An astrophysicist researches and presents the acquired information in scientific reports. These scientists typically specialize in a specific theory or natural phenomena. Once an astrophysicist explores a theory and documents the findings, a panel of peers reviews the report and scientific committees test the theory.
Astrophysics is a subfield of both physics and astronomy meaning that astrophysicists consult with both astronomers and physicists. Astrophysicists incorporate mathematics and physics to develop modern explanations for scientific circumstances.
To become an astrophysicist, earning certain degrees is required, namely:
Astronomers must have a doctorate degree in order to do their job. They also intern or participate in a fellowship at a university during post-doctoral years. During this time, they assist other scientists and learn the process of researching, analyzing and presenting scientific reports.
Astrophysicists complete their research in a private office, at home or in a university setting. They also teach science courses such as physics and astronomy or mathematics on a college level. Some biotech companies employ astrophysicists in their research and development departments.
It is not unusual for an astrophysicist working in a private setting or utilizing a federal grant to spend many years, even decades or a lifetime, on a single theory or scientific concept. These scientists often have to write and present grant proposals to fund their research.
An astrophysicist spends the day on any or all of the following tasks:
Many astrophysicists combine scientific research and teaching. Some scientists prefer using their math and science skills to work on more practical applications in a biotechnology laboratory.
An astrophysicist’s salary varies depending on the type of work. If much of the scientist’s salary relies on research grants, then the income may fluctuate. If the astrophysicist is employed by a biotechnology laboratory or teaches in a university, the salary may be more consistent.
The salary range of an astrophysicist, according to National Employment Projections by the Federal government, extends from about $45,000 to $150,000.