What jobs do physics and astronomy graduates get?
Physics and astronomy graduates can (and do) do anything!
Physics and astronomy graduates get all sorts of jobs – the possibilities are truly endless. The purpose of this web page is to provide some information about what these jobs are. This information is aimed at prospective and current students; in particular students who intend to leave University with a B.Sc or B.Sc (Hons).
Careers, Internships and Employment Service
The University of Canterbury operates a Careers, Internships and Employment Service located at 79 Clyde Road. They provide a range of services including advice, courses, and written and web based information. You are encouraged to visit their web site and to register on the CareerHub system for online updates about jobs that are available, employer visits to campus etc. Note that physics students should be careful to look at the job opportunities listed under other disciplines (e.g. engineering and commerce) - physicists can do anything!
News: The Careers, Internships & Employment Team launched the UC Careers Kit – a set of 72 subject-based career brochures and a new website titled “What can I do with a degree from UC?”Astronomy brochure click here .
Physics brochure click here .
The department has surveyed its graduates of previous years. Amongst other data the survey provides the following snapshot of the positions held by those graduates who responded to the survey.
Type of Industry
|Meteorological instrument technician||Environmental (water & atmospheric research)|
|Instrument Project Manager||Building services Astronomical teaching, research and public outreach|
|Secondary School Teacher (Physics/Science)||Education|
|Health Protection Officer||Health - I work for Christchurch Hospital|
|Senior Software Engineer||Electronic Publishing|
|Inter School Christian Fellowship field worker||Youthwork: initiating, promoting & resourcing Christian groups in schools Relief: teaching|
|Director of Research and Analytics||Analysis of Mutual Funds|
|Computer Consultant||Advising Client about computer strategies and building computer systems|
|IT Consultant||Engineering Consultancy|
|Oceanographic Engineer||Discovery and production of hydrocarbons|
|Payments Processing Officer||North Health (purchases health services on behalf of the Govt)|
|Trainee operational forecaster||MetService - To provide accurate weather forecasts to its customers - the public and the aviation market including severe weather warnings|
|Electronic Assembler/Tester||Producing/Selling Mobile Radios|
|Director||Have own consulting and management services company with clients primarily in the electricity industry.|
|Manager||Computer Retail, Service and Consultancy|
|Science/Physics Teacher, Dean of Form 6||Education|
|Product Manager||Design & Manufacture of Electronic Equipment|
|Meteorologist||Production of Weather Services|
|Marketing Executive||Airline industry Computer Consultancy|
|Project Manager||Manage project for the supply, installation, commissioning of fibre optics cable system in Malaysia.|
|Consultant geophysicist||Oil and Gas Software Applications in Geophysics|
|Technician (demonstrations)||Research & Tertiary training|
|Computer Support Person||Education|
|Programme coordinator for prevocational skills programme, mental health services||Social services and training for people with disability and long term mental health problems.|
|Physics Teacher (Head of Department)||Secondary Education|
|Assistant teacher of physics/junior science of secondary level.||To teach students. The meaning of science/physics/and life|
|Music Producer||Radio Broadcasting|
|Civil Engineer||Engineering Consultants|
|Assistant Teacher (Secondary)||Education|
|Systems engineer, Help desk technician, Network Administrator.|
|International student advisor|
|Flight Commander, Central Flying School, RNZAF (Chief Instructor for the RNZAF Flying Instructor Training School)||Defence and fly planes|
|Principal - Environmental Engineer||Consulting Engineer|
|Managing Director||Computer Software Development|
|Computer consultant||Developing software|
|Auto-electrician||Fixing cars, trucks, boats, bikes etc|
|Doctor-Psychiatric Registrar||Mental Health Service|
|Assist Engineer||Consulting Engineers|
|Technical Consultant||Govt Dept.|
|Business Systems Manager||Meat processing and export|
|Fire Engineer||Consulting Engineering|
|Engineer||Telecom Australia (my section was developing transmission equipment)|
|Sales Engineer||Provide technical/sales support to clients looking to buy air distribution equipment.|
|Consultant, Director, Cleaning Entity||Computer software development|
|Junior Designer||Radio Communications system and product design and manufacture|
|Development Manager||International Relations|
|International Airline Pilot||Air New Zealand|
|Head of Information Technology||Education|
Academic / Research Positions
Type of Industry
|Professor||University - teaching and research|
|Scientist or Industrial Physicist||Applied R & D|
|Post doc||Education and research|
|Senior Electrical Engineer||Mining ore bodies in Australia|
|Senior Astronomer||Conduct research in astronomy and astrophysics and to provide a facility to enable others to undertake research|
|Senior Lecturer in Physics||Research and Education|
|Research Scientist. Work on problems where physics is important to main biological systems. Well removed from both my undergraduate and postgraduate training.||NIWA - Govt funded environmental research, biological and physical.|
|Antarctic Astronomer||Basic Research|
|Senior Lecturer, School of Physics, Australian Defence Force Academy||Tertiary education and research/military training|
|Postdoctoral Researcher||University based research in Biophysics|
|Research Assistant||Research and Training (Tertiary)|
|Senior Lecturer in Computer Science||Education and Research|
|University Lecturer||Education and Research|
|Lecturer||Education & Research|
|Joint Head of School and Academic Leader||Research and Education|
|Research Scientist||Defence research, analysis and technology|
|Computer Tutor||Training and education of long term unemployed adults. Training Opportunity Programme.|
|Clinical Physicist (Medical Physics)||Health|
|Research Director||Opto-Electronics Product Development|
|Lecturer||Research and Teaching|
|Medical Scientific Officer||Radiation Therapy|
Canterbury Degree: BSc(Hons) in Physics in 1991. Current Company / Place of work: Shell International, The Netherlands. Position Title: Aviation Global Joint Venture Coordinator.
Canterbury Degree: BSc(Hons) in Mathematical Physics, 1998. Current Company / Place of work: Royal Society of New Zealand. Position Title: Communicator.
We are currently attempting to generate some more detailed information about some of our graduates. Anyone who would be prepared to feature on our website should contact Simon Brown.
Other physics careers resources
Comments on this page should be directed to Simon Brown.
Last Updated September 2012