Popular Careers

Career Development

Career development resources for aspiring professionals.

Career Change Center

Career change guides, tutorials and resources for professionals in transition.

Job Search Resources

Job search resources, websites, guides and directories for job seekers.


Career and Education Opportunities for Astronomers in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

There is a wide variety of career and education opportunities for astronomers in the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 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 average wage in the general category of Physical Sciences jobs is $37 per hour or $77,826 per year in Pennsylvania, and an average of $38 per hour or $78,733 per year nationwide. People working as astronomers can fill a number of jobs, such as: national radio astronomy observatory director, astronomy professor, and astronomy department chair.

The Philadelphia area is home to 156 schools of higher education, including five within twenty-five miles of Philadelphia where you can get a degree 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

Astronomer video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

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 Philadelphia 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

Bryn Mawr College - Bryn Mawr, PA

Bryn Mawr College, 101 N Merion Avenue, Bryn Mawr, PA 19010. Bryn Mawr College is a small college located in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,758 students and an admission rate of 49%. Bryn Mawr College has a bachelor's degree program in Astronomy which graduated one student in 2008.

Princeton University - Princeton, NJ

Princeton University, , Princeton, NJ 08544-0070. Princeton University is a medium sized university located in Princeton, New Jersey. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 7,343 students and an admission rate of 10%. Princeton University has bachelor's degree, master's degree, and doctor's degree programs in Astrophysics which graduated five, thirteen, and two students respectively in 2008.

Villanova University - Villanova, PA

Villanova University, 800 Lancaster Avenue, Villanova, PA 19085-1699. Villanova University is a large university located in Villanova, Pennsylvania. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 10,295 students and an admission rate of 39%. Villanova University has a bachelor's degree program in Astronomy which graduated five students in 2008.

Haverford College - Haverford, PA

Haverford College, 370 Lancaster Ave, Haverford, PA 19041-1392. Haverford College is a small college located in Haverford, Pennsylvania. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,169 students and an admission rate of 27%. Haverford College has a bachelor's degree program in Astronomy which graduated two students in 2008.

Swarthmore College - Swarthmore, PA

Swarthmore College, 500 College Ave, Swarthmore, PA 19081. Swarthmore College is a small college located in Swarthmore, Pennsylvania. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,490 students and an admission rate of 16%. Swarthmore College has 2 areas of study related to Astronomer. They are:

  • Astronomy, bachelor's degree.
  • Astrophysics, bachelor's degree.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania photo by Apollo1758

Philadelphia is located in Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania. It has a population of over 1,447,395, which has shrunk by 4.6% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Philadelphia, 102, is near the national average. New single-family homes in Philadelphia cost $212,900 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, five hundred forty-five new homes were constructed in Philadelphia, down from five hundred ninety-one the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Philadelphia are health care, educational services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is construction, educational services, and health care. The average travel time to work is about 32 minutes. More than 17.9% of Philadelphia residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 7.5%, is lower than the state average.

The percentage of Philadelphia residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 53.4%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. Boulevard Church, Mount Herman Church and Saint Michael Mission Center are all churches located in Philadelphia. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the American Baptist Churches in the USA and the Muslim Estimate.

Philadelphia is home to the Five Points and the Academy Gardens as well as Durham Park and Cloverly Park. Shopping malls in the area include Roosevelt Mall, Andorra Shopping Center and Red Lion Shopping Center. Visitors to Philadelphia can choose from Comfort Inn, Concordia Worldwide Hotel Reservations and Embassy Suites for temporary stays in the area.