Job Title: Health Physicist
Type of Company: I work for the state of North Carolina. Our primary goal is to protect the citizens and the environment from the harmful affects of ionizing radiation while promoting its safe use in industry, medicine, and research.
Education: BS, Biology, North Carolina State University ALM (Masters in Liberal Arts), Government, Harvard University
Previous Experience: I worked as a radiological safety technician for Harvard University.
Job Tasks: We are a regulatory agency. A typical day starts off with reviewing license applications or applications to amend current licenses for the use of radioactive materials or radiation-producing machines and returning telephone calls and e-mail messages responding to queries about the use of radioactive materials. Depending upon our luck (or lack thereof, depending upon your perspective) we may have to deal with incidents or alleged incidents involving the use or misuse of material. Most often these calls come from the scrap metal industry when an unknown radiation source in a load of scrap metal trips a monitor at the entrance to the scrap yard, but they can also be medical events where a patient receives an incorrect radiation dose, or involve the theft or loss of material from a field location.
When we receive an incident call from a licensee or a member of the public, or when someone makes an allegation against a licensee, we will conduct an investigation to determine what the facts of the situation are and respond accordingly. Most of the time the calls end up being benign. On rare occasions the call is due to the loss of radioactive material and on extremely rare occasions there is a radiation injury to investigate. We conduct health and safety inspections at facilities that use radioactive materials and radiation producing machines of all types: from accelerators to X-rays. With the current concern over terrorism and the diversion of radioactive materials for "dirty bombs" we also conduct security inspections.
Best and Worst Parts of the Job: Best part of my job: just when I'm bored to death with the job something unique and really cool happens, and I realize that no one else in the state does what I do.
the worst part: all the paperwork, phone calls, and tedious follow-up, followed by a continuous struggle against emotion-driven politicization and willful ignorance of radiation and radiation effects.
Job Tips: While you are in school focus on the 'hard' sciences: math, chemistry, engineering, physics. Sadly, majors in biology and computer science are considered 'soft' - although I daresay the difference is trivial, since everyone entering the field requires significant additional training in radiation protection concepts and instrumentation use. To be successful a Masters degree is highly suggested, though it does not need to be in physics.
Click the Visit School Site buttons to go directly to a school's website and learn more about the school and programs it has to offer. School website will open in a new tab. .
Click the Request Info buttons to request more information from a representative at the school
About Brightwood College
Brightwood College offers accelerated programs that combine flexible schedules and professional instruction to create a rewarding learning experience for individuals focused on gaining the skills for specific careers. Brightwood College is owned and operated by Education Corporation of America.
Turn your talents into a career at nationally recognized and accredited Platt College.
San Joaquin Valley College - A Private Junior College.
Get personalized attention with UMA.
One-on-one tutoring, pre-interview coaching, job search assistance, alumni services-they’re all included in Ultimate Medical Academy’s competitively priced tuition. As a nationally accredited school, we provide quality career training online and at our campus in Clearwater, Florida.
With over 80 years of academic achievements, Jacksonville University is a traditional, longstanding institution consistently ranked by U.S. News & World Report as one of America's best colleges.
Career Stories are concise, real-world career overviews written by people relating their personal career experiences and wisdom. They provide invaluable insights and mentoring advice to students and career changers.
Most stories include:
Please also see our detailed information about Physicists And Astronomers, including: