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Physical scientists study relationships between matter, energy and other physical phenomena, the nature, composition and structure of the Earth and other planetary bodies and forecast weather conditions and electrical, magnetic, seismic and thermal activity.


  • Conducts experiments and tests and uses mathematical models and theories to investigate the structure and properties of matter, transformations and propagations of energy, the behaviour of particles and their interaction with various forms of energy
  • Uses surveys, seismology and other methods to determine the earth’s mantle, crust, rock structure and type, and to analyse and predict the occurrence of seismological activity
  • Observes, records and collates data on atmospheric conditions from weather stations, satellites, and observation vessels to plot and forecast weather conditions
  • Applies mathematical models and techniques to assist in the solution of scientific problems in industry and commerce and seeks out new applications of mathematical analysis.

Entry Requirements

Entrants usually possess a degree, although entry may also be possible with an appropriate BTEC/SQA award. Further specialist training is provided on the job. Higher degrees and professional qualifications are available.

What could I earn?

Salaries for this occupation tend to start at £26,000 per annum and can progress up to £50,000 per annum.

Is it in growth or decline?

There are currently 3,020 employed Physical Scientists in the region.

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