Astronomy Professor

Teach university students about astronomy.
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Quick Stats

Salary Range
$49,000 – $155,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Astronomy Professors do?

When your friends say you have your head in the clouds, they aren’t thinking quite high enough. As an Astronomy Professor, you focus on objects far above the Earth’s atmosphere, like stars and asteroids. Astronomy Professors research and track the latest events in outer space, and teach college students about the cosmic field of astronomy.

As an Astronomy Professor, you divide your time between the classroom and your office or laboratory. Many a starry night is spent gazing into the sky with a high-powered telescope and charting the path of planets. Orbiting satellites also send much of the data you use to create your reports.

During the day, you cover the basics of astronomy with your beginning classes, and then you move on to advanced astronomy in the afternoon. In between lectures, you grade essays, write out test questions, and brainstorm new lab ideas.

Most astronomy classes have a day for lecturing and a day for lab work. Your labs cover everything from tracking the movement of the sun through an entire semester to spotting constellations in the sky at night. Students learn how stars are formed, how to use a telescope, and how to identify planets.

At heart, you’re a Scientist and a Writer as well as a Teacher. You publish articles about significant astronomical events, like eclipses, and predict how changes in space could affect the Earth. By passing your knowledge on to your students, you help train future generations to carry on your work.

Should I be an Astronomy Professor?

You should have a doctoral degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Trustworthy: You are known for your personal integrity and honesty.
  • Logical Thinker: You take a step-by-step approach to analyze information and solve problems.
  • Detail Oriented: You pay close attention to all the little details.

  • Also known as: Physics and Astronomy Professor

    How to become an Astronomy Professor

    Most Astronomy Professors have a Doctorate. Start by getting your Bachelor's degree. Chart?chd=s:aaaag9&chl=||||master%27s+%289%25%29|doctorate+%2891%25%29&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,0,91
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