Astronomers

They are out of this world!

Job Description

Astronomers gather information on "characteristics of planets, moons, stars and other objects" using math and physics. It is best for astronomers to come into the field with questions about the world and the universe. They generally work during the evening so they can look into space. The average income for an astronomer is $105,410 a year, but wages vary from $52,160 to $162,630 a year.

Day to Day Expectations

Astronomers do different things depending on the day. These include:

  1. Working in office- doing research or doing administrative things for universities.
  2. Traveling- going to conferences such as the annual American Astronomical Society.
  3. Teaching- most astronomers teach physics or astronomy at universities or colleges.
  4. Reading- this includes learning new things that interest them or catching up on the world of astronomy.
  5. Writing- papers and proposals are written about their research and results.
  6. Observing- this also requires traveling to different observatories around the world.

Admission Requirements for Dartmouth University

Students are expected to "have a solid foundation in physics at the B.A. or B.S. level," but exceptions can be made for individuals as long as they make it up later. Admissions are based on academic records, letters of recommendation, GRE scores, and a statement of goals.

How Long it Takes to Complete

It takes about 5 to 7 years to get a PhD, but there are "many more people with PhDs than there are jobs as professional observers or professional theorists" so at least get the minimum, which is a bachelor's degree (4 years).

What Happens After College

When first getting out of college, astronomy majors should probably go work for one of these places so they can acquire a nice looking resume:


  • Observatories
  • Universities
  • Colleges
  • NASA
  • Government Agencies


After they are a little more experienced, there are many different options for astronomy majors to pick from:


  • Astronomy Professor
  • Theoretical Astrophysicist
  • Observational Astrophysicist

Works Cited

"Astronomer Education." N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Apr. 2016.

"Astronomer: Job Info & Career Requirements." Study.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Apr. 2016.

"Department of Physics and Astronomy." Apply. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Apr. 2016.

"Science Careers: Astronomers Job Description, Education and Salary Outlook." U.S. News University Directory. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Apr. 2016.

"So, You Want to Get Involved in Astronomy?" Starts With A Bang. N.p., 03 May 2010. Web. 11 Apr. 2016.