What kinds of jobs do astronomers do? (Intermediate)

If I became an astronomer, what kind of a job would I get?

After getting their doctoral degree, most astronomers take a number of short term jobs called "postdocs" which last two years or so each; some postdocs, especially those associated with a major fellowship prize, can last three years or even five. During this time, postdocs are busy doing research and publishing papers to establish themselves as independent researchers. After some number of postdocs, they can then find a position on the faculty of a college or university, where they teach and do research, or they can get a position at a research institution. I've also known a couple of PhD's who got faculty positions right out of graduate school.

Page last updated on June 19, 2015.

About the Author

Britt Scharringhausen

Britt studies the rings of Saturn. She got her PhD from Cornell in 2006 and is now a Professor at Beloit College in Wisconson.

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