How can I get physics work experience?

  • Helena Kudiabor
  • May 15 2023

Completing physics work experience is a great way to learn whether a physics career is right for you, and to gain some practical experience. But, how do you get work experience?


How do I find physics work experience?

Firstly, you may wish to draw up a shortlist of your main interests. Although you may think that applying to a range of different opportunities will boost your chances of admission, completing too many applications will leave you feeling burnt out. An employer is also unlikely to accept you if you can’t show genuine interest and passion in the role. 

Some things to consider include: can I see myself doing this role in the future? Does the company’s ethos align with my values? Does this job utilise my skill set? Why not connect with professionals via networking sites like LinkedIn, and ask them what their job is like and what they get up to?

You can find work experience via a range of different avenues. For example, if you’re interested in a specific company, it’s worth making a note on whether they offer work experience, and noting down the application deadline. Searching on job sites such as Indeed and a simple Google will also provide you with a range of opportunities. If you’re still at university, your university’s physics society or careers hub will provide you with some advice.

What’s the application process like?

The application process will vary between companies. Many companies, especially some of the more notable ones, ask candidates to complete multi-stage applications . This will involve an online application, a video interview and an assessment centre. A select number of applicants will make it through to the next round.

In smaller companies, the process is often a lot shorter. You’ll apply online (with your CV and cover letter) and may be shortlisted and invited to an interview. 

How do I boost my chances of being accepted?

Applications can be competitive, so you’ll need to make sure your one stands out. Make sure you can effectively communicate your interest in a physics career and in the company itself. Provide specific examples of things the company has done that attracted you to them, for example a specific project or initiative they completed.

It’s also just as important to talk about what makes you stand out, and why they should choose you over the other applicants. Even if you don’t have any physics or physics-related work experience, you can still talk about your passion for physics, and a recent research project that interests you. The experiences you have will provide transferable skills: for example a part-time waitressing job shows you have time management skills and can solve problems efficiently.