An astronomer is a scientist who specializes in studying the stars and other celestial bodies. They usually operate a telescope, using it to observe the tendencies in stars’ movements, record and analyze them. Additionally, an astronomer may make use of various kinds of technology, such as cameras with long exposure times, to capture images of the sky for later analysis. A modern astronomer spends a lot of time working with a computer in order to process their data, and also uses lots of external sources of information, besides their own ones.
A formal education increases an individual’s chances of attaining employment as an astronomer greatly, and of course a Master’s degree is preferred over a Bachelor’s. Note that while there is a specific education course related to astronomy, some astronomers only have formal education in general physics or a specific physics branch not related to astronomy – it’s not necessary to have undergone education specifically related to the field of astronomy. Additionally, astronomers should possess good teaching skills, as they tend to spend a lot of time giving courses to undergraduates in universities and colleges.
Astronomers are generally paid highly, with the median salary going around $98,000. For most astronomers, the annual income ranges between $75,000 -$80,000, and some manage to make over $100,000 with enough experience and profficiency. The type of degree attained from formal education tends to influence the annual salary to a great extent, with those possessing Master’s degrees earning around $10,000 – $15,000 more.