Salary and Outlook
According to the US Department of Labor, there are 2,200 people employed as career profile - astronomers in
the United States.
The median annual salary is $128,160. Entry level employees earn approximately $61,910 per year and senior employees earn approximately $208,000 (or more) per year.
Estimates do not include other potential benefits such as health insurance, overtime, or retirement benefits that may be offered by employers.
- Review scientific proposals and research papers.
- Develop theories based on personal observations or on observations and theories of other astronomers.
- Calculate orbits and determine sizes, shapes, brightness, and motions of different celestial bodies.
- Serve on professional panels and committees.
- Develop and modify astronomy-related programs for public presentation.
- Conduct question-and-answer presentations on astronomy topics with public audiences.
- Direct the operations of a planetarium.
- Develop instrumentation and software for astronomical observation and analysis.
- Mentor graduate students and junior colleagues.
- Present research findings at scientific conferences and in papers written for scientific journals.
- Collaborate with other astronomers to carry out research projects.
- Analyze research data to determine its significance, using computers.
- Study celestial phenomena, using a variety of ground-based and space-borne telescopes and scientific instruments.
- Supervise students' research on celestial and astronomical phenomena.
- Raise funds for scientific research.
- Teach astronomy or astrophysics.
- Measure radio, infrared, gamma, and x-ray emissions from extraterrestrial sources.