Space Physicist

Shed light on the physical phenomena of outer space.
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Quick Stats


Salary Range
$80,000 – $139,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor


What do Space Physicists do?

Forget your regular old liquids and solids. Plasmas are a very awesome state of matter where gas particles become charged. The study of plasmas in space is the domain of Space Physicists, and the final frontier is literally filled with billions of plasmas, including stars like our very own sun. For Space Physicists, solar winds, cosmic rays, and even beautiful auroras are the fantastic phenomena that they deal with every day.

As a Space Physicist, your eyes are always on the cosmos, whether it’s from the floor of a high-tech observatory or in communication with space stations or NASA rockets. You differ from an Astronomer in that you use measurements and data obtained from spacecrafts and satellites. More than a mere observer, you collect data, and are able to plot and record astrological events as they happen and make their way to our planet.

Solar flares are ordinarily a harmless occurrence, but occasionally, a massive burst of the plasma can reach us, reacting with the Earth’s geomagnetic field, and confusing animals and compasses alike. You track these flares and solar winds, measuring their influence on electronics and magnets on land, and studying how plasmas can disrupt or damage the satellites circling the globe.

Even though your days away from the lab are spent writing papers on your findings and crafting proposals for funding to extend your research, you’re still a part of groundbreaking work each day. Cosmic rays are plasmas with higher energies than we can produce in labs, and learning more about them could mean a new scientific revolution. The physics of space plasmas is exciting because it’s a piece of the great beyond that’s right at our doorstep, ready to be opened up and studied.


Should I be a Space Physicist?

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.

  • Also known as: Mass Spectroscopist, Molecular Spectroscopist, Rocket Scientist

    How to become a Space Physicist

    Most Space Physicists have a Doctorate. Start by getting your Bachelor's degree. Chart?chd=s:cbdwa9&chl=no+college+%282%25%29|certificate+%281%25%29|associate%27s+%283%25%29|bachelor%27s+%2819%25%29|master%27s+%2822%25%29|doctorate+%2852%25%29&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,2,52
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