What Is a Physical Engineer?
A physical engineer is a professional who designs, develops, and oversees projects that involve the physical properties of materials. They design products, processes, and systems that use materials in a way that meets or exceeds customer expectations.
Physical engineers work in various industries, including manufacturing, transportation, energy, construction, and healthcare. They usually have a graduate degree in engineering, but some have a degree in another field, such as business or science.
The Job Outlook for a Physical Engineer
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that the job outlook for physical engineers is rated as “very good” in their May 2017 Occupational Outlook Handbook. This means that the BLS expects there to be an increased demand for physical engineers over the next decade.
Some reasons for this increased demand are the increasing popularity of green technology and the need for engineers who can design and develop products that use new and exciting materials.
In addition to good job prospects, physical engineers often enjoy good pay and benefits. According to the BLS, the median pay for physical engineers was $90,910 in 2016. The top 10 percent of physical engineers earned a median salary of $121,910, while the bottom 10 percent earned a median salary of $69,590.
Physical engineers typically work full-time, although there are some exceptions. They usually work regular hours and are usually available to work on short notice.
If you are interested in becoming a physical engineer, consider pursuing a graduate degree in engineering. However, a degree in another field may also be sufficient. The BLS reports that about a third of physical engineers have a graduate degree in engineering, while about a fourth have a graduate degree in another field.