Career and Education Opportunities for Astronomers in Columbia, Maryland
Astronomers can find many career and educational opportunities in the Columbia, Maryland area. The national trend for astronomers sees this job pool growing by about 16.0% over the next eight years. In general, astronomers observe, research, and interpret celestial and astronomical phenomena to increase basic knowledge and apply such information to practical problems.
The income of an astronomer is about $62 hourly or $130,700 per year on average in Maryland. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $48 per hour or $101,300 per year on average. Astronomers earn more than people working in the category of Physical Sciences generally in Maryland and more than people in the Physical Sciences category nationally. People working as astronomers can fill a number of jobs, such as: lunar and planetary institute director, research scientist, and astronomy professor.
There are 109 schools of higher education in the Columbia area, including two within twenty-five miles of Columbia where you can get a degree to start your career as an astronomer. The most common level of education for astronomers is post-Doctoral training. It will take at least four or five years to learn to be an astronomer if you already have a Bachelor's degree, or at least eight to ten years if you have a high school diploma.
CAREER DESCRIPTION: Astronomer
In general, astronomers observe, research, and interpret celestial and astronomical phenomena to increase basic knowledge and apply such information to practical problems.
Astronomers study celestial phenomena, using a variety of ground-based and space-borne telescopes and scientific instruments. They also collaborate with other astronomers to carry out research projects. Equally important, astronomers have to raise funds for scientific research. They are often called upon to design theories on the basis of personal observations or on observations and theories of other astronomers. They are expected to present research findings at scientific conferences and in papers written for scientific journals. Finally, astronomers design and modify astronomy-related programs for public presentation.
Every day, astronomers are expected to be able to articulate ideas and problems. They need to read and understand documents and reports. It is also important that they write clearly and communicate well.
It is important for astronomers to calculate orbits and decide on sizes, shapes and motions of different celestial bodies. They are often called upon to direct the operations of a planetarium. They also design and modify astronomy-related programs for public presentation. Somewhat less frequently, astronomers are also expected to direct the operations of a planetarium.
Astronomers sometimes are asked to teach astronomy or astrophysics. and measure radio and x-ray emissions from extraterrestrial sources. And finally, they sometimes have to study celestial phenomena, using a variety of ground-based and space-borne telescopes and scientific instruments.
Like many other jobs, astronomers must be able to absorb the factors involved and a problem and provide a well thought out solution and have an achievement oriented outlook with an eye towards personal and professional growth.
Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Columbia include:
- Atmospheric Scientist. Investigate atmospheric phenomena and interpret meteorological data gathered by surface and air stations, satellites, and radar to prepare reports and forecasts for public and other uses.
- Chemist. Conduct qualitative and quantitative chemical analyses or chemical experiments in laboratories for quality or process control or to develop new products or knowledge.
- Environmental Health and Safety Specialist. Conduct research or perform investigation for the purpose of identifying, abating, or eliminating sources of pollutants or hazards that affect either the environment or the health of the population. Utilizing knowledge of various scientific disciplines may collect, synthesize, and take action based on data derived from measurements or observations of air, food, and other sources.
- Geological Specialist. Study the composition, structure, and other physical aspects of the earth. May use geological, physics, and mathematics knowledge in exploration for oil, gas, or underground water; or in waste disposal, land reclamation, or other environmental problems. May study the earth's internal composition, atmospheres, and its magnetic, electrical, and gravitational forces. Includes mineralogists, crystallographers, and seismologists.
- Hydrologist. Research the distribution, circulation, and physical properties of underground and surface waters; study the form and intensity of precipitation, its rate of infiltration into the soil, movement through the earth, and its return to the ocean and atmosphere.
EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Astronomer Training
George Mason University - Fairfax, VA
George Mason University, 4400 University Dr, Fairfax, VA 22030-4444. George Mason University is a large university located in Fairfax, Virginia. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 30,800 students and an admission rate of 63%. George Mason University has a bachelor's degree program in Astronomy which graduated one student in 2008.
University of Maryland-College Park - College Park, MD
University of Maryland-College Park, , College Park, MD 20742. University of Maryland-College Park is a large university located in College Park, Maryland. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 37,000 students and an admission rate of 39%. University of Maryland-College Park has bachelor's degree, master's degree, and doctor's degree programs in Astronomy which graduated two, five, and eight students respectively in 2008.
LOCATION INFORMATION: Columbia, Maryland
Columbia is located in Howard County, Maryland. It has a population of over 96,421. The cost of living index in Columbia, 100, is near the national average.
The three most popular industries for women in Columbia are educational services, health care, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, public administration, and educational services. The average travel time to work is about 30 minutes. More than 59.0% of Columbia residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 28.7%, is higher than the state average.
The percentage of Columbia residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 49.3%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. Abiding Savior Lutheran Church, Atholton Seventh Day Adventist Church and Long Reach Interfaith Center are all churches located in Columbia. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Methodist Church and the Southern Baptist Convention.
Columbia is home to the Symphony Woods Office Center and the Rivers Corporate Park as well as Middle Patuxent Environmental Area and Clarksville Environmental Area. Shopping centers in the area include Governor Century Plaza Shopping Center, Atholton Shopping Center and Owen Brown Village Shopping Center. Visitors to Columbia can choose from PFMG, Courtyard by Marriott and Hilton Inn Columbia for temporary stays in the area.