Also called: Astronomer, Astrophysicist, Research Scientist, Scientist
In the Air Force: Astronaut
In the Army: Army Astronaut
Produced by CareerOneStop
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Physicists and astronomers explore the dimensions of the universe… from the vastness of intergalactic space… to minute subatomic particles. They study the ways different forms of matter and energy interact. Physicists explore the laws that govern space and time. They may focus on theoretical areas like how the universe was formed, or take a more practical direction such as developing laser surgery technology. Astronomers study planets, stars, and other celestial bodies. Using telescopes and space-based equipment, their research may examine our own solar system, or aim at distant galaxies. Most physicists and astronomers work full time, often on teams with engineers and other scientists. They are employed by higher education institutions, scientific research and development organizations, and the federal government— especially NASA and the Department of Defense. Some need to apply for research grants to fund their work. Astronomers and physicists do most of their work in offices. Astronomers visit observatories occasionally as data from observations has become widely available via the Internet. Some physics experiments require particle accelerators or nuclear reactors, but most research is conducted in smaller laboratories. Research and academic positions require a Ph.D. A master’s degree qualifies candidates for most positions in manufacturing and healthcare. The Federal government employs scientists with degrees ranging from a bachelor’s to a Ph.D., depending on the position and agency.
What they do:Observe, research, and interpret astronomical phenomena to increase basic knowledge or apply such information to practical problems.
On the job, you would:
- 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.
Math and Science
Engineering and Technology
Arts and Humanities
Education and Training
People and Technology Systems
Ideas and Logic
People interested in this work like activities that include ideas, thinking, and figuring things out.
They do well at jobs that need:
See more details at O*NET OnLine about astronomers.