Astronomers: Salary, Job Description, How To Be One and More

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Astronomers jobs information
pros and cons of being an Astronomer

Astronomers

Other names for this job might include Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, Astronomer, Astronomy Department Chair, Astronomy Professor, Astrophysicist, Lunar and Planetary Institute Director, National Radio Astronomy Observatory Director, Observatory Director, Physics and Astronomy Professor


  • $110220
    Salary
  • 69%
    Job satisfaction
  • Hard
    Becoming one
  • Medium
    Job growth
OwlGuru Rank

B+



Astronomers: Know It All In 1 Minute


In this career summary, you will find out what the job of An Astronomer is about and what it is like.

After reading this, you will have a good idea on what the job is about and decide if this is the right career for you.



Job description

Astronomers observe, research, and interpret astronomical phenomena to increase basic knowledge or apply such information to practical problems.

  • Study celestial phenomena, using a variety of ground-based and space-borne telescopes and scientific instruments.
  • Analyze research data to determine its significance, using computers.
  • Develop theories based on personal observations or on observations and theories of other astronomers.
  • Collaborate with other astronomers to carry out research projects.

Read more about what does An Astronomer really do at work and what is it like being and working as one.


Become one

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Salary

Average salary
$110220 per year

Hourly wage
$52.99 an hour


Astronomers with little to no experience tend to make between $52460 and $68680 while the more experienced ones make over $147900 per year.

Top 5 paying statesHourlyAnnual
CA$59.56$123880
HI$55.97$116420
NM$53.93$112180
CO$52.6$109400
TX$36.08$75050

1 of the easiest ways to increase your salary as An Astronomer is to move to a higher paying state like CA. Right now, the highest paying states for Astronomers are CA, HI, NM, CO and TX.

However a higher pay at CA doesn’t guarantee that you will make more because the living expenses at CA might be 2x higher than where you are currently at now.

3 other factors that can increase your salary as An Astronomer is the degree you hold, the industry you work in and lastly the company you work for (bigger companies like the Fortune 500 companies tend to pay more).

Find out how much do successful Astronomers make and if their salary is high when compared to all the other careers.


Requirements

Recommended degree level
Post-Doctoral Training

We asked other Astronomers what degree they had when they got the job and most of them said they had a Post-doctoral followed by PhD.

Other than that we also asked them what did they major in and here are the most popular majors that came up.

Astronomy
Astrophysics
Planetary Astronomy and Science
Astronomy and Astrophysics, Other

Another popular question from our readers is what makes An Astronomer successful or would they be good in this career.

Well, we found that most successful Astronomers have these 5 skillsets.

Science
Reading Comprehension
Critical Thinking
Active Learning
Writing

In addition to that, 1 common characteristic among successful Astronomers is they are good at Analytical Thinking. Here are the top 5 common characteristics.

Analytical Thinking
Initiative
Persistence
Achievement/Effort
Innovation
= Hot in-demand that most employers are looking for

Read more about what it really takes to become An Astronomer and the degree, training and education you need


Pros and Cons

Here are some reasons why you should and shouldn’t choose An Astronomer as your career.

PROS
Suitable for people who likes to solve problems mentally
Suitable for people who values achievements and are resultsoriented
This career is perfect for people who love to work indoors.
One of the highest paid careers in the world
CONS
Not suitable for people who likes to start and carry out projects
It is very hard to get into this career. Extensive skill, knowledge, and experience is required for this career.
Long working hours (More than 40 hours per week)


There will be pros and cons for all jobs. The point is how much do the pros outweigh the cons to you.

A pro to you might be a con to Bob. A pro to Bob might be a con to you. We suggest reading about this career framework that can help you to find out what type of careers are right for you.



What is the job like

Job satisfaction
69%

Is this job meaningful
65%


Working hours
More than 40 hours per week

Working schedule
Irregular (Changes with weather conditions, production demands or contract duration)


On a normal working week Astronomers work More than 40 hours per week.

69% of Astronomers said they were satisfied with their job and 65% said they feel like their job is making other people’s lives better.



Is this right for me

Best personality for this career
The Thinkers and The Artists


You can read more about these career personality types here.

People who are suitable for this job tends to like working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. They like searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.

They also like working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.



How we can help

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Career type

Social Science and Humanities
Physics/Astronomy
Science and Math

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Related to Astronomers Career Information

Astronomers job description, Astronomers salary, Astronomers information, what is the job of an Astronomer like, pros and cons about Astronomers, colleges and universities for Astronomers, is Astronomers the right career for me, Hard careers to get into, careers in Social Science and Humanities

Additional resources

http://www.bls.gov/OOH/life-physical-and-social-science/physicists-and-astronomers.htm
http://aas.org/
http://www.compadre.org/careers/
http://www.aip.org/

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Astronomers
Written by: Stanley Tan
Astronomers observe, research, and interpret astronomical phenomena to increase basic knowledge or apply such information to practical problems.
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