What Can I Do With a Major in Astronomy?

In school, astronomy majors learn how to use mathematics and computers to solve complex problems. Even though their studies focus on solving problems related to physics and the universe, the problem solving skills that astronomy majors develop are valuable in many jobs unrelated to the subject.

Very few astronomy majors end up working as astronomers (a Ph.D. in astronomy is needed to work in that occupation). However, their mathematical, programming, and problem solving abilities are valuable in many different occupations.

Some students who major in astronomy end up pursuing a career in an engineering occupation like electrical engineering, electronics engineering, or aerospace engineering. Others go on to work in education, business, and sales. In short, there are many different career options available to astronomy majors if they remain flexible and are able to apply their knowledge in creative ways.

People who graduate from an astronomy program earn a median salary of $62,000, and enjoy an extremely low unemployment rate. Generally speaking, salaries tend to rise as your career progresses, so your initial salary is likely to be much lower than the median.

Career Options for Astronomy Majors

Below is a list of common career choices for people who graduate with a degree in astronomy. This is not a comprehensive list, as astronomy majors go on to work in many different occupations. However, the occupations below should give you a good idea of the types of work that astronomy majors are able to do after graduation.

Occupation Median Salary Median Hourly Current jobs Outlook Required Education
Aerospace Engineer $97,480 $46.87 71,610 Normal Bachelor’s degree
Astronomer $87,260 $41.95 1,470 Normal Doctoral degree
Chemical Engineer $90,300 $43.41 31,660 Normal Bachelor’s degree
College Professor $62,050 $29.83 1,756,000 Good Graduate Degree
Computer Systems Analyst $77,740 $37.38 235,410 Normal Bachelor’s degree
Electrical Engineer $84,540 $40.64 157,800 Normal Bachelor’s degree
Elementary School Teacher $51,660 $24.84 1,549,520 Good Bachelor’s Degree
High School Teacher $53,230 $25.59 1,109,500 Good Bachelor’s Degree
Hydrologist $75,690 $36.39 8,130 Normal Master’s Degree
Industrial Engineer $83,340 $40.07 214,770 Normal Bachelor’s degree
Mathematician $99,380 $47.78 2,940 Good Doctoral degree
Mechanical Engineer $78,160 $37.58 238,700 Normal Bachelor’s degree
Middle School Teacher $51,960 $24.98 659,460 Good Bachelor’s Degree
Physicist $86,410 $41.54 15,620 Normal Doctoral Degree
Software Developer $94,180 $45.28 514,790 Good Bachelor’s Degree
Statistician $73,720 $35.44 22,560 Normal Master’s Degree
Updated: 13/03/2017

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