Careers: Academia



A health physics career in a college or university setting offers several options, from working in the radiation safety office to working your way to professor status while teaching classes.

A health physicist is a critical part of an academic organization, whether teaching undergraduate and graduate students about radiation or overseeing the safe use of radiation and radioactive materials throughout the university.

Requirements for the Following Positions in an Academic Setting1:

Professor of Health Physics

PhD in health physics or closely related field.

Radiation Safety Officer

Minimum BS in health physics, likely an MS at a larger university.


High school with some on-the-job training or an associate's or bachelor's degree at a larger university.

Average Annual Salary2: $72,500

See the HPS Salary Survey

Example Locations

  • Large universities—nearly all use radioactive materials.
  • Veterinary schools
  • Some smaller, private schools

Ask Thomas E. Johnson, CHP, professor at Colorado State University, about an academic career.

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1This is an example only. Some organizations may require graduate degrees.
2Increases by $25,000 per year with certification by the American Board of Health Physics.