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What jobs are out there for an Astronomer? Is it a good paying job?

by tom44 on June 25, 2013

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Question by Muirgirl94: What jobs are out there for an Astronomer? Is it a good paying job?
I really want to go to college to get into the Astronomy career but I don’t know what kind of jobs there are for an Astronomer who lives in Sacramento, CA. I really want a job that pays good too. Can you give me a list of jobs for me to choose from?

Best answer:

Answer by eri
You’ll need a PhD to be an astronomer. There are very few jobs if you don’t have one (and you need one to do research) and there aren’t many jobs even if you do have a PhD in the field. You’ll almost certainly not find one right where you want one – you’d have to be very wiling to move. Between getting a bachelors, PhD, doing a postdoc or two, and then getting a full-time job, you might move 4 times or more, across the country (or even out of it). Also, it doesn’t pay too well considering how long you spend in school to get the PhD. We do it because we love it, not because it’s going to make us rich.

Astronomers work for colleges and universities (teaching and doing research), national labs and observatories (doing research), and NASA (doing research).

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One thought on “What jobs are out there for an Astronomer? Is it a good paying job?

  1. arslan says:

    If you want to become an astronomer, forget about being rich. Astronomers don’t get paid all that well, doctors and lawyers get more.
    You wont be able to own a Ferrari or anything, but you’ll still survive without any major financial problems.

    here are Jobs to do with astronomy:

    Observational astronomy is a division of the astronomical science that is concerned with getting data, in contrast with theoretical astrophysics which is mainly concerned with finding out the measurable implications of physical models.

    Astrometry is the branch of astronomy that relates to precise measurements and explanations of the positions and movements of stars and other celestial bodies.

    Galactic astronomy is the study of our own Milky Way galaxy and all its contents.

    Extragalactic astronomy is the branch of astronomy concerned with objects outside our own Milky Way Galaxy.

    cosmology, as a branch of astronomy, is the study of the largest-scale structures and dynamics of our universe and is concerned with fundamental questions about its formation and evolution.

    Planetary Science is the study of the planets of the Solar System.

    Spectroscopy – the study of the spectra of astronomical objects

    Archaeoastronomy (also spelled archeoastronomy) is the study of how past people “have understood the phenomena in the sky, how they used phenomena in the sky and what role the sky played in their cultures.

    Astrochemistry, the overlap of the disciplines of astronomy and chemistry, is the study of the abundance and reactions of chemical elements and molecules in the universe, and their interaction with radiation.

    Stellar Astronomy- The study of stars and stellar evolution is fundamental to our understanding of the universe.

    Exoplanetology, or exoplanetary science, is an integrated science related to the study of extrasolar planets or exoplanets.

    Planetary geology, alternatively known as astrogeology or exogeology, is a planetary science discipline concerned with the geology of the celestial bodies such as the planets and their moons, asteroids, comets, and meteorites.

    Astrobiology (other terms have been exobiology, exopaleontology, bioastronomy, and rarely xenobiology) is the study of the origin, evolution, distribution, and future of life in the universe.

    Astrodynamics- Orbital mechanics or astrodynamics is the application of ballistics and celestial mechanics to the practical problems concerning the motion of rockets and other spacecraft. The motion of these objects is usually calculated from Newton’s laws of motion and Newton’s law of universal gravitation. It is a core discipline within space mission design and control.

    Astrophysics is the branch of astronomy that deals with the physics of the universe, including the physical properties (luminosity, density, temperature, and chemical composition) of celestial objects such as galaxies, stars, planets, exoplanets, and the interstellar medium, as well as their interactions.

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