Use the laws of physics to explain how the universe works.

Quick Stats

Salary Range
$49,000 – $155,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Astrophysicists do?

Lights! Camera! Motion!

Astrophysicists are fascinated with the hidden principles that serve as the glue holding the universe together: motion, light, and other forces of nature. Think of an Astrophysicist as a Linguist learning to record and translate the intricate language of the galaxy to see what it has to say.

But what exactly is astrophysics? Why, it’s theoretical physics, my dear Watson. If you’re an Astrophysicist, you use the laws of mathematics to describe how and why seemingly random events happen in nature. Underneath all the chaos lie surprisingly consistent forces, such as gravity and light, that behave according to a set of rules.

For you, a typical day involves waking up, heading to your office, and continuing a research project you’ve been working on for the last year. You flip through lengthy books and reports on the findings of other Scientists, set up equipment for your own experiments, and perform mathematical calculations to try and explain new theories on how parts of the universe work.

Many Astrophysicists specialize in a particular field of study, such as black holes—a dark subject if ever there was one. It’s impossible, of course, to go examine these celestial bodies in person, and that’s why your theories are so crucial. By observing, researching, and writing up compelling evidence to support your claims, you can make world-changing breakthroughs to explain objects that—for now—remain shrouded in mystery. It’s one small report for you, but one giant leap for science.

Should I be an Astrophysicist?

You should have a doctoral degree or higher and share these traits:
  • 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.
  • Trustworthy: You are known for your personal integrity and honesty.

  • How to become an Astrophysicist

    Most Astrophysicists 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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