What other careers involve Astronomy besides Astronomer? (Intermediate)

I was wondering if there are other careers in Astronomy besides an Astronomer. I love space and have always had a huge fascination with stars and planets and was looking for a career that could involve my passion for outer space. I hope you can help me...

Well, I personally think being an Astronomer is the best job there is, but I'm biased.

There are actually a lot of other jobs that involve Astronomy directly and indirectly. So here are a few:

Engineer or Programmer - NASA, along with other other research institutes for Astronomy, employ lots of engineers and computer programmers to help run their space programs. They work on instruments on spacecrafts and experiments, or they create specialized computer code to solve problems. Without engineers, Astronomers would be grounded forever!

Amateur Astronomer - there are many people out there that love Astronomy, but don't make it as their career. They get together and look at stars, and keep up with the latest Astronomy news. Astronomy is one of those fields that actually have amateurs contributing to it! For example, one of the discoverers of the Levy-Shoemaker comet (Levy) was not a professional Astronomer.

Teacher - get the word out about Astronomy! One of the best jobs in the world, I think, is to get everyone else to love astronomy as much as you do. Astronomy is one of the sciences that people know least about, and it would be great to teach others about it.

Public Outreach - Many research institutes and other organizations employ people to carry out public outreach, engaging children, adults, and professionals in the wonder of Astronomy. Public outreach professionals write press releases that you see online and in newspapers informing people about exciting research and discoveries; they work in museums, creating exhibits, hosting planetarium shows, and offering hands-on learning opportunities; they work with schools and teachers to provide additional training; and much, much more. This is another way to get people excited about Astronomy!

There are so many careers that involve Astronomy, that I can't list them all! But whatever you end up doing, I hope you'll be very happy doing it.

This page was last updated on June 18, 2015 by Ann Martin.

About the Author

Lisa Wei

Lisa graduated from Cornell in May 2004 with a Bachelors in Astronomy. While here she studied frost streaks on Mars and the substructures in the Virgo Cluster. She is now a graduate student in Astronomy at the University of Maryland.

Here is a list of some questions answered by Lisa (2003-2004).

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