Astronomy is a fun and exciting career, but it’s also challenging. Studying the night sky, studying celestial objects and phenomena, and solving problems—are all things that make astronomy an excellent career choice.
If you become an astronomer, you will research how matter and energy interplay. Here are a few points to help you see how wise it would be to pursue a career in astronomy and see if it’s worthwhile.
Is Astronomy A Good Career?
Astronomy is a promising career if you’re interested in being a scientist or enjoy studying the stars. The best part about astronomy is that many different types of jobs are available. Furthermore, astronomers have outstanding salaries and excellent job satisfaction. In addition, an astronomer requires developing investigative interests in natural science and solid mathematical expertise. Lastly, Doctorate degrees are typically a requirement for this career.
1. Curiosity and Celestial Objects
Astronomy is the branch of science that researches astronomical laws.
It is a natural science that looks into celestial events and phenomena. Describing their origins and evolution requires math, physics, and chemistry.
In addition, astronomy offers an unparalleled opportunity to gain knowledge, such as the constituents of deep space or the quest for life elsewhere in the universe.
Astronomy experts can carry out an investigation and put their beliefs to proof. An astronomy-based position is appropriate if you enjoy mathematics and science’s complexities.
2. Fulfilling Career but Strange Hours
A comfortable living salary, a fulfilling and gratifying profession, and top-tier monetary rewards are all provided by a career in astronomy.
However, this job occasionally requires long hours and traveling to far-off locations. In addition, astronomers work late at night as they frequently collect information at night because of the nature of their work.
Astronomers’ training sessions regularly occur at night. Students should plan on researching during the day and engaging in hands-on activities after the sun sets.
Before beginning their careers, most individuals in this field devote several years to a doctoral degree.
Overall, astronomers feel great accomplishment knowing that their effort impacts the world.
3. Well Paying Job
An aspiring astronomer can expect lucrative compensation.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual salary of an astronomer is $139,410, with top earners making over $175,000.
It is not surprising that astronomy is among the top 25 highest-paying occupations.
Prominent astronomy careers with good pay and diversity of work settings include the following:
- Research Scientist
- Aeronautical Engineer
- Senior Technical Writer
Astronomers also enjoy a variety of benefits and perks, including:
- Reimbursement for travel
- Maternity and Paternity Leave
4. Investigative Interests
Astronomers usually develop investigative interests. They enjoy completing tasks that involve high-level thinking and concepts.
Some of them enjoy looking up evidence and solving issues in their minds.
They also have artistic interests in engaging with creative patterns, forms, and structures. Therefore, they prefer jobs that enable creative expression.
In addition, the achievement is significant to these professionals. They appreciate using their best skills and witnessing the fruits of their labor because it gives them a feeling of accomplishment.
As a result, some individuals have incorporated astronomy into their daily lives as a hobby and a profession.
To pursue a career in astronomy, an individual typically obtains a Ph.D. Expect to finish your astronomy studies in about nine years.
The following steps are typical for an astronomer:
Step 1: Two-Year Associate of Science
Step 2: Bachelor’s Degree in Astronomy
Step 3: Graduate Degree-Master’s in Astronomy
Step 4: Astronomy Doctorate
Astronomers can also join the following associations such as:
6. Strong Mathematical and Other Skills
In this profession, knowing advanced mathematics increases your chance of being able to contribute to research and help in putting the elements of modern astronomy together.
Numerous astronomical facts and ideas, as well as many other astronomical calculations, are highly dependent on mathematical concepts.
This career also needs a specific skill set on the scientific and technological side, such as:
- Understanding of Physics
- Analytical skills
- Reasoning and logic
- Concentration skills
Additionally, some of the soft skills might include:
- Communication skills
- Openness to change
To begin their careers as professionals, some engage in NASA internship programs.
NASA training could include working on a project stimulating photospheres and chromospheres.
Others work at the Launch Services Program with duties involving:
- assessing vehicle data from commercial launch service suppliers
- launch countdowns
- rocket operating tests
- evaluating irregularities and faults
For some interns, their internship means that they get to conduct research in coding and astrophysics.
They are fortunate they got the chance to encounter many knowledgeable individuals and discover the information they need to know about what NASA performs.
8. Career Outlook
Over this decade, the overall employment of physicists and astronomers will rise by 8%, with 1,500 new job opportunities yearly.
As an alternative, you might choose from a variety of employment options in the field of astronomy:
- Astronomy Research Scientist
- Astronomy Curators
- Astronomy Teachers
Although the majority of astronomers hold advanced degrees, individuals who specialized in astronomy or physics in university might engage in support positions at:
- Government Observatories
- National Laboratories
- Federal Agencies
- University Astronomy Departments
9. Work-life Balance
As an astronomer, being semi-nocturnal is the most significant shift in lifestyle at an observatory.
In most cases, physicists and astronomers are full-time professionals; some work 40 hours per week.
On typical workdays, astronomers work with the telescope and analyze data, capture images, and create computer programs to assist them with their activities.
Depending on when celestial phenomena occur, they may need to make observations at midnight or on the weekends, making them sacrifice some of their time off.
After finishing their work, they could also feel somewhat exhausted.
To maintain their body clock in harmony with a nocturnal lifestyle, they will be required to fight sleep for a bit longer and stay awake late.
Astronomy is a great career! If you love science, and if you love the idea of studying the universe. But even if you don’t pursue a career in it, there are plenty of reasons for hobbyists or amateur astronomers to try this fascinating field.
You never know—you might even make discoveries along the way.
But don’t just take our word for it—ask anyone who has ever been an astronomer or studied the subject extensively. They’ll tell you that being an astronomer is one of the most rewarding things they’ve ever done.
Ultimately, astronomy is growing and thriving. The progress made in technology is worth considering as we move forward.