Career Overview

Astronomers study the ways in which various forms of matter and energy interact. They may study the nature of time or the origin of the universe, and they may conduct observational and theoretical research to extend knowledge of the universe.


A doctoral degree in astronomy, physics, or a related field is probably necessary to obtain these positions. A doctorate may take an additional four-five years to earn after first earning a four-year bachelor’s degree, depending on the specific program.

Salary Expectations

Low End:
High End:
$54,000 /yr
$104,000 /yr
$165,000 /yr

Recommended Courses

  • English - as much as possible!
  • Communication
  • Math - as much as possible, including calculus!
  • Science - as much as possible, including physics!
Work Environment

Astronomers are typically employed by universities, research facilities, and the government. They spend much of their time working in offices, but they also conduct research in laboratories and observatories.

Future Outlook

There will likely be strong competition for these positions. Opportunities may differ based on geographical location.

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook
Explore Careers, Labour Market Information, Government of Canada