Hey there! Sign in to join this conversationNew here? Join for free
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    12
    ReputationRep:
    I am hoping to become a physicist...

    My dream/goal is to work at CERN...

    Could some one hep me with the follwoing questions:

    If you work there,is it a nice place to work generally?
    Are the funding for the experiment stable?
    What roles do physicist have there?
    How does the above compare for engineers?
    What are the salaries for the respective roles?
    Any better places for physicist?

    Also,Any other advice is appreciated...

    Thanks.
    Offline

    19
    ReputationRep:
    Only specific type of physicists work at CERN, how do you know you want to do nuclear research, not astronomy or something?
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    If I'm honest, research isn't the greatest sector if you want to have a good salary. Your pay will be dependent on funding, obviously CERN is at the top of research so funding will be good. However, coming from someone who also wanted to go into research (I wanted and still want to be a research physicist at CERN), I would look for more industrial routes into physics.

    The salary for a research physicist ranges, it usually starts at about £21k, and can be as high as £70k if you were going to space!Engineers typically get paid more as a starting salary, starting from about £30k and can be as high as £100k plusThese are from what I found, and these may be wrong.
    The NCS Website should help as a rough guide https://nationalcareersservice.direc...s/default.aspx

    Funding is usually private for research, especially CERN, so it's stable. However, this does depend on how successful your research is going, if it's going well then funding will continue but if it starts to hit a brick wall, funding will decrease.I'm assuming you haven't gone to uni so forgive me if you have.

    These are some places I would reccomend as links to CERN/particle physics will help greatly when applying for a job there.
    Royal Holloway - They do a physics with particle physics course and have lecturers from CERN as well as a course heavy in particle physics - the main focus of CERN, so this will help.
    Sussex University - Again, lecturers are from CERN and their research placements are highly rated, some of which you can apply to carry out at CERN.
    Southampton University - They also do a physics with particle physics masters course, allowing the top 1% of the class to go to CERN and do a their masters there (if you're going for CERN, expect to aim for top of your class) and they are RG and regarded highly internationally, which helps for applying to research groups overseas. However, you don't usually apply to CERN for a job, you would apply to a research group to ask for a job in their research team as CERN is just where physicists go to use their facilites, CERN itself does not do much internal research.

    However, so many university graduates struggle in the first year after their degree, specfically with getting a job. Placements are imperative for this, make sure your uni has good placements. I would say work placements are better for getting a job after uni, as research placements are only really useful if you want to go into scientific research (which I know is your goal). It's just that getting into CERN can easily be a 10 year process, from doing 4 years at uni (BSc and MPhys courses) to then gain experience (which can take 3-4 years or more) to get a job at somewhere like CERN. I now believe its better to be going into a job after uni, getting paid and earning a salary. If you're sure about research go for it! But make sure you know what you're signing up for, it can be a long process. However, I suppose if you revolutionised physics at uni, CERN would give you a scholarship but this is a harder goal.

    Summed up, for physicists, if you wanna go into research, it can be a long process but this won't matter if it's your dream! That fundamental reason will motivate you to want to go through the process.Hope this helps.
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by VNN)
    I am hoping to become a physicist...

    My dream/goal is to work at CERN...

    Could some one hep me with the follwoing questions:

    If you work there,is it a nice place to work generally?
    Are the funding for the experiment stable?
    What roles do physicist have there?
    How does the above compare for engineers?
    What are the salaries for the respective roles?
    Any better places for physicist?

    Also,Any other advice is appreciated...

    Thanks.
    Hi I'm an astrophysicist, so haven't worked at CERN but can generally advise careers in physics :-)

    Physics research environments (like CERN) are generally nice places to work, relatively relaxed, mentally stimulating, surrounded by like-minded people. (Obviously, as is life, there will always be exceptions to this)

    Funding and stable in the same sentence make physicists laugh! lol. Funding in physics is normally fixed-term i.e. apply for a grant, if successful get funding for a set time period. That said, CERN is funded by 22 countries, been going since 1954, and has no end date atm - so is actually 'stable' :-)

    If you want a career in physics you will need a PhD in physics. After your PhD you can apply for research positions known as post-docs (typically 3 year contracts), these are sometimes called fellowships. CERN is abit different in that it offers post-doc fellowships, but also offers short-contracts for people with only a masters degree.

    More info on fellowships here:
    http://www.stfc.ac.uk/funding/fellow...n-fellowships/

    Info on different kind of jobs (including engineering roles etc.) here:
    http://jobs.web.cern.ch/content/working-cern

    I don't know specific salaries for CERN, but typical post-doc salaries in physics are £26,000-37,000 depending on experience.

    Depends on what you mean by 'better' and what your goals are. With a PhD, if you want a career in pure physics research you will go through a series of short term (appox. 3 years) post-doc contracts before landing a longer contract so you will need to move around different institutions (CERN, universities etc.) Outside of academia, you will be qualified for more commercial physics roles, typically longer contracts, and higher pay.


    My advice:

    - follow your dream/goal, it is so worth it. Even though its a long road ( typically 8 years at uni from finishing a-levels until finish PhD) you will get there eventually.
    - take an undergraduate masters instead of a BSc+MSc, as student finance will fund the undergraduate masters but not the MSc.
 
 
 
Reply
Submit reply
TSR Support Team

We have a brilliant team of more than 60 Support Team members looking after discussions on The Student Room, helping to make it a fun, safe and useful place to hang out.

Updated: September 13, 2016
Poll
Do you agree with the PM's proposal to cut tuition fees for some courses?

The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

Write a reply...
Reply
Hide
Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.