Professional Opportunities

Physics graduates have a solid and versatile training that allows them to carry out an extensive range of professional activities. Statistics show that unemployment is practically non-existent for physics graduates at the moment.

A significant proportion of physics graduates work in teaching roles at both pre-university and university level. Others work in the field of research, whether for universities, public research bodies/centres or large companies.

Physicists compete with IT engineers for jobs in areas such as systems analysis and programming, data transmission equipment and networks, mobile phone and internet systems and information technology.

Medical physics is a growing area for physics graduates. Hospitals require an increasing number of physicists to operate sophisticated radiology, radiotherapy and tomography instruments, among others.

High-tech companies in areas such as electronics, vacuum systems, new materials and detectors require both physicists and engineers in their work force.

The National Meteorological Institute and a growing number of companies in the sector employ physics graduates to study weather and atmospheric phenomena.

The energy production and distribution sector also requires physicists for thermal and hydraulic power plants and particularly for nuclear power plants. The same can be said of companies related to production of alternative energies (solar, wind, etc.).

Environmental companies and agencies dealing with areas such as control of atmospheric and noise pollution also employ physicists.

Finally, physicists also have a competitive advantage when it comes to jobs requiring development of numerical models and their application to complex problems. Physicists work for financial entities, statistical agencies, environmental health departments and a range of other industrial and scientific areas. The job market for physicists is constantly evolving and is currently undergoing a recovery, bolstered by the boom in telecommunications and IT opportunities and other areas such as quality control and R+D. Another employment alternative is the public sector, which also has specific job positions for physics graduates and the possibility of applying for more general posts.

Graduates of the Bachelor’s Degree in Materials Engineering (with the first graduates completing their studies in 2006-2007) mainly work for industry (49%) and to a lesser extent assume teaching roles (24%) at university and non-university level, although a significant number of graduates (8 to 10%) work as consultants or are self-employed.

Of these job positions, the majority carry out engineering activities (37.4%), together with research and development (23.6%) and teaching (14.6%). A smaller proportion work in other areas such as quality control (7.3%) and production (6.5%).

More than 80% of graduates take less than six months to find work. Only 1.1% take more than two years to find their first job.

More than three quarters (77%) of graduates in the last five years, work in professional areas typical of Materials Engineering.

The construction sector (23.3%) and the automotive (19.1%), aerospace (13.8%) and energy industries (9.6%) are the main employers of Materials Engineers. Nonetheless, the graduates surveyed have also worked in other highly important sectors such as the naval industry, telecommunications and the biosanitary industry.


Access to the Association of Physicists website