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|
|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|
|Industrial Engineer||$83,340||$40.07||214,770||Normal||Bachelor’s 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|
|Software Developer||$94,180||$45.28||514,790||Good||Bachelor’s Degree|