Top Jobs for Astronomy Degree Majors

Not sure what to do with your astronomy degree? Here are some of the most popular careers for graduates in your field.

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8 Careers for Astronomy Grads

So you studied astronomy. What's next?

Astronomy is the oldest of all the natural sciences. It applies elements of physics and mathematics to study the planets, stars, and galaxies above. Astronomy majors explore fascinating questions about the formation of the universe and the celestial bodies within it.

In this degree program, students split their time between observing the skies and developing their theoretical understanding of astronomy. They take courses in geochemistry, cosmology, geology, and observational astronomy. They gain expertise with telescope operation, computational methods, and more.

Along the way, they also develop a valuable set of transferrable skills. Astronomy majors graduate with strong abilities in problem solving, computation, and graphical and statistical analysis. They know how to work with abstract ideas, perform complex calculations, and communicate their results clearly. Finally, they are detail-oriented, curious, and critical thinkers who are unafraid of tackling life's biggest questions. Together, these qualities prepare them well for many careers. Lets take a look at a few of the most common ones.

This article will be covering the following careers:

Career Avg Salary Satisfaction Your Match
Astronomer $139k 4.0/5
Exhibit Designer $63k 3.8/5
Systems Analyst $86k 3.1/5
Air Traffic Controller $128k 3.3/5
Aerospace Engineer $123k 3.6/5
Data Analyst $53k 3.0/5
Software Engineer $101k 3.2/5
Professor $77k 3.7/5
68% Match?

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1. Astronomer

Becoming a professional astronomer usually requires a PhD. But it can open some exciting doors. Some astronomers work in the aerospace sector. They support astronauts and engineers—researching, designing, and operating probes, cameras, satellites, and more. Others work as government researchers—one of the most lucrative career options for an astronomy major.

Astronomer Astronomer


Your Match?

An astronomer studies celestial objects and phenomena in the universe.

2. Exhibit Designer

Do you remember the first time you saw a telescope? Or the feeling you got when you learned that the stars are millions of lightyears away? By working at planetariums and museums, astronomy majors can help others discover that same curiosity and passion. As exhibit designers, they'll create shows for people of all ages—bringing cutting-edge science to the public in an accessible and engaging form.

Exhibit Designer Exhibit Designer

Exhibit Designer

Your Match?

An exhibit designer is responsible for conceptualizing, designing, and implementing exhibitions and displays for museums, galleries, trade shows, and other public spaces.

3. Systems Analyst

Astronomy majors graduate with sharp computer skills and an analytical mind. Both of these qualities prepare them well for a career as a computer systems analyst. In this job, they'll work with organizations to create more efficient, productive computer systems. Part business, part IT, part research—this can be an intellectually rewarding job for an astronomy grad.

Systems Analyst Systems Analyst

Systems Analyst

Your Match?

A systems analyst is responsible for studying, analyzing, and designing information systems to meet the specific needs of an organization.

4. Air Traffic Controller

Becoming an air traffic controller requires additional training and certification. But a degree in astronomy is an excellent foundation. Air traffic controllers help aircrafts of all shapes and sizes navigate the skies above. They use technology to view all air traffic in a given area, then coordinate that traffic to ensure all flights can land, pass, or take off as safely as possible.

Air Traffic Controller Air Traffic Controller

Air Traffic Controller

Your Match?

An air traffic controller is responsible for ensuring the safe and efficient movement of aircraft in the airspace.

5. Aerospace Engineer

Again, this career requires additional training. But for the right person, the payoff will be worth it. Aerospace engineers design, test, and build all kinds of aircrafts and spacecrafts. Astronomy majors already possess many of the technical skills, as well as the math and physics knowledge, needed to succeed in the career. Plus, they're fascinated by the mysteries of outer space—a passion that can take them far.

Aerospace Engineer Aerospace Engineer

Aerospace Engineer

Your Match?

An aerospace engineer specializes in the design, development, and maintenance of aircraft, spacecraft, satellites, and other related systems.

6. Data Analyst

Astronomy majors' computational and analytical skills are in high demand across a wide range of industries. For this reason, pursuing a career in data analysis can be a natural next step. Data analysts gather, organize, and interpret data of all kinds. By exploring everything from sales numbers to health statistics, they help their employers draw meaningful conclusions and more informed business decisions.

Data Analyst Data Analyst

Data Analyst

Your Match?

Data analysts are responsible for collecting, analyzing, and interpreting large sets of data to identify trends, patterns, and insights that can inform business decisions.

7. Software Engineer

Although a degree in computer science is an asset in this role, it isn't a must. Most employers are looking for software engineers with strong coding skills and an excellent foundation in problem solving and logical thinking. With a bit of self-study, astronomy majors will be well on their way to creating video games, accounting software, and everything in between.

Software Engineer Software Engineer

Software Engineer

Your Match?

A software engineer applies engineering principles to the design, development, testing, and maintenance of software systems.

8. Professor

Becoming an academic is one of most common career paths for an astronomy major. As faculty members at colleges or universities, they'll conduct research, publish academic papers, and teach astronomy courses. Depending on the school, they may also wind up teaching math or physics courses. Either way, this career can be mentally engaging and socially rewarding for many astronomy graduates.

Professor Professor


Your Match?

A professor holds a high-ranking position within an educational institution, typically at the college or university level.