» more from Jobs


Annual wage in government: $116,072
Mean annual wage in private sector: $93,340

For would-be astronomers grappling with whether they want to work in the public or private sectors, there’s really no contest: The field is far more lucrative for government employees.

The benefits don’t end there. Not only are astronomers in demand with such agencies as the Air Force, the Army, and NASA, but knowledge of astronomy makes candidates eligible for positions such as aeronautical analysts, aerospace engineers, and pilots.

Rob O'Neal | Getty Images