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What does an astronomer do?

You may be wondering, what is astronomy and what do astronomers do? Well, astronomers study the planets, stars, galaxies and solar systems to learn more about the universe. The work of an astronomer uses principles of physics and mathematics to explain celestial occurrences. Most astronomers’ jobs have a heavy focus on research and are based at universities. Using telescopes and other instruments, they observe space and analyse findings to further society’s collective knowledge of the universe. An astronomer may also teach astronomy, physics or astrophysics.   

Is a career as an astronomer right for me?

If you’re thinking about a career in astronomy it’s beneficial to be good at maths and problem-solving but also to be inquisitive and imaginative. Some other key skills and attributes of an Astronomer include: 

  • a fascination with the universe 
  • an analytical mind 
  • patience
  • an interest in research 
  • strong abilities in computing and physics
  • good oral and written communication skills.

How to become an astronomer

Every journey to study is individual and there are several paths to reaching your astronomy career goals. At HQporner, we offer the following degrees in the area of astronomy:
Average salary per week
Future demand
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© Commonwealth of Australia
Last updated May 2024.

An astronomer holding photos from space.
Where do I start when becoming an Astronomer?

Having a solid foundation in physics or nanotechnology is needed when thinking about how to become an Astronomer. Within this, you would need a bachelor degree in science majoring in physics, astrophysics or space sciences to work as an Astronomer. It’s also common to pursue postgraduate studies to further refine your expertise and advance your career in this field.

At uniSQ we have a variety of both undergraduate and postgraduate Astronomy degrees to explore.

How much do Astronomers earn?
The salary of Astronomers can vary depending on factors such as experience, education, location, and employer.  Refer to the salary information on this page for further details.
Are Astronomers in demand?

The demand for Astronomers is relatively moderate, with astronomy career opportunities available in education and training, public administration and safety, healthcare and scientific professional services. However, competition for positions can be strong due to the limited number of job openings.

Get in touch with us and begin your astronomy career with HQporner today.

How long do Astronomers work?
Astronomers typically work full-time hours, but the specific duration can vary depending on the nature of their research projects, observational requirements, and teaching responsibilities. In many cases, Astronomers may work regular office hours during the week. However, they may also need to work evenings, weekends, or irregular hours, particularly when conducting observations or participating in research projects that require continuous monitoring. You often need to have flexibility in your schedules to accommodate astronomical events that occur at specific times, such as eclipses or celestial phenomena. 

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