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PARTICLE ACCELERATOR OPERATOR, IN-DEPTH: A Variety Of Challenges And Learning Opportunities

About this video 

Jill, a floor operator at an electron accelerator facility, describes the challenges of her job, what she likes most, her key decisions, how to get into the industry, and work-life balance. She talks to us about working with the variety of people at the facility and how to balance doing her job with helping the researchers fulfill their priorities.

Degree: Physics
Job Title: Particle Accelerator Floor Operator
Employer: Synchrotron Light Source

Job Summary: Physicists

Job Description

Physicists and astronomers study the fundamental nature of the universe, ranging from the vastness of space to the smallest of subatomic particles. They develop new technologies, methods, and theories based on the results of their research that deepen our understanding of how things work and contribute to innovative, real-world applications.

On-the-Job Training

None

Additional Info

Many physics and astronomy Ph.D. holders begin their careers in a temporary postdoctoral research position, which typically lasts 2 to 3 years. During their postdoctoral appointment, they work with experienced scientists as they continue to learn about their specialties or develop a broader understanding of related areas of research. Their initial work may be carefully supervised by senior scientists, but as they gain experience, they do more complex tasks and have greater independence in their work.

Quick Facts

Average salary
Average salary
National Statistic Change Location
Confirm
$60,000 - $170,000
Projected job growth
Projected Job Growth
10 to 20 percent
Typical schedule
Typical schedule
Full-time
Typical workplace
Typical workplace
Military, Indoor, Office, Travel
Personal qualities
Personal Qualities
Analytical skills, Problem solving skills, Verbal communication skills, Written communication skills, Mathematical skills, Detail oriented
P3.instances[0].transcript.parse_transcript_data({"transcript":"<p><span m='0'>So, one</span> <span m='485'>of the</span> <span m='970'>things I love</span> <span m='1455'>best about</span> <span m='1940'>my job is</span> <span m='2425'>the</span> <span m='2910'>variety.</span> <span m='4440'>I</span> <span m='4510'>realized</span> <span m='4950'>that</span> <span m='5600'>I</span> <span m='5690'>didn't</span> <span m='6110'>want</span> <span m='6260'>to</span> <span m='6300'>end</span> <span m='6490'>up</span> <span m='6620'>in</span> <span m='6720'>a</span> <span m='6760'>place</span> <span m='7080'>where</span> <span m='7180'>I</span> <span m='7630'>knew</span> <span m='7840'>what</span> <span m='8029'>was</span> <span m='8160'>coming</span> <span m='8550'>every</span> <span m='8810'>day,</span> <span m='9140'>and</span> <span m='9370'>so</span> <span m='9510'>this</span> <span m='9680'>is</span> <span m='9810'>a</span> <span m='9860'>really</span> <span m='10050'>great</span> <span m='10270'>opportunity</span> <span m='11060'>to not</span> <span m='11300'>only</span> <span m='11450'>have</span> <span m='11870'>different</span> <span m='12140'>things</span> <span m='12360'>thrown</span> <span m='12620'>at</span> <span m='12780'>me</span> <span m='12920'>that are</span> <span m='13150'>challenges,</span> <span m='14280'>so</span> <span m='14640'>it</span> <span m='14760'>makes</span> <span m='14960'>me</span> <span m='15070'>feel</span> <span m='15240'>like</span> <span m='15400'>I'm</span> <span m='15520'>learning</span> <span m='15810'>as</span> <span m='16100'>I'm</span> <span m='16300'>here,</span> <span m='16970'>but</span> <span m='17200'>also</span> <span m='17590'>the</span> <span m='17710'>variety</span> <span m='18180'>and the</span> <span m='18250'>people.</span> </p><p><span m='20080'>It's</span> <span m='20400'>nice</span> <span m='20720'>to</span> <span m='20820'>work</span> <span m='21030'>at</span> <span m='21340'>a</span> <span m='21430'>large</span> <span m='21760'>place,</span> <span m='22120'>where you</span> <span m='22190'>never</span> <span m='22460'>know who you're</span> <span m='22570'>going to</span> <span m='23040'>run</span> <span m='23130'>into,</span> <span m='24400'>and</span> <span m='24920'>what you</span> <span m='25130'>might</span> <span m='25300'>be</span> <span m='25420'>able</span> <span m='25650'>to</span> <span m='26080'>learn from.</span> <span m='28290'>Those</span> <span m='28510'>same</span> <span m='28780'>people</span> <span m='29200'>can also</span> <span m='29668'>be one</span> <span m='30136'>of the</span> <span m='30604'>challenges</span> <span m='31540'>of</span> <span m='32479'>working,</span> <span m='32830'>I</span> <span m='32880'>mean,</span> <span m='33020'>especially</span> <span m='33380'>in a</span> <span m='33620'>facility</span> <span m='33840'>like</span> <span m='34050'>this,</span> <span m='34360'>there's</span> <span m='34500'>a</span> <span m='34550'>lot</span> <span m='34740'>of</span> <span m='35330'>high</span> <span m='35500'>pressure</span> <span m='35870'>jobs</span> <span m='36250'>for</span> <span m='36670'>researchers.</span> <span m='37510'>And</span> <span m='37930'>so</span> <span m='38770'>one</span> <span m='39190'>of</span> <span m='39650'>the</span> <span m='39680'>things</span> <span m='40030'>I</span> <span m='40110'>have</span> <span m='40270'>to</span> <span m='40340'>remind</span> <span m='40590'>myself</span> <span m='40990'>of every</span> <span m='41180'>day is</span> <span m='41350'>as</span> <span m='41600'>much</span> <span m='41840'>as</span> <span m='41990'>I</span> <span m='42220'>feel</span> <span m='42370'>like</span> <span m='42540'>I'm</span> <span m='42690'>stressed</span> <span m='43050'>and</span> <span m='43150'>need</span> <span m='43370'>to</span> <span m='43410'>get something</span> <span m='43840'>done,</span> <span m='44050'>someone</span> <span m='44270'>else</span> <span m='44440'>may</span> <span m='44580'>have different</span> <span m='44800'>priorities.</span> </p><p><span m='45260'>And</span> <span m='45720'>so it's</span> <span m='46056'>been</span> <span m='46730'>a</span> <span m='46810'>challenge</span> <span m='47200'>to</span> <span m='47350'>learn</span> <span m='47690'>to</span> <span m='48540'>sort</span> <span m='48750'>of</span> <span m='48850'>see</span> <span m='49110'>the</span> <span m='49200'>situation</span> <span m='49760'>through</span> <span m='49880'>their</span> <span m='50120'>eyes,</span> <span m='50490'>and</span> <span m='50670'>realize</span> <span m='51200'>that</span> <span m='51610'>they</span> <span m='51890'>want</span> <span m='52100'>different</span> <span m='52370'>things</span> <span m='52640'>out</span> <span m='52780'>of</span> <span m='52870'>it.</span> <span m='52980'>And</span> <span m='53340'>sometimes</span> <span m='53940'>I'm</span> <span m='54120'>sort</span> <span m='54320'>of</span> <span m='54420'>a</span> <span m='54490'>roadblock,</span> <span m='54970'>and I</span> <span m='55070'>need to</span> <span m='55440'>be</span> <span m='55780'>able</span> <span m='55980'>to</span> <span m='56760'>be</span> <span m='56950'>OK</span> <span m='57200'>with</span> <span m='57380'>that,</span> <span m='57800'>and</span> <span m='57950'>try</span> <span m='58100'>to</span> <span m='58210'>communicate</span> <span m='58780'>really</span> <span m='58960'>well</span> <span m='59370'>with people,</span> <span m='59770'>to make sure</span> <span m='60170'>that</span> <span m='60700'>they</span> <span m='60830'>understand</span> <span m='61190'>where</span> <span m='61340'>I'm</span> <span m='61450'>coming</span> <span m='61650'>from</span> <span m='61900'>in the</span> <span m='61990'>same</span> <span m='62180'>way that</span> <span m='62420'>I'm</span> <span m='62520'>trying</span> <span m='62810'>to</span> <span m='63720'>figure</span> <span m='64010'>out</span> <span m='64160'>what</span> <span m='64330'>their</span> <span m='64480'>situation</span> <span m='64900'>is, so</span> <span m='65392'>that we can</span> <span m='65884'>get to a</span> <span m='66376'>solution</span> <span m='66868'>eventually.</span> </p><p><span m='68350'>I</span> <span m='68430'>guess</span> <span m='68630'>one</span> <span m='68760'>of</span> <span m='68860'>the</span> <span m='69190'>key</span> <span m='69610'>decisions</span> <span m='69915'>that</span> <span m='70220'>I</span> <span m='70520'>made</span> <span m='70780'>was</span> <span m='70940'>when</span> <span m='71080'>I</span> <span m='71150'>did</span> <span m='71620'>decide</span> <span m='71940'>to</span> <span m='72195'>switch</span> <span m='72450'>majors.</span> <span m='72840'>I had</span> <span m='73060'>started</span> <span m='73330'>out</span> <span m='73440'>in</span> <span m='73540'>engineering,</span> <span m='74230'>and</span> <span m='74670'>realized</span> <span m='75080'>that</span> <span m='75675'>the</span> <span m='76090'>physics</span> <span m='76375'>classes</span> <span m='76660'>I</span> <span m='76710'>was</span> <span m='76870'>thinking</span> <span m='77210'>were</span> <span m='77350'>the ones</span> <span m='77610'>that</span> <span m='77950'>really</span> <span m='78120'>excited</span> <span m='78510'>me</span> <span m='78910'>and challenged</span> <span m='79387'>me.</span> <span m='80820'>And</span> <span m='81100'>making</span> <span m='81340'>that</span> <span m='81490'>decision</span> <span m='81920'>to</span> <span m='82080'>switch</span> <span m='82435'>majors</span> <span m='83165'>and change</span> <span m='83540'>programs</span> <span m='84060'>opened</span> <span m='84320'>up some</span> <span m='84690'>doors,</span> <span m='85360'>and</span> <span m='85740'>it</span> <span m='86005'>guided</span> <span m='86270'>me</span> <span m='86580'>towards</span> <span m='87380'>different</span> <span m='88720'>career</span> <span m='88960'>options,</span> <span m='89370'>pretty</span> <span m='89660'>much, when</span> <span m='89800'>I</span> <span m='89860'>was</span> <span m='90050'>looking</span> <span m='90390'>at</span> <span m='90640'>what</span> <span m='90810'>sort</span> <span m='90970'>of</span> <span m='91080'>jobs</span> <span m='91410'>were</span> <span m='91580'>out</span> <span m='91780'>there.</span> </p><p><span m='92090'>It was</span> <span m='92290'>a</span> <span m='92340'>whole</span> <span m='92570'>different</span> <span m='93300'>field</span> <span m='93540'>than</span> <span m='93710'>I</span> <span m='93800'>would</span> <span m='93950'>have</span> <span m='94090'>looked</span> <span m='94320'>in</span> <span m='94430'>if I'd been</span> <span m='94520'>looking under</span> <span m='94975'>the</span> <span m='95430'>engineering</span> <span m='96000'>title.</span> <span m='97560'>And</span> <span m='97920'>I'm</span> <span m='98210'>glad</span> <span m='98450'>it</span> <span m='98570'>led</span> <span m='99075'>me</span> <span m='99380'>to</span> <span m='99420'>this.</span> <span m='100590'>My</span> <span m='100710'>work</span> <span m='100940'>life</span> <span m='101140'>balance</span> <span m='101530'>is</span> <span m='101690'>actually</span> <span m='102630'>pretty</span> <span m='103190'>solid,</span> <span m='103660'>I feel.</span> <span m='104010'>It's</span> <span m='104170'>definitely</span> <span m='104790'>something</span> <span m='105180'>that</span> <span m='105340'>I</span> <span m='106170'>value</span> <span m='106740'>having,</span> <span m='107613'>and</span> <span m='108380'>my</span> <span m='108490'>job</span> <span m='108750'>does</span> <span m='109000'>allow</span> <span m='109300'>for</span> <span m='109460'>that.</span> <span m='109730'>There</span> <span m='109910'>are</span> <span m='110190'>certainly</span> <span m='110330'>opportunities</span> <span m='110930'>for</span> <span m='111080'>overtime,</span> <span m='111910'>things</span> <span m='112110'>of</span> <span m='112180'>that</span> <span m='112360'>nature.</span> <span m='112860'>But</span> <span m='113690'>conveniently,</span> <span m='114320'>there's</span> <span m='114530'>not a</span> <span m='114950'>whole lot I</span> <span m='115300'>can do</span> <span m='115520'>from</span> <span m='115790'>home.</span> </p><p><span m='116470'>So</span> <span m='116940'>it's</span> <span m='117150'>not</span> <span m='117390'>as</span> <span m='117550'>if</span> <span m='117720'>there's</span> <span m='118980'>a</span> <span m='119100'>homework</span> <span m='119405'>load</span> <span m='119710'>from</span> <span m='120290'>work</span> <span m='120580'>that</span> <span m='120720'>I</span> <span m='120780'>get</span> <span m='120960'>to</span> <span m='121060'>take</span> <span m='121270'>with</span> <span m='121430'>me.</span> <span m='123160'>And</span> <span m='123270'>there's</span> <span m='124180'>very</span> <span m='124280'>little</span> <span m='124520'>push</span> <span m='125420'>for</span> <span m='126050'>feeling</span> <span m='126380'>pressured</span> <span m='126800'>to</span> <span m='127136'>be here</span> <span m='127472'>all</span> <span m='127641'>of</span> <span m='127810'>the time.</span> <span m='128105'>We've got</span> <span m='128400'>a</span> <span m='128440'>very</span> <span m='128650'>good</span> <span m='128780'>balance.</span> <span m='129144'>And</span> <span m='129509'>that</span> <span m='129963'>allows</span> <span m='130417'>me to</span> <span m='131325'>fill</span> <span m='131780'>my</span> <span m='131910'>life</span> <span m='132270'>with</span> <span m='132660'>other</span> <span m='132920'>things</span> <span m='133250'>that</span> <span m='133810'>also</span> <span m='134110'>interest</span> <span m='134410'>me.</span> </p>","file":{"id":255765,"video_id":"2700072819001","name":"69770460","duration":135615,"thumbnail_url":null}});