Careers in the Licensed Professions

Medical Physicist

Medical Physicist Print Profile PDF

Medical physicists apply the principles of physics in the use of radiation for medical purposes. They protect people from unsafe and unnecessary exposure to radiation; ensure the availability of high-quality medical images; and direct and deliver proper doses of radiation. Examples of activities:

  • calculate safe and effective dosages of radiation
  • inspect, test, and calibrate medical devices that use or measure radiation
  • oversee proper disposal of radioactive waste
  • design the shielding needed around radiation sources

Medical physicists are licensed in one or more specialties:

  • diagnostic radiological physics
  • medical health physics
  • medical nuclear physics
  • therapeutic radiological physics



Complete a master’s or doctoral degree in a Department-registered medical physics licensure program. A program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Medical Physics Education Programs (CAMPEP) is acceptable.


At least 2 years of full-time work experience in the specialty for which you seek licensure. A CAMPEP accredited residency is acceptable.


Examinations vary by specialty area of licensure.

Visit the Office of the Professions for a listing of all options and requirements.



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Courtesy of AAPM Medical Physics 3.0

Salary and Projected Growth

  • Median salary: $140,967
  • Salary range: $77,000-$208,000
  • Projected growth: moderate (physics in general)

Where Could I Work?

  • Hospitals and cancer centers
  • Industry and government
  • Consulting
  • Academia and Research

Your Interests and Abilities

  • Physics and other sciences
  • Mathematics
  • Technology use and development

Professional Skills

  • Concern for others
  • Attention to detail
  • Problem solving
  • Communication
  • Curiosity

What Interests You?

Match your interests and personality to career options! Explore a free career tool at

Tip: try searching for mentoring programs—talk to a medical physicist about what they do and how they got started!

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Last Updated: January 13, 2020