Physics technician


Physics technicians monitor physical processes and perform tests for manufacturing, educational or scientific purposes. They work in laboratories, schools or production facilities where they assist physicists in their work. Physics technicians perform technical or practical work and report about their results.

Other titles

The following job titles also refer to physics technician:

physics lab technician
health physics technician
radiation health technician
physicist assistant
medical physics technician
physics assistant
nuclear physics technician
reprographics technician
physics laboratory technician

Minimum qualifications

Associate’s degree is generally required to work as physics technician. However, this requirement may differ in some countries.

ISCO skill level

ISCO skill level is defined as a function of the complexity and range of tasks and duties to be performed in an occupation. It is measured on a scale from 1 to 4, with 1 the lowest level and 4 the highest, by considering:

  • the nature of the work performed in an occupation in relation to the characteristic tasks and duties
  • the level of formal education required for competent performance of the tasks and duties involved and
  • the amount of informal on-the-job training and/or previous experience in a related occupation required for competent performance of these tasks and duties.

Physics technician is a Skill level 3 occupation.

Physics technician career path

Similar occupations

These occupations, although different, require a lot of knowledge and skills similar to physics technician.

meteorology technician
bacteriology technician
geology technician
biochemistry technician
zoology technician

Long term prospects

These occupations require some skills and knowledge of physics technician. They also require other skills and knowledge, but at a higher ISCO skill level, meaning these occupations are accessible from a position of physics technician with a significant experience and/or extensive training.


Essential knowledge and skills

Essential knowledge

This knowledge should be acquired through learning to fulfill the role of physics technician.

Physics: The natural science involving the study of matter, motion, energy, force and related notions.
Laboratory techniques: Techniques applied in the different fields of natural science in order to obtain experimental data such as gravimetric analysis, gas chromatography, electronic or thermic methods.
Scientific research methodology: The theoretical methodology used in scientific research involving doing background research, constructing an hypothesis, testing it, analysing data and concluding the results.

Essential skills and competences

These skills are necessary for the role of physics technician.

Perform laboratory tests: Carry out tests in a laboratory to produce reliable and precise data to support scientific research and product testing.
Execute analytical mathematical calculations: Apply mathematical methods and make use of calculation technologies in order to perform analyses and devise solutions to specific problems.
Maintain laboratory equipment: Clean laboratory glassware and other equipment after use and inspect it for damage or corrosion in order to ensure its proper functioning.
Apply statistical analysis techniques: Use models (descriptive or inferential statistics) and techniques (data mining or machine learning) for statistical analysis and ICT tools to analyse data, uncover correlations and forecast trends.
Apply safety procedures in laboratory: Make sure that laboratory equipment is used in a safe manner and the handling of samples and specimens is correct. Work to ensure the validity of results obtained in research.
Gather experimental data: Collect data resulting from the application of scientific methods such as test methods, experimental design or measurements.
Analyse experimental laboratory data: Analyse experimental data and interpret results to write reports and summaries of findings
Use measurement instruments: Use different measurement instruments depending on the property to be measured. Utilise various instruments to measure length, area, volume, speed, energy, force, and others.
Report analysis results: Produce research documents or give presentations to report the results of a conducted research and analysis project, indicating the analysis procedures and methods which led to the results, as well as potential interpretations of the results.
Assist scientific research: Assist engineers or scientists with conducting experiments, performing analysis, developing new products or processes, constructing theory, and quality control.

Optional knowledge and skills

Optional knowledge

This knowledge is sometimes, but not always, required for the role of physics technician. However, mastering this knowledge allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

Acoustics: The study of sound, its reflection, amplification and absorption in a space.
Mathematics: Mathematics is the study of topics such as quantity, structure, space, and change. It involves the identification of patterns and formulating new conjectures based on them. Mathematicians strive to prove the truth or falsity of these conjectures. There are many fields of mathematics, some of which are widely used for practical applications.
Statistics: The study of statistical theory, methods and practices such as collection, organisation, analysis, interpretation and presentation of data. It deals with all aspects of data including the planning of data collection in terms of the design of surveys and experiments in order to forecast and plan work-related activities.
Geophysics: The scientific field that deals with the physical processes and properties of, and spatial environment surrounding Earth. Geophysics also deals with the quantitative analysis of phenomena such as magnetic fields, the internal structure of Earth, and its hydrological cycle.
Thermodynamics: The branch of physics that deals with the relationships between heat and other forms of energy..
Geology: Solid earth, rock types, structures and the processes by which they are altered.
Quantum mechanics: The field of research concerning the study of atoms and photons in order to quantize these particles.
Astronomy: The field of science that studies the physics, chemistry, and evolution of celestial objects such as stars, comets, and moons. It also examines phenomena that happen outside Earth’s atmosphere such as solar storms, cosmic microwave background radiation, and gamma ray bursts.

Optional skills and competences

These skills and competences are sometimes, but not always, required for the role of physics technician. However, mastering these skills and competences allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

Operate remote sensing equipment: Set up and operate remote sensing equipment such as radars, telescopes, and aerial cameras in order to obtain information about Earth’s surface and atmosphere.
Analyse scientific data: Collect and analyse scientific data resulting from research. Interpret these data according to certain standards and viewpoints in order to comment on it.
Communicate with external laboratories: Communicate with the external analytical laboratories in order to manage the required external testing process.
Collect samples for analysis: Collect samples of materials or products for laboratory analysis.
Apply scientific methods: Apply scientific methods and techniques to investigate phenomena, by acquiring new knowledge or correcting and integrating previous knowledge.
Calibrate laboratory equipment: Calibrate laboratory equipment by comparing between measurements: one of known magnitude or correctness, made with a trusted device and a second measurement from another piece of laboratory equipment. Make the measurements in as similar a way as possible.
Operate telescopes: Set up and adjust telescopes in order to look at phenomena and objects outside Earth’s atmosphere.
Interpret geophysical data: Interpret data of a geophysical nature: Earth’s shape, its gravitational and magnetic fields, its structure and composition, and geophysical dynamics and their surface expression in plate tectonics.
Write scientific papers: Present the hypothesis, findings, and conclusions of your scientific research in your field of expertise in a professional publication.
Observe matter: Study the structure and characteristics of matter in order to identify the basic principles ruling these phenomena.

ISCO group and title

3111 – Chemical and physical science technicians





  1. Physics technician – ESCO
Last updated on August 8, 2022

Thinking about your next career move?

Answer a few questions about your jobs and education, and we’ll give you suggestions about your best possible career move. It’s completely free!