What is an astronomer

What is an astronomer? An astronomer is a professional scientist who takes the time to study, research, and analyze space, matter, and the universe. They usually work in laboratories or observatories and work on a full time basis. Those who are passionate about astronomy or other sciences may find this to be a riveting career to pursue.
How do you become an astronomer? Those are interested in becoming an astronomer should begin honing their skills while still in high school. This means taking more courses in science and mathematics or joining afterschool programs that focus on sciences. Once the individual has graduated from high school, they will need to continue to pursue their education in college with the focus on physics, engineering, or mathematics. It should also be stated that even though the focal point should be science programs, students will need to be able to communicate their findings and understandings as well so being proficient and skilled in writing as well. Once a student completes their time in college they will receive their bachelor’s degree in whichever science major they’ve selected.
Following college is graduate school to earn a Ph.D. Scientists need to have a Ph.D. or master’s degree if they wish to expand their career. While working towards a Ph.D., the student can also earn income and hands on experience via assistantships. Unlike internships, these programs pays students while they garner the experience needed to pursue their career of choice. Once the student has achieved his Ph.D. he can begin to apply for certain postings.
What is daily life like for an astronomer? While astronomers do study the universe, it doesn’t mean they are always observing space through a telescope. Much of their work is research and analysis. Many spend their time on the computer in the lab or observatory. They also work with many tools such as spectrographs and radarbased surveillance systems to monitor space debris and space satellites.
Should you pursue a career as an astronomer? Astronomers are paid very well for the work that they do. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary as of 2012 is $106,360. It does take quite a lot of time and studying to become an astronomer so if science is not your passion, this may not be a career you wish to pursue. Always remember that in order to succeed in a career, you should have a passion for it as well.
Sources:
1. http://www.bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/physicists-and-astronomers.htm
2. http://asa.astronomy.org.au/become.html
3. http://www.rmg.co.uk/explore/astronomy-and-time/astronomy-facts/general/how-to-become-an-astronomer
4. http://www.onetonline.org/link/summary/19-2011.00

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