Room: Exhibit Hall
Purpose: There is a paucity of data on the domestic medical physicist (MP) job market. Our purpose was to report objective employment metrics regarding the distribution of advertised positions.
Methods: We created a prospective database of permanent, full-time MP jobs using the AAPM Career Center and Indeed Job Search websites from 07/01/17-03/01/18. Using US Census Bureau data, we classified the jobs by state, region (Northeast, Midwest, South, and West) and city population size. Jobs were subcategorized as non-academic or academic, based on the employer. Chi-squared tests were used to compare city size and position type across regions.
Results: A total of 383 unique MP jobs were identified (South-143; Midwest-103; Northeast-79; West-58). The majority of jobs were non-academic (n=242, 63.2%). The South had the highest overall percentage of academic jobs (38.3%), while the West had the least (12%). Within regions, the Northeast had the highest regional percentage of academic jobs (50.6%), while the West had the highest regional percentage of non-academic jobs (74.1%). A statistically significant difference was noted between academic versus non-academic jobs by region (p=0.012).When analyzing by city population, the South had the highest overall percentage of jobs in cities with a population of 0-100,000 (34.5%) and >400,000 (42.6%). The Midwest had the highest regional percentage of jobs with a population size of 0-100,000 (34.5%), while the Northeast had the highest percentage in >400,000 (42.6%). A statistically significant difference was noted between city population size amongst regions (p=0.045).
Conclusion: This is one of the first quantitative analysis of the MP job market. There appears to be an imbalance of jobs by region, with increased availability in the South and a relative job shortage in the West. Additionally, there is a regional imbalance based on city population size. Further analysis is required to investigate these imbalances.