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Physics Work Placements

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Helping you find a career in the Physics industry

Big fan of Brian Cox? Want to learn about the mysteries of the universe? Or how to make the world more energy efficient? Then physics is the place for you and, luckily, there are a huge number of opportunities available for talented physicists!

Here’s the thing though, you’re almost definitely going to need a degree in Physics or an engineering-related subject, and maybe even an MSc or PhD for the higher roles. So, if you’re still in school, better get studying!

There’s a lot of different areas for physicists to go into. You might be interested in academic research, product development or computers. Think about what interests you most within physics and find a job that matches it.

It’s a complex and challenging field, and you’ll need to keep up to date on the latest technologies and research developments. It also means you’ll get to work with the newest and fanciest equipment available. How exciting!

Skills & interests you'll need
As mentioned, you’re going to need a degree and maybe even a PhD, and that will require a lot of passion and dedication for physics and science. These degrees can be intense and difficult, but if you love physics, it’ll all be worth it.

Physics involves a lot of maths, so you’ll need a strong grasp of both subjects. Often, universities will require you to have strong A-Levels in both physics and maths.

You’ll also be dealing with a lot of complex equations and ideas, so being able to juggle complex problems with an attention to detail will be essential.

Computational and data analysis skills will also be essential.
- Communication
- Health and safety
- Numeracy
- Organisation
- Patience
- Problem Solving
- Research skills
- Teamwork
How to get Physics internships, work experience or placements
Your degree should provide you with a lot of the experience you’re going to need, but it will help you stand out if you can get some work experience. Contact local physicists and see if you can shadow or assist in some way or work as a laboratory assistance.

Graduate roles will be available after you graduate which will help you get your foot in the door. Try attending local conventions and meeting others in the field to get your name out there.

There are number of different work placement, summer placement or work experience opportunities available to aspiring physicists. The right one for you will likely depend on where you are in your studies.

If you are already in the middle of your degree studies you will likely want to consider either a year-in-industry or a summer placement - your university’s physics department or careers service will have details of partnerships the university has with potential employers. As schemes can be quite competitive, it’s a good idea to find out the right information and get searching early, as places will disappear quickly.

Alternatively, if you are still completing A-levels you can consider a shorter work experience position or spending time at a summer school in a university. University summer schools will be more educational in their focus, although they will enhance your practical laboratory skills which will come in handy for a career in the industry.

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