Physics graduates are in great demand from employers because a physics degree will equip a person with some highly transferable skills. These include problem-solving, understanding complex formulas, data analysis and applying theoretical concepts to practical issues.  

As well as opening up opportunities in scientific professions, a physics degree gives graduates scope to move into a wide range of technical and engineering careers. These can be in the construction industry and give excellent earning potential.  

Types of physics degrees and specialisations  

There are several types of physics undergraduate degrees. You could study for a general degree in Physics or specialise in specific areas, such as:  

  • Astrophysics 
  • Mathematical physics 
  • Nuclear physics 
  • Quantum physics 
  • Medical physics. 

Some universities offer more general courses in the first two years, followed by a specialism in the final year. It may be worth thinking about what kind of job you want to do as a career before deciding on the type of physics degree to study.  

Physics jobs in construction


Nuclear process engineers are responsible for designing and managing the safe and productive running of nuclear power stations. They develop the processes and instruments used to produce energy, for distribution to homes and businesses. Nuclear process engineers could be involved in designing and building new nuclear power plants, carrying out maintenance work, managing the decommissioning process for former sites or disposing of radioactive material safely.   

Materials engineers source, test and assess the materials used in construction. They ensure that building foundations and materials are suitable and offer guidance on the best materials to use for a project, based on their individual properties, project costs and timeframes. Materials engineers also investigate structural issues, advise on material maintenance and repair, develop building prototypes and analyse material test data. 

Computer-aided design (CAD) technicians use computer software to produce 2D and 3D drawings for construction and manufacturing projects. As a CAD technician, you may be designing buildings, machinery or component parts. Also known as CAD operatives, CAD engineers or BIM technicians, in this role you will be taking complex information and using it to produce technical building diagrams for architects, engineers and other construction workers. 

Environmental engineers focus on protecting the environment by reducing waste and pollution. In the construction industry environmental engineers report and advise on the environmental impact of building work. They carry out site assessments, take readings, conduct technical audits and make recommendations to construction companies. Environmental engineers optimise the use of natural resources and existing materials. They design technologies and processes that control pollution and clean up contamination. 

Civil engineers are responsible for the planning, design and management of significant construction projects, including transportation links, buildings and other structures. They use computer modelling software and data from surveys, tests and maps to develop project blueprints. These blueprints provide guidance to contractors and aim to minimise risk and environmental impact. Some civil engineers focus on specific areas, such as transportation, environmental, geotechnical, maritime or structural projects.   

Electrical engineers design, develop and maintain electrical systems for buildings, transport systems and power distribution networks, ensuring the smooth running of services like lighting, heating and ventilation. Electrical engineers work in and across many industries, such as construction, transport, energy (including renewables), building services and manufacturing. Electrical engineers need a good understanding of engineering science, as well as strong maths and computer skills. 

Continuing your education and professional development 

Physics graduates also have the option of taking their studies further. Postgraduate courses and Masters degrees are available in a wide range of physics disciplines, but these are often more attractive to graduates keen to work in laboratory research and development rather than a construction-related field.  

Education can continue in any of the job roles featured above, in the form of continuing professional development (CPD). This could involve professionally recognised qualifications, training courses, distance learning or attending seminars and conferences. All these activities will help to improve a physics graduate’s practical skills, experience and competency.  

Starting your career: Tips and advice

Studying for a university degree is not the only route you can take into a career in construction. You could take a college course, complete an apprenticeship or apply directly to an employer if you have relevant work experience.  

Explore graduate opportunities in construction

A wide range of engineering jobs, graduate schemes and apprenticeships are advertised regularly on Talentview. You can filter your searches by job role and location and also look for management traineeships, work experience, placements and internships.