A theoretical physicist is one of the two main types of physicists – theoretical and practical ones. While practical physicists are concerned with finding out how things work by conducting experiments and recoding their findings in various ways, a theoretical physicist is more concerned with the theoretical possibilities of the science, pushing its boundaries as much as possible in their thought experiments. Theoretical physicists usually propose theories for the nature of certain things, which are later proven or disproven by practical physicists.
Becoming a theoretical physicist involves a lot of learning and harsh education in general – a good theoretical physicist must have a lot of background knowledge and enough prior experience on which to found their theories. Good theoretical physicists don’t necessarily need to work in teams to achieve their goals, as the job offers plenty of opportunity for displaying personal skills and aptitude, and the ability to discover new methods without experimenting.
The salary of a theoretical physicist is hard to specify – it varies a lot with the place of employment and one’s qualifications. In most cases, it would be between $50,000 – $75,000, and more experienced and knowledgeable ones are able to earn up to $130,000 a year. The job has an even higher earning ceiling in some cases, when the physicists is employed on some high-ranking projects. All in all, it’s a very lucrative career path that can be highly rewarding in the end.