Astrophysics is a specialty that combines two fields of science: astronomy and physics. Astrophysicists use the principles of physics to study the solar system, stars, galaxies, and the universe. How did the universe begin? How is the universe changing? These are the types of questions astrophysicists try to answer through research and experimentation. Physicists may also be concerned with such issues, but they use physics to study broader areas such as gravity, electromagnetism, and nuclear interactions. There are approximately 17,340 physicists and astronomers employed in the United States.

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Quick Facts
Alternate Title(s) None
Duties Use the principles of physics and astronomy to study the solar system, stars, galaxies, and the universe
Salary Range $50,000 to $100,000+
Work Environment Primarily Indoors
Best Geographical Location(s) Opportunities exist in all regions
Minimum Education Level
  • Master's Degree
  • Doctorate
School Subjects
  • Computer Science
  • Mathematics
  • Physics
Experience Internship; research experience
Personality Traits
  • Curious
  • Problem-Solving
  • Scientific
  • Computer
  • Math
  • Scientific
Certification or Licensing None
Special Requirements None
Employment Prospects Fair
Advancement Prospects Fair
Outlook About as Fast as the Average
Career Ladder
  • Professor, or Research Institution Leader, or Observatory Manager
  • Astrophysicist
  • Research Assistant

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