The average Astronomer in the United States earns approximately $97K per year. The vast majority (80 percent) of Astronomers who answered the questionnaire are male. Most Astronomers like their work and job satisfaction is high. The data for this synopsis comes from respondents who took the PayScale salary survey.
Job Description for Astronomer
Astronomy is the science of examining the cosmos and using applied physics and mathematical formulas to attempt to explain, classify, discuss, and offer explanations about the universe. Astronomers use a variety of high-tech, sensitive instruments to measure the location and movements of objects in the sky. They typically create purely scientific observations about their findings, which other branches of science put to applied use.Read More...
Most astronomers will find work in academic or research settings. These settings allow an astronomer to have access to the kind of advanced observation technology required by modern astronomy, and they also allow these scientists to work with and collaborate alongside others in the field. Typically, research teams in astronomy work closely with observatories, or they work at academic institutions with access to observatory data. These observatories can include powerful imaging telescopes for studying the sky, as well as radio telescopes that go beyond the reach of standard observation equipment.
To work as an astronomer, typically a person must have at least a bachelor's degree in astronomy. Many scientists possess post-graduate degrees in the field or a similar disciplines within applied physics. Most astronomers work in office and laboratory settings. They typically must be very fluent with computers and be able to communicate findings in written format. An astronomer may normally work regular hours of the week, but the need for night sky observation can lead to irregular overnight hours as well.
- Analyze celestial data and present results in a variety of formats.
- Create visualizations and interfaces to enable usage of data.
- Calibrate, maintain, focus, and use equipment and associated software.
- Compile, update, maintain, and add metadata to data sets.
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Pay by Experience Level for Astronomer
Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
The average inexperienced worker's salary is approximately $97K. It's worth noting that people with five to 10 years of experience report bringing in less at around $83K on average. Astronomers claiming one to two decades of experience make an estimated median of $87K. Veterans who boast more than two decades of experience make around $120K on average — an ample six-figure paycheck.
Key Stats for Astronomer
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 3 votes.