Astronomers: Salary, Job Description, How To Become One, and Quiz

Stan T.Career, OverviewLeave a Comment

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.



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Salary

Average salary
$111090 per year

Average hourly wage
$53 per hour


Astronomers with little to no experience tend to make between $57490 and $74300 while the more experienced ones can earn over $147710 per year.

Top 5 paying statesHourlyAnnual
HI$61$126,170
DC$59$123,640
CA$54$113,130
TX$52$107,350
AZ$50$104,100

One of the easiest ways to increase your salary as an Astronomer is to move to a higher paying state like HI. Right now, the highest paying states for Astronomers are HI, DC, CA, TX and AZ.

However, a higher pay at HI doesn’t guarantee that you will make more because the living expenses at HI might be twice as high than where you are currently at now.

Three 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.


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 Training followed by a 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
Read more about how to become an Astronomer and the degree, training and education you need.

Pros and Cons

Here are some of the pros and cons of being an Astronomer.

PROS
Suitable for people who likes to solve problems mentally
Suitable for people who values achievements and are results-oriented
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)

What is the job like

Job satisfaction
69%

Is this job meaningful
65%


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.




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