CareerShip Home
About CareerShip
Contact Us
Mapping Your Future
Visit the Featured Career Match My Career Interests
Review Careers by Clusters Career Search

Details for Astronomers


Observe, research, and interpret celestial and astronomical phenomena to increase basic knowledge and apply such information to practical problems.


  • Teach astronomy or astrophysics.
  • Develop and modify astronomy-related programs for public presentation.
  • Calculate orbits, and determine sizes, shapes, brightness, and motions of different celestial bodies.
  • Direct the operations of a planetarium.
  • Study celestial phenomena, using a variety of ground-based and space-borne telescopes and scientific instruments.
  • Analyze research data to determine its significance, using computers.
  • Present research findings at scientific conferences, and in papers written for scientific journals.
  • 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.
  • Raise funds for scientific research.
  • Collaborate with other astronomers to carry out research projects.
  • Develop instrumentation and software for astronomical observation and analysis.


  • Realistic - Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
  • Investigative - Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
  • Artistic - Artistic occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.

Education, Training, Experience

  • Education - Most of these occupations require graduate school. For example, they may require a master's degree, and some require a Ph.D., M.D., or J.D. (law degree).
  • Training - Employees may need some on-the-job training, but most of these occupations assume that the person will already have the required skills, knowledge, work-related experience, and/or training.
  • Experience - Extensive skill, knowledge, and experience are needed for these occupations. Many require more than five years of experience. For example, surgeons must complete four years of college and an additional five to seven years of specialized medical training to be able to do their job.



  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Mathematics - Using mathematics to solve problems.
  • Science - Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Active Learning - Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
  • Learning Strategies - Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Instructing - Teaching others how to do something.
  • Complex Problem Solving - Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  • Judgment and Decision Making - Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

Related Careers

  • Aerospace Engineering and Operations Technicians
  • Civil Drafters
  • Electrical Engineering Technicians
  • Geoscientists, Except Hydrologists and Geographers
  • Hydrologists
  • Mechanical Engineers
  • Physicists
  • Surveyors
Wages for this career
America's Career InfoNet