is usually needed for a career in physical science?
  2. Describe three possible careers in physical science.


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