All About Astronomers
Astronomer Definition Observe, research, and interpret astronomical phenomena to increase basic knowledge or apply such information to practical problems.
Life As an Astronomer
- Develop instrumentation and software for astronomical observation and analysis.
- Direct the operations of a planetarium.
- Develop and modify astronomy-related programs for public presentation.
- Serve on professional panels and committees.
- Measure radio, infrared, gamma, and x-ray emissions from extraterrestrial sources.
- Develop theories based on personal observations or on observations and theories of other astronomers.
What an Astronomer Should Know
Astronomers state the following job skills are important in their day-to-day work.
Science: Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Active Learning: Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Writing: Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
Mathematics: Using mathematics to solve problems.
Related Job Titles for this Occupation:
- Physics Professor
- Observatory Director
- Institute Scientist
- Associate Professor
- Assistant Professor
Is There Job Demand for Astronomers?
There were about 2,000 jobs for Astronomer in 2016 (in the United States). New jobs are being produced at a rate of 10% which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 200 new jobs for Astronomer by 2026. The BLS estimates 200 yearly job openings in this field.
The states with the most job growth for Astronomer are Arizona, Washington, and Texas. Watch out if you plan on working in Hawaii, Maryland, or Texas. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.
Astronomer Average Salary
The typical yearly salary for Astronomers is somewhere between $57,490 and $165,770.
Astronomers who work in District of Columbia, California, or Hawaii, make the highest salaries.
Below is a list of the median annual salaries for Astronomers in different U.S. states.
|State||Annual Mean Salary|
|District of Columbia||$123,640|
What Tools do Astronomers Use?
Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Astronomers:
- Microsoft Excel
- Microsoft Word
- Microsoft Office
- Microsoft PowerPoint
- Web browser software
- Structured query language SQL
- The MathWorks MATLAB
- IBM SPSS Statistics
- National Instruments LabVIEW
- Apache Hadoop
- Formula translation/translator FORTRAN
- Software development tools
- Interface definition language IDL
- Visual Numerics PV-WAVE
How do I Become an Astronomer?
Learn what Astronomer education requirements there are.
How many years of work experience do I need?
Where Astronomers Work
The table below shows the approximate number of Astronomers employed by various industries.
More about our data sources and methodologies.