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Career and Education Opportunities for Astronomers in Laramie, Wyoming

If you want to be an astronomer, the Laramie, Wyoming area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. The national trend for astronomers sees this job pool growing by about 16.0% over the next eight years. Astronomers generally 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 $28 per hour or $58,417 per year in Wyoming, 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, astrophysicist, and research scientist.

There is one school within twenty-five miles of Laramie where you can study to be an astronomer, among two schools of higher education total in the Laramie area. Given that the most common education level for astronomers is post-Doctoral training, you can expect to spend at least four or five years training to become an astronomer if you already have a Bachelor's degree, or at least eight to ten years starting with 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 Laramie 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

University of Wyoming - Laramie, WY

University of Wyoming, Corner of Ninth and Ivinson, Laramie, WY 82071. University of Wyoming is a large university located in Laramie, Wyoming. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 11,920 students and an admission rate of 96%. University of Wyoming has a bachelor's degree program in Astronomy and Astrophysics, Other Specialties.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Laramie, Wyoming

Laramie, Wyoming
Laramie, Wyoming photo by Decumanus

Laramie is located in Albany County, Wyoming. It has a population of over 27,523. The cost of living index in Laramie, 96, is near the national average. New single-family homes in Laramie are priced at $156,100 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, eighty-six new homes were built in Laramie, down from one hundred thirteen the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Laramie are educational services, health care, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is educational services, construction, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 12 minutes. More than 46.7% of Laramie residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 19.6%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Laramie is 3.8%, which is less than Wyoming's average of 6.8%. About 22.6% of Laramie's residents are below the poverty line, which is worse than the state average.

The percentage of Laramie residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 37.4%, is less than both the national and state average. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Shopping centers in the area include Campus Mall and Odd Fellows Shopping Center. Visitors to Laramie can choose from Holiday Inn, 1st Inn Gold and Woods Landing Store for temporary stays in the area.