Astronomers

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About the Job

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

It is also Called

  • Space Sciences Director
  • Scientist
  • Research Scientist
  • Professor
  • Physics Professor
  • Physics and Astronomy Professor
  • Observatory Director
  • Life Sciences Director
  • Institute Scientist
  • Institute Director
View All

What They Do

  • Direct the operations of a planetarium.
  • Calculate orbits and determine sizes, shapes, brightness, and motions of different celestial bodies.
  • Develop and modify astronomy-related programs for public presentation.
  • Serve on professional panels and committees.
  • Review scientific proposals and research papers.
  • Develop instrumentation and software for astronomical observation and analysis.
  • Teach astronomy or astrophysics.
  • Measure radio, infrared, gamma, and x-ray emissions from extraterrestrial sources.
  • Raise funds for scientific research.
  • Present research findings at scientific conferences and in papers written for scientific journals.

Interests

People who work in this occupation generally have the interest code: IAR.

This means people who work in this occupation generally have Investigative interests, but also prefer Artistic and Realistic environments.

Work Values

People who work in this occupation generally prize Achievement, but also value Recognition and Independence in their jobs.

Things They Need to Know

  • Physics - Knowledge and prediction of physical principles, laws, their interrelationships, and applications to understanding fluid, material, and atmospheric dynamics, and mechanical, electrical, atomic and sub- atomic structures and processes.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.

Things They Need to Be Able to Do

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Mathematics - Using mathematics to solve problems.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Education Required

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).

Wages

Pennsylvania wage information is not available

Outlook

0.00%
avg. annual growth

During 2010, this occupation employed approximately 10 people in Pennsylvania. It is projected that there will be 10 employed in 2020.

This occupation will have about 0 openings due to growth and about 0 replacement openings for approximately 0 total annual openings.



Pennsylvania Department of Education