Planit


Astronomer or Astrophysicist

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Astronomers or astrophysicists study the universe to help us understand the physical matter and processes in our own solar system and other galaxies. It involves studying large objects, such as planets, as well as tiny particles. They may specialise in a particular area, for example tracking the position and movement of space objects or how galaxies are formed.

The Work

You could be:

Pay

The figures below are only a guide. Actual pay rates may vary, depending on:

The starting salaries for astronomers or astrophysicists in postdoctoral research posts are normally in the range of £26,000 to £39,000 a year. Senior (or advanced) researchers and university lecturers earn up to £60,000 a year.

Conditions

Workforce Employment Status

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Getting In

Most jobs are attached to universities. Because competition for astronomy jobs is fierce, many astronomy graduates work in related areas such as systems analysis, software development, aerospace or satellite research and development.

Students with PhDs in astrophysics or astronomy are very employable because of their skills in mathematical modelling and data handling. These skills are relevant to banking, finance, education, the scientific civil service and in managing science.

Workforce Education Levels (UK)

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Job Outlook Scotland

Employment

Unemployment

Percentage of workforce registered as unemployed (Scotland)

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Job Outlook Scotland and UK

  Scotland
2018
3460
1.4 %
RISE
2023
3507
  United Kingdom
2018
27795
3.3 %
RISE
2023
28715

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What Does it Take?

You must be:

You should have:

Training

Getting On

More Information

The website spacecareers.uk has lots of information on careers on the space sector, including interviews with professionals so that you can read about what it's really like to work in space related jobs.

Contacts

The following organisations may be able to provide further information.

British Astronomical Association
Tel: 020 7734 4145
Website: http://www.britastro.org/
Twitter: @BritAstro
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BritAstro/

Royal Astronomical Society (RAS)
Tel: 020 7734 4582/3307
Website: http://ras.ac.uk
Twitter: @RoyalAstroSoc
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RoyalAstroSoc

The Royal Astronomical Society is a professional body which encourages and promotes not only astronomy but also geophysics, solar and solar-terrestrial physics and planetary sciences.

Royal Observatory, Edinburgh
Website: http://www.roe.ac.uk
Twitter: @RoyalObs

Science Council
Tel: 020 3434 2020
E-mail: enquiries@sciencecouncil.org
Website: http://www.sciencecouncil.org/
Website (2): http://www.futuremorph.org/
Twitter: @Science_Council

The Science Council promotes the advancement and dissemination of knowledge of and education in science, technology, mathematics, computing and information technology. It awards the designation of Chartered Scientist (CSci) to those candidates who can meet the high standards required.

Society for Popular Astronomy
Website: http://www.popastro.com
Twitter: @popastro

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