Physics is the scientific study of matter and energy and how they interact with each other. It covers everything from the nature of sub-atomic particles to the workings of the entire universe, and provides the foundations on which many other sciences such as chemistry, geology, engineering and technology are built.

Many different people use Physics in their everyday work, including:

  • Electronics engineers design equipment and systems based on the movement of electrons.
  • Engineering geologists assess earth conditions to make sure they're suitable for building on.
  • Medical physicists use radiation to treat people's cancers.
  • Structural engineers design buildings, bridges and dams that can withstand the forces of earthquakes.

If you like Physics, one of the jobs in the top panel could be right for you. You can also read the stories of people who enjoyed studying Physics at school, many of whom use it in their day-to-day work.

Why should I take Physics at school?

Studying Physics in your final year at secondary school will keep your tertiary options open:

  • You'll need 12 Level 2 credits in Physics to get into the New Zealand Diploma in Engineering (NZDE).
  • Generally you'll need 14 Level 3 credits in Physics for the Bachelor of Engineering Technology
  • The entry requirement for the Bachelor of Engineering degree typically includes 16 Level 3 credits in Physics.
  • 16 Level 3 credits in Physics are part of the entry requirements for a Bachelor of Food Technology degree.
  • To enrol in most first-year Physics papers at university you will need at least 14 credits at Level 3.

Job roles that use Physics

  • Acoustic Engineer

    Acoustic Engineer

    Biomedical Engineer

    Biomedical Engineer

    Building Services Engineer

    Building Services Engineer

    CAD Draftsperson

    CAD Draftsperson
  • Chemical & Process Engineer

    Chemical & Process Engineer

    Civil Engineer

    Civil Engineer

    Climate Scientist + Meteorologist

    Climate Scientist + Meteorologist

    Computer Systems Engineer

    Computer Systems Engineer
  • Design/Product Development Engineer

    Design/Product Development Engineer

    Electrical Engineer

    Electrical Engineer

    Electronics Engineer/Technician

    Electronics Engineer/Technician

    Engineering Geologist

    Engineering Geologist
  • Engineering Technician

    Engineering Technician

    Environmental Engineer

    Environmental Engineer

    Food Scientist

    Food Scientist


  • Geotechnical Engineer

    Geotechnical Engineer

    Marine/Coastal Scientist

    Marine/Coastal Scientist

    Mechanical Engineer

    Mechanical Engineer

    Physicist or Medical Physicist

    Physicist or Medical Physicist
  • Power Systems Engineer

    Power Systems Engineer

    Product Evaluator

    Product Evaluator

    Project/Contract Manager

    Project/Contract Manager

    Robotics or Automation Engineer

    Robotics or Automation Engineer
  • Site/Project Engineer

    Site/Project Engineer

    Structural Engineer

    Structural Engineer

    Telecommunications/Network Engineer

    Telecommunications/Network Engineer

    Transportation Engineer

    Transportation Engineer
  • Water Resources Engineer

    Water Resources Engineer

People who studied Physics

  • Dany Rassam

    Maintenance Support Team Manager, Dany Rassam at work

    Ella Meisel

    Product Development Engineer, Ella Meisel at work

    Michelle Dickinson

    Nanotechnologist, Michelle Dickinson at work

    Bernadette Robertson

    Graduate Electrical Engineer, Bernadette Robertson at work
  • Briar Dods

    Graduate Developer, Briar Dods at work

    David Mackenzie

    Operations Engineer, David Mackenzie at work

    Ashe Cooper

    Geotechnical Engineer, Ashe Cooper at work

    Wiremu Winitana

    Graduate Developer, Wiremu Winitana at work
  • Robyn Findlay

    Graduate Transportation Engineer, Robyn Findlay at work

    Brylee Thomson

    Civil Engineering Cadet , Brylee Thomson at work

    Emily Ng

    Network Engineer, Emily Ng at work

    Miranda Emery

    Software engineer, Miranda Emery at work
  • Charlotte Robertson

    Geotechnical Engineer, Charlotte Robertson  at work

    Joshua Burton

    Civil Engineering Technician, Joshua Burton at work

    Rebecca Day

    Senior Medical Physicist, Rebecca Day at work

    Alex Kesala

    Technology Graduate, Alex Kesala at work
  • Charlotte Peyroux

    Civil Engineer, Charlotte Peyroux at work

    Kate Williamson

    Geothermal Reliability Engineer, Kate Williamson at work

    Chun-Lin Lee

    Transportation Engineer, Chun-Lin Lee at work

    Glenn McCord

    Software Developer, Glenn McCord at work
  • Priyanka Patel

    Graduate Engineer, Priyanka Patel at work

    Luke Dobney

    Civil Engineer, Luke Dobney at work

    Kelsey Keenan

    Graduate Electrical Engineer, Kelsey Keenan at work

    Amy O'Donnell

    Site Engineer, Amy O'Donnell at work
  • Peter Freeman

    Project Engineer, Peter Freeman at work

    Tumanako Hona

    Contract Engineer, Tumanako Hona at work

    Morgan Wilson

    Project Engineer, Morgan Wilson at work

    Nathan Strawbridge

    2.	Intermediate Engineer – Signals & Telecommunications, Nathan Strawbridge at work
  • Poini Palu

     Geotechnical Engineer, Poini Palu at work

    Sue-Mun Huang

    Associate Implementation Consultant, Sue-Mun Huang at work

    Lauren Kosovich

    Product Development Engineer, Lauren Kosovich at work

    Amy Wang

    Software Development Intern, Amy Wang at work
  • Rebecca Shaw

    Senior Electrical Engineer, Rebecca Shaw at work

    Abigail Arulandu

    Product Development Engineer, Abigail Arulandu at work

    Sifa Pole

    Network Engineer, Sifa Pole at work

    Isabella Howie

    Process Engineer, Isabella Howie at work
  • Oliver Broughton

    Power and Energy Scientist, Oliver Broughton at work

    Gabriel Anderson

    Mechanical Engineer, Gabriel Anderson at work

    Luke Boys

    , Luke Boys at work

    Maria Eliza

    Network Engineer, Maria Eliza at work

Futureintech is an initiative of Engineering New Zealand, funded by Callaghan Innovation