Types Of Jobs For Recent Astronomy Graduates

Astronomy is an exciting and challenging field of study, incorporating elements of physics, mathematics, chemistry, and geology, all while studying space and the universe.

The appeal seems obvious, as those working in the industry can travel to exotic places, make profound discoveries and contributions to the world of science, and all while searching for the existence of alien life on other planets.

But with its appeal comes a high level of competition; there are only around 10, 000 astronomers worldwide. So even after an astronomy degree is obtained, what jobs are available in astronomy?

Radio Astronomers

Finding employment in radio astronomy is a popular first place to look. Radio astronomy is the study of radio waves and how they interact with the universe. Data is gathered on stars, planets, other galaxies, and many other celestial objects through the signals received. This particular job requires meticulous attention to detail, but the research possibilities are endless if employed in this position.

Planetary Astronomers

This field of astronomy is all about the study of the planets in our own solar system and other systems. Telescopes are used as the main tool in gathering the information, and data is then used to measure all the intricate details of the planets, as well as their moons and asteroids. If planets specifically have always interested you, obtaining employment as a planetary astronomer would be an excellent choice.


A cosmologist works as a more theoretical astronomer, and often works quite closely with physicists. Usually, cosmologists work off of the observations of other astronomers rather than make their own, and they then study the evolution of the universe and galaxies through time. Some of the greatest theories in astronomy have evolved from cosmologists, including the ‘big bang’ theory.

Securing An Internship After Graduation

With high levels of competition to find a job in astronomy, recent grads need to be willing to intern with professionals to get their foot in the door. Internships and fellowships can last a few years, so ensuring you take steps to stay afloat financially is important. Once the fellowship is complete and employment is obtained, it’s all uphill from there, with astronomers making an average of $45,000 to $68,000 per year. Finding a job in astronomy starts with a great internship and an opportunity to study under well established professors and astronomers, regardless of the possible fields you may wish to pursue.

Finding employment in astronomy as a recent grad is certainly possible, and as the universe stands as an area of research with endless possibilities, this make it one of the most exciting areas for employment in science. Contributor: Sally – Contact her at sally@diamondmail.net

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