CompGeo Salary Survey Benchmark Job Summary and Competencies

Physicists

The Benchmark Job Description below represents the specific Position Characteristics of the job used in the Salary Survey. Benchmark Job Descriptions should be inspected carefully to review the degree of matching between an organizations' Job and the Salary Survey Benchmark. Matching internal Jobs to Salary Survey Benchmark Jobs should not be done on Job Title alone. A thorough comparison of Salary Survey Benchmark to Internal Job Descriptions is recommended. A good overlap should exist on any comparisons used on critical Job Dimensions and Competencies.
 
CompGeo Occupation Group: Engineering/Scientific
Job Family: Scientist
Benchmark Title: Physicists
 
Summary Job Description Tasks
Conduct research into physical phenomena, develop theories on the basis of observation and experiments, and devise methods to apply physical laws and theories. Perform complex calculations as part of the analysis and evaluation of data, using computers.
 
Describe and express observations and conclusions in mathematical terms.
 
Analyze data from research conducted to detect and measure physical phenomena.
 
Report experimental results by writing papers for scientific journals or by presenting information at scientific conferences.
 
Design computer simulations to model physical data so that it can be better understood.
 
Collaborate with other scientists in the design, development, and testing of experimental, industrial, or medical equipment, instrumentation, and procedures.
 
Direct testing and monitoring of contamination of radioactive equipment, and recording of personnel and plant area radiation exposure data.
 
Observe the structure and properties of matter, and the transformation and propagation of energy, using equipment such as masers, lasers, and telescopes, in order to explore and identify the basic principles governing these phenomena.
 
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.
 
Teach physics to students.
 
Develop manufacturing, assembly, and fabrication processes of lasers, masers, infrared, and other light-emitting and light-sensitive devices.
 
Conduct application evaluations and analyze results in order to determine commercial, industrial, scientific, medical, military, or other uses for electro-optical devices.
 
Develop standards of permissible concentrations of radioisotopes in liquids and gases.
 
Conduct research pertaining to potential environmental impacts of atomic energy-related industrial development in order to determine licensing qualifications.
 
Advise authorities of procedures to be followed in radiation incidents or hazards, and assist in civil defense planning.
 
 
CompGeo Occupation Group: Engineering/Scientific
Job Family: Scientist
Benchmark Title: Physicists
 
Important Knowledge Competencies Competency Description
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.
 
Mathematics Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
 
English Language Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
 
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.
 
Computers and Electronics Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
 
Chemistry Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods.
 
Telecommunications Knowledge of transmission, broadcasting, switching, control, and operation of telecommunications systems.
 
Mechanical Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
 
 
CompGeo Occupation Group: Engineering/Scientific
Job Family: Scientist
Benchmark Title: Physicists
 
Important Skill Competencies Competency Description
Science Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
 
Mathematics Using mathematics to solve problems.
 
Critical Thinking Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
 
Reading Comprehension Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
 
Speaking Talking to others to convey information effectively.
 
Complex Problem Solving Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
 
Active Listening Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
 
Active Learning Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
 
Judgment and Decision Making Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
 
Writing Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
 
Learning Strategies Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.
 
Instructing Teaching others how to do something.
 
Programming Writing computer programs for various purposes.
 
Monitoring Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
 
Systems Analysis Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.
 
Time Management Managing one's own time and the time of others.
 
Social Perceptiveness Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
 
Coordination Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
 
Persuasion Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.
 
Systems Evaluation Identifying measures or indicators of system performance and the actions needed to improve or correct performance, relative to the goals of the system.
 
Service Orientation Actively looking for ways to help people.
 
Technology Design Generating or adapting equipment and technology to serve user needs.
 
Operations Analysis Analyzing needs and product requirements to create a design.
 
Management of Personnel Resources Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, identifying the best people for the job.
 
Quality Control Analysis Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.
 
 
CompGeo Occupation Group: Engineering/Scientific
Job Family: Scientist
Benchmark Title: Physicists
 
Important Ability Competencies Competency Description
Mathematical Reasoning The ability to choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem.
 
Oral Comprehension The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
 
Written Comprehension The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
 
Inductive Reasoning The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
 
Number Facility The ability to add, subtract, multiply, or divide quickly and correctly.
 
Oral Expression The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
 
Originality The ability to come up with unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop creative ways to solve a problem.
 
Deductive Reasoning The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
 
Fluency of Ideas The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity).
 
Information Ordering The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
 
Problem Sensitivity The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
 
Category Flexibility The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
 
Speech Clarity The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
 
Written Expression The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
 
Near Vision The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
 
Speech Recognition The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
 
Visualization The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.
 
Speed of Closure The ability to quickly make sense of, combine, and organize information into meaningful patterns.
 
Flexibility of Closure The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material.
 
Perceptual Speed The ability to quickly and accurately compare similarities and differences among sets of letters, numbers, objects, pictures, or patterns. The things to be compared may be presented at the same time or one after the other. This ability also includes comparing a presented object with a remembered object.
 
Selective Attention The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
 
Memorization The ability to remember information such as words, numbers, pictures, and procedures.
 
Far Vision The ability to see details at a distance.
 
Time Sharing The ability to shift back and forth between two or more activities or sources of information (such as speech, sounds, touch, or other sources).
 
Finger Dexterity The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects.
 
Visual Color Discrimination The ability to match or detect differences between colors, including shades of color and brightness.
 
 
CompGeo Occupation Group: Engineering/Scientific
Job Family: Scientist
Benchmark Title: Physicists
 
Tools/Technology Example Product Category
Adobe Systems Adobe Audition Music or sound editing software
 
Adobe Systems Adobe Photoshop software Graphics or photo imaging software
 
Aptech Systems GAUSS software Analytical or scientific software
 
Assembler Development environment software
 
Autodesk AutoCAD software Computer aided design CAD software
 
C Development environment software
 
CERN Physics Analysis Workstation PAW Analytical or scientific software
 
CERN ROOT Analytical or scientific software
 
COMSOL Multiphysics Analytical or scientific software
 
Criss Software XRF11 Analytical or scientific software
 
Dose modeling software Analytical or scientific software
 
Experimental Physics and Industrial Control System EPICS Analytical or scientific software
 
Formula translation/translator FORTRAN Development environment software
 
GNU Image Manipulation Program GIMP Graphics or photo imaging software
 
GNU Octave Analytical or scientific software
 
Gnuplot Analytical or scientific software
 
JavaScript Web platform development software
 
Lenox Softworks VideoPoint Video creation and editing software
 
Maplesoft Maple Analytical or scientific software
 
Mathsoft Mathcad Computer aided design CAD software
 
Microsoft Access Data base user interface and query software
 
Microsoft Excel Spreadsheet software
 
Microsoft PowerPoint Presentation software
 
Microsoft Visual Basic Development environment software
 
Microsoft Visual C++ Object or component oriented development software
 
Microsoft Visual J++ Development environment software
 
Microsoft Word Word processing software
 
MySQL software Data base user interface and query software
 
National Instruments LabVIEW Development environment software
 
OriginLab Origin Analytical or scientific software
 
Pascal Development environment software
 
Ploticus Graphics or photo imaging software
 
Practical extraction and reporting language Perl Object or component oriented development software
 
Python Object or component oriented development software
 
REDUCE Analytical or scientific software
 
RSI interactive data language IDL software Analytical or scientific software
 
Radiation dose calculation software Analytical or scientific software
 
RibbonSoft QCad Computer aided design CAD software
 
SQLite Data base management system software
 
SciGraphica Analytical or scientific software
 
SciLab Analytical or scientific software
 
Scribus software Desktop publishing software
 
Spectral Dynamics STAR Analytical or scientific software
 
Spectroscopy software Analytical or scientific software
 
Statistical software Analytical or scientific software
 
Sun Microsystems Java Object or component oriented development software
 
Synergy Software KaleidaGraph Analytical or scientific software
 
Systat Software SigmaPlot Analytical or scientific software
 
The MathWorks MATLAB Analytical or scientific software
 
Vector Fields OPERA-3d Analytical or scientific software
 
Video analysis software Analytical or scientific software
 
Wolfram Research Mathematica Analytical or scientific software
 
XV Graphics or photo imaging software
 
Xfig Graphics or photo imaging software
 
Accelerometers Accelerometers
 
Analog frequency analyzers Frequency analyzers
 
Analog sound level meters Sound measuring apparatus or decibel meter
 
Analytical balances Analytical balances
 
Annealing furnaces Laboratory safety furnaces
 
Arbitrary function generators Signal generators
 
Argon ion lasers Lasers
 
Atomic absorption AA spectrometers Atomic absorption AA spectrometers
 
Atomic emission detectors AED Chromatographic detectors
 
Atomic force microscopes Scanning probe microscopes
 
Betatrons Mobile or transportable medical linear accelerators
 
Big G torsion balances Laboratory balances
 
Capacitance bridges Capacitance meters
 
Cavity dumpers or drivers Laser filters
 
Charge-coupled device CCD cameras Photo attachments for microscopes
 
Computed tomography CT scanners Medical computed tomography CT or CAT scanners or tubes
 
Conditioning amplifiers Amplifiers
 
Cryostats Cryostats
 
Cyclotrons Mobile or transportable medical linear accelerators
 
Desktop computers Desktop computers
 
Diffusion pumps Laboratory vacuum pumps
 
Diffusion-pumped vacuum systems High vacuum equipment
 
Digital multimeters Multimeters
 
Digital oscilloscopes Oscilloscopes
 
Digital plotters Plotter printers
 
Digital sound level meters Sound measuring apparatus or decibel meter
 
Digital voltmeters DVM Voltage or current meters
 
Diode lasers Lasers
 
Double monochromators Monochromators
 
Electron microscopes Electron microscopes
 
Fourier transform infrared FTIR spectrometers Infrared spectrometers
 
Friction-force microscopes Scanning probe microscopes
 
Function generators Signal generators
 
Galvanostats Galvanometers
 
Gamma ray spectrometers Spectrometers
 
Gas chromatography GC injectors Injectors
 
Gas chromatography equipment Gas chromatographs
 
Gaussmeters Magnetometer geophysical instruments
 
Geiger-Muller counters Geiger counters
 
Grating monochromators Monochromators
 
Headspace autosamplers Autosamplers
 
Helium lasers Lasers
 
Helium refrigerators Cryogenic or liquid nitrogen freezers
 
High intensity UV sources Ultraviolet UV lamps
 
High vacuum equipment High vacuum equipment
 
High-energy accelerators Mobile or transportable medical linear accelerators
 
High-resolution semiconductor detectors Photosensitive diodes
 
High-resolution spectrometers Spectrometers
 
High-speed video cameras Digital camcorders or video cameras
 
Interferometers Interferometers
 
Ionization chambers Ionization chambers
 
Isotope ratio mass spectrometers Mass spectrometers
 
Laboratory box furnaces Laboratory box furnaces
 
Laboratory centrifugal pumps Laboratory centrifugal pumps
 
Laboratory electromagnets Electromagnets
 
Laboratory tube furnaces Tube furnaces
 
Laptop computers Notebook computers
 
Laser power meters Laser beam analyzers
 
Leak detection equipment Leak testing equipment
 
Light scattering devices Light scattering equipment
 
Linear accelerators Mobile or transportable medical linear accelerators
 
Liquid helium level sensors Single gas monitors
 
Magnetic force microscopes Scanning probe microscopes
 
Magnetic resonance imaging MRI systems Medical magnetic resonance imaging MRI scanners
 
Mass spectrometers Mass spectrometers
 
Measuring microscopes Binocular light compound microscopes
 
Mickelson interferometers Interferometers
 
Microwave interferometers Interferometers
 
Monochromators Monochromators
 
Multiple diode lasers Lasers
 
Nanovoltmeters Voltage or current meters
 
Neutron detectors Radiation detectors
 
Nuclear magnetic resonance NMR spectroscopes Nuclear magnetic resonance NMR spectrometers
 
Optical beamsplitting devices Optical beamsplitters
 
Optical choppers Optical choppers
 
Optical detectors Signal generators
 
Optical tables Optical breadboards
 
Optical tweezers Tweezers
 
Particle counters Electronic counters
 
Personal computers Personal computers
 
Photodetectors Chromatographic detectors
 
Photometers Photometers
 
Photon counting systems Frequency counters or timer or dividers
 
Pinhole filters Visual filters
 
Pistonphones Sound measuring apparatus or decibel meter
 
Portable fast Fourier transform FFT analyzers Frequency analyzers
 
Positive ion accelerators Mobile or transportable medical linear accelerators
 
Power amplifiers Signal conditioners
 
Prism spectrometers Spectrometers
 
Programmable phase modulators Polarizers
 
Pulsed nitrogen lasers Lasers
 
Radiation detecting film badges Medical radiation films or badges
 
Radiofrequency RF generators Signal generators
 
Safety goggles Goggles
 
Scanning electron microscopes SEM Scanning electron microscopes
 
Scanning monochromators Monochromators
 
Scanning tunneling microscopes STM Scanning probe microscopes
 
Scintillation probes Radiation detectors
 
Semiconductor parameter analyzers Semiconductor testers
 
Signal generators Signal generators
 
Single frequency dye lasers Lasers
 
Sound intensity probes Sound measuring apparatus or decibel meter
 
Spectrophotometers Spectrophotometers
 
Spectrum analyzers Frequency analyzers
 
Spring scales Pull spring balances
 
Surface profilometers Roughness measuring instruments
 
Telescopes Telescopes
 
Thermoluminescent dosimeters Radiation detectors
 
Transmission electron microscopes TEM Transmission electron microscopes
 
Turbo-pumped vacuum systems High vacuum equipment
 
Two-channel dynamic signal analyzers Frequency calibrator or simulator
 
Two-channel fast Fourier transform FFT analyzers Frequency analyzers
 
Two-channel network analyzers Network analyzers
 
Vacuum stations Pneumatic vacuum equipment
 
Vernier force sensors Force or torque sensors
 
Vibrating sample magnetometers Magnetometers
 
Vibration exciters Laboratory vibrators
 
Visible spectrometers Spectrometers
 
X ray crystallography equipment X ray diffraction equipment
 
X ray photoemission spectrometers Spectrometers
 
Zeeman split lasers Lasers
 
 
CompGeo Occupation Group: Engineering/Scientific
Job Family: Scientist
Benchmark Title: Physicists
 
Prerequisite Qualification Category Education and Experience Level
On-the-Job Training Over 3 months, up to and including 6 months
 
On-Site or In-Plant Training None
 
 
CompGeo Occupation Group: Engineering/Scientific
Job Family: Scientist
Benchmark Title: Physicists
 
Alternate Job Title(s)
Aerodynamicist
Aerophysicist
Astrophysicist
Atmospheric Physicist
Atomic Spectroscopist
Biophysics Scientist
Cloud Physicist
Consultant Electronics
Electro Optical Engineer
Electro-Optical Engineer
Electrodynamicist
Experimental Physicist
Fluid Dynamicist
Health Physicist
Laser Engineer
Mass Spectroscopist
Mathematical Physicist
Medical Physicist
Molecular Physicist
Molecular Spectroscopist
Nanotechnologist
Nuclear Physicist
Nuclear Scientist
Nuclear Spectroscopist
Optical Instrument Specialist
Optical Scientist
Physical Aerodynamicist
Physicist
Physics Professor
Radiation Control Health Physicist
Radiation Protection Technician
Research Consultant
Research Physicist
Research Professor
Research Scientist
Rheologist
Rocket Scientist
Scientist
Scientist Electronics
Space Physicist
Theoretical Physicist
Thermodynamic Physicist
Thermodynamicist
Weapons Designer
Weapons Engineer
 
CompGeo Occupation Group: Engineering/Scientific
Job Family: Scientist
Benchmark Title: Physicists
 
 
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