Astronomers observe and research planets, stars, galaxies and other objects through the electromagnetic spectrums and understanding general principles of maths and science.

Where astronomers are employed

Most astronomers work in government agencies such as the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), in observatories including the Australian Telescope National Facility (for radio astronomers) and the Anglo-Australian Observatory for optical astronomers, or in universities.

Job prospects

Jobs in astronomy usually incorporate an element of teaching, administration or instrumentation design and development. Many astronomers find work in related fields such as physics, applied maths and computing. It is advisable to complete an additional major in one of these fields. Demand for this occupation is influenced by the level of government funding for research, capital investment and the opportunity for overseas research.

How to become one

Usually you need a science degree with a major in astronomy, physics or astrophysics with honours, followed by a postgraduate qualification in astronomy or astrophysics. At school consider doing English, maths, physics, chemistry, biology, and psychology and geography if available.

For information on course admission requirements and how to apply to the universities and TAFE in South Australia visit the South Australian Tertiary Admissions Centre (SATAC).

Check South Australian universities at The University of Adelaide, Flinders University and University of South Australia.

For information about Australian universities visit Quality Indicators for Learning and Teaching (QILT)

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Useful links

Career information has been sourced from government publications, see data sources for more information. 

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