Industrial Physics

Physicists in industry have made possible the technological advances of modern products that make our lives safer, better, and easier as well as improving the security and infrastructure of our Nation.

More than 50% of physics students work in the private sector. APS is committed to engaging industrial physicists with a staff member dedicated to developing and managing programs serving industrial physicists and to educating students about jobs in industry.

Steven Lambert, APS Industrial Physics Fellow

LambertSteven Lambert joined the APS staff to improve the visibility of and service to industrial physics by collaborating on sessions and job fairs at meetings, engaging with early career programs to highlight industrial options, and advocating for the viewpoint of industrial physicists within the Society.

Industrial Physics is a Technology Engine for the U.S. Economy

The APS Industrial Physics Advisory Board has issued a report on The Impact of Industrial Physics on the U.S. Economy. Labor statistics, industrial output, and other U.S. government data were analyzed by experienced economists to highlight impacts including:

  • Economic Impact: U.S. physics-based companies directly contributed approximately $2.3 trillion to the U.S. economy (12.6% of GDP) and exported about $1.1 trillion of goods in 2016.
  • Job Creation: Approximately 11.5 million people were employed by U.S. physics-based companies in 2016, 6% of total employment.
  • Most Physicists Work in Industry: Approximately 70,000 physicists joined industry from 2003-2016 or about 58% of all physics graduates.

Economic Impact Report cover image

APS IMPact: Industrial Mentoring for Physicists


Industry Mentoring for Physicists (IMPact) is a mentoring program intended to connect graduate students and postdocs with physicists who work in industry. Over 400 mentors and mentees are participating, and many mentees have received invaluable information that will help them chart a course to successful careers.

To find out more about this program, visit the IMPact website. Signing up as a mentor or a mentee is easy, and you must be an APS member to participate. Mentors, make an impact in someone’s life by signing up today. Mentees, learn more about career options regardless of what path you ultimately choose. Questions? Email
Download an IMPact flyer format_pdf

APS Forum on Industrial & Applied Physics

APS FIAP is one of the largest APS units with almost 7,000 members. The unit's objective is to enhance the Society's ability to meet the needs of the industrial and applied physics community, and help the Society take advantage of the evolving opportunities in the practice and application of physics.
FIAP Website

Employment of Physics Degree Holders

Employment of Physics Degree Holders by Sector
* Ph.D. data include on potentially permanent jobs, excluding temporary faculty and postdoc positions. Data from AIP Statistical Research Center for 2011-2012 cohorts.

Industry Day at the APS March Meeting 2019 in Boston, MA

Held in conjunction with the APS March Meeting, Industry Day is an excellent opportunity for entrepreneurs and physicists working in industry and national labs to network with their peers. Students and early career physicists considering non-academic careers can see first hand the broad range of pursuits available to physicists.
Industry Day at the APS March Meeting 2019 in Boston, Massachusetts
Download a brochure of all FIAP Sessions format_pdf

Industrial Physics Advisory Board

The IndBoard is composed of physicists working in the private sector who advise APS on issues affecting industrial physics. They recently completed the Economic Impact Report mentioned above, and also provided input to the new APS Strategic Plan. Advising the Office of Government Affairs on how government policy affects the private sector is another key contribution.
Learn more on the IndBoard website

Actualization of the Internet of Things

A topical conference organized by the Forum on Industrial and Applied Physics and held in Monterey, California from April 17 to April 19, 2017. Physicists, scientists, and engineers from across the technological spectrum joined in cross disciplinary conversations and innovation that will be necessary to build the Internet of Things.
Check out the 2017 conference page

Workshop on National Issues in Industrial Physics

FIAP 2014In 2014, FIAP and APS jointly held a workshop which brought together mid-level and senior industrial physicists from diverse industries to identify and prioritize issues important to U.S. industrial physics.
Read the Workshop Report format_pdf