Careers rarely develop the way we plan them. Our career path often takes many twists and turns, with particular events, choices and people influencing our direction.

We asked Fergus O'Connell from BioPharmachem Ireland to give some advice for people considering this job:

 

Fergus O'Connell

Quality Officer

BioPharmachem Ireland

Read more

  Fergus O'Connell
A broad science background is very important. An ability to recognise small inconsistencies is equally important. For example do you recognise small discrepancies between different camera shots of the same scene in films and TV series?

An ability to question everything and think laterally is important. Also the ability to say 'no' (not everyone is comfortable doing this). Working in quality is not about being popular and definitely not about being a tyrant but one needs to be approachable, consistent and have good interpersonal skills.

Not all of your decisions are going to be popular but they need to be based on a sound rationale and you need to be able to support them. One also needs to be acutely aware of the fact that your opinion won't always be right.

One must always be open to being convinced of an alternative argument.
Close

Social?
Social 
The Social person's interests focus on some aspect of those people in their environment. In all cases the social person enjoys the personal contact of other people in preference to the impersonal dealings with things, data and ideas found in other groups.

Many will seek out positions where there is direct contact with the public in some advisory role, whether a receptionist or a counsellor. Social people are motivated by an interest in different types of people, and like diversity in their work environments. Many are drawn towards careers in the caring professions and social welfare area, whilst others prefer teaching and other 'informing' roles.
Career Interviews
Sector Profiles
School Subjects (LC)
College Courses
Close
Study Skills
Other
Work Experience (School)
CV & Interview Preparation

Occupation Details

logo imagelogo image

Astronomer / Astrophysicist

Job Zone

Education
Most of these occupations require post-graduate qualifications. For example, they may require a masters degree, and some require a Ph.D., or M.D.

Related Experience
Extensive skill, knowledge, and experience are needed for these occupations. Many require more than five years of experience. For example, surgeons must complete four years of college and an additional five to seven years of specialised medical training to be able to do their job.

Job Training
Employees may need some on-the-job training, but most of these occupations assume that the person will already have the required skills, knowledge, work-related experience, and/or training.

Job Zone Examples
These occupations often involve coordinating, training, supervising, or managing the activities of others to accomplish goals. Very advanced communication and organisational skills are required. Examples include librarians, lawyers, aerospace engineers, wildlife biologists, school psychologists, surgeons, treasurers, and most scientists.

€30k > 65 
Astronomer
Salary Range
(thousands per year)*
€30 - 65 
Related Information:
Data Source(s):
FAS

Last Updated: January, 2014

* The lower figures typically reflect starting salaries. Higher salaries are awarded to those with greater experience and responsibility. Positions in Dublin sometimes command higher salaries.
Shortage Indicator

-2%
Occupational Category

Chemical, Biological & Physical Scientists

Also included in this category:

Analytical chemists; industrial chemists; biomedical scientists; forensic scientists; microbiologists; geologists; medical physicists; meteorologists

Number Employed:

7,000

Part time workers: 3%
Aged over 55: 8%
Male / Female: 45 / 55%
Non-Nationals: 12%
With Third Level: 95%
Return to List
Saves this course to your Career File if you are registered.

At a Glance... header image

Astronomers research stars, planets and the universe. They study and analyse maps, space, and the universe at large, using information from telescopes and satellites.


Videos & Interviews header image

1Total Records: 2

Deirdre Kelleghan
Amateur Astronomer  

Deirdre Kelleghan is an artist, amateur astronomer, informal educator and writer. Here she talks about how she chose her career, what her job is like, the cool things in her work, and her tips on what to study.

Go to Interview  
 
Dave McDonald
Astronomer  

Science Ambassador Dave McDonald is a health and safety representative by day, and amateur astronomer by night. In 2008 he became only the second person to discover an asteroid from Ireland, 160 years after Andrew Graham in 1848. This was followed by a second discovery in March 2009.

In this interview – before he became famous – he talks about how he chose his career, the cool things in his work, and his tips on work experience and what to study.

Go to Interview  
 

The Work header image

Astronomy is the study of the universe beyond the earth's atmosphere. The main branches are astrometry, celestial mechanics, and astrophysics.

Astrophysics is the branch of astronomy concerned with the physical processes associated with the celestial bodies and the intervening regions of space. It deals principally with the energy of stellar systems and the relation between this energy and the evolution of the system.

Astronomers study the universe beyond Earth. Profound investigations like the origins of the universe and the search for life on other planets and solar systems inspire and fascinate many astronomers. Space also gives scientists the opportunity to study physical processes and phenomena in conditions that do not exist on Earth.  
 
Astronomers use sophisticated equipment to collect, analyse and interpret data. As well as optical telescopes, they may use radio and infrared telescopes, or satellites. Infrared telescopes enable astronomers to look at the sun through the dust layer that surrounds it. Astronomers use radio telescopes, which can see far into space, to try to find out about the early stages of the universe. Astronomy has close links with particle physics.  
 
Astronomers usually work in teams, often including astronomers from different countries. Team members are often specialists, for example, in observational astronomy or data analysis and interpretation.  
 
Many astronomers travel a lot to attend conferences and make observations abroad. Others are laboratory or office based.

 


Tasks & Activitiesheader image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported tasks and activities for this occupation

bullet

Study celestial phenomena, using a variety of ground-based and space-borne telescopes and scientific instruments.

bullet

Analyze research data to determine its significance, using computers.

bullet

Develop theories based on personal observations or on observations and theories of other astronomers.

bullet

Collaborate with other astronomers to carry out research projects.

bullet

Present research findings at scientific conferences and in papers written for scientific journals.

bullet

Raise funds for scientific research.

bullet

Measure radio, infrared, gamma, and x-ray emissions from extraterrestrial sources.

bullet

Teach astronomy or astrophysics.

bullet

Develop instrumentation and software for astronomical observation and analysis.

bullet

Review scientific proposals and research papers.

Work Activities header image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported work activities in this occupation.

bullet

Analyzing Data or Information:  Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.

bullet

Thinking Creatively:  Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.

bullet

Processing Information:  Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.

bullet

Getting Information:  Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.

bullet

Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge:  Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.

bullet

Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others:  Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.

bullet

Making Decisions and Solving Problems:  Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.

bullet

Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events:  Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.

bullet

Interacting With Computers:  Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.

bullet

Training and Teaching Others:  Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.


Knowledge header image

The following is a list of the five most commonly reported knowledge areas for this occupation.

bullet

Physics:  Knowledge and prediction of physical principles, laws, their interrelationships, and applications to understanding fluid, material, and atmospheric dynamics, and mechanical, electrical, atomic and sub- atomic structures and processes.

bullet

Mathematics:  Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.

bullet

Computers and Electronics:  Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.

bullet

English Language:  Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

bullet

Education and Training:  Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.


Skillsheader image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported skills used in this occupation.

bullet

Reading Comprehension:   Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

bullet

Science:   Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.

bullet

Active Learning:   Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.

bullet

Writing:   Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

bullet

Mathematics:   Using mathematics to solve problems.

bullet

Speaking:   Talking to others to convey information effectively.

bullet

Critical Thinking:   Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

bullet

Active Listening:   Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

bullet

Instructing:   Teaching others how to do something.

bullet

Monitoring:   Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

Personal Qualitiesheader image

To become an astronomer, you will need an extensive knowledge of Maths and Physics. You will need to be computer literate because a lot of equipment is computer controlled.  
 
Research work demands patience, problem solving skills, imagination and determination. Foreign language skills are an advantage, because astronomers may work in international teams or travel to make telescope observations from other countries.


Entry Routesheader image

The usual route towards a career as a professional astronomer is to take a degree in a relevant subject area, which is usually physics but also in Mathematics, Astronomy or Astrophysics.  
 
It is almost impossible to become an astronomer or an astrophysicist without a postgraduate qualification, normally a Ph.D. in Astronomy or Astrophysics.

Last Updated: October, 2014


Further Informationheader image

A detailed description of this occupation can be found on a number of online databases. Follow the link(s) below to access this information:

Note: you will be leaving the CareersPortal Site

Go..Astronomer - from:  N.C.S. [UK]

Related Occupationsheader image

Contactsheader image

bullet

Organisation: Astronomy Ireland
  Address: P.O. Box 2888. Dublin 5.
  Tel: (01) 847 0777
  Email: Click here
  Url Click here

 

Job Search


Industry Expert


Career Articles

Rosa Doran - Astronomy Educator
Tom O'Donoghue - Astrophotographer
A Day in the Life of a Solar Physicist
A day In the life of An Astronomer
So you want to be an Astronomer

Career Guidance

This occupation is popular with people who have the following Career Interests...


...and for people who like working in the following Career Sectors:

Physical & Mathematical Sciences
Space Science and Technology

Search for Related Courses from Qualifax - the National Learners Database

Go..


Higher Ed & CAO Course suggestions
If you are interested in this occupation, then the following courses may also be of interest. Note that these course suggestions are not intended to indicate that they lead directly to this occupation, only that they are related in some way and may be worth exploring.
Courses found: 57
Actuarial Mathematics
DCU
Applied Physics
DCU
Applied Physics
University of Limerick
Applied Physics and Instrumentation
Cork Institute of Technology
Arts (Mathematics and Education)
NUI Galway
Arts - Applied Mathematics
UCC (NUI)
Arts - Mathematical Physics
Maynooth University
Arts - Mathematical Studies
UCC (NUI)
Arts - Mathematical Studies
Maynooth University
Arts - Mathematics
TCD
Arts - Mathematics
UCD (NUI)
Arts - Mathematics
UCC (NUI)
Arts - Mathematics
University of Limerick
Arts - Mathematics
NUI Galway
Arts - Mathematics (Pure)
Maynooth University
Arts - Statistics
UCD (NUI)
Arts - Statistics
Maynooth University
Bachelor of Science - Common Entry (Cavan Institute)
Cavan Institute
Computational Thinking (Computer Science, Maths & Philosophy
Maynooth University
Computing with Data Analytics
IT Tallaght
Data Science
DCU
Economics and Mathematical Sciences
University of Limerick
Financial Mathematics
University of Limerick
Financial Mathematics and Economics
NUI Galway
Industrial and Environmental Physics
DIT
Industrial Mathematics
DIT
Industrial Physics
UCC (NUI)
Mathematical Science
NUI Galway
Mathematical Sciences
UCC (NUI)
Mathematical Sciences
DIT
Mathematical Sciences
University of Limerick
Mathematics
TCD
Mathematics (Common Entry)
University of Limerick
Mathematics and Physics
University of Limerick
Nanoscience, physics and chemistry of advanced materials
TCD
Pharmaceutical Science
Waterford IT
Pharmaceutical Science
Waterford IT
Physical Sciences (Common Entry)
Cork Institute of Technology
Physical Sciences (Common Entry)
Cork Institute of Technology
Physics & Instrumentation
GMIT - Galway-Mayo IT
Physics (Degree options in Applied, Astrophysics, Biomedical, Theoretical)
NUI Galway
Physics and Astrophysics
UCC (NUI)
Physics and Astrophysics
Maynooth University
Physics and Instrumentation
GMIT - Galway-Mayo IT
Physics for Modern Technology
Waterford IT
Physics Technology
DIT
Physics with Astronomy
DCU
Physics with Energy & Enviroment
DIT
Physics with Medical Physics and Bioengineering
DIT
Pilot Studies
IT Carlow
Science - (Mathematical, Physical and Geological Sciences)
UCD (NUI)
Science in Physics (Common Entry)
University of Limerick
Science Undenominated
IT Sligo
Science with Nanotechnology
DIT
Sustainable Energy Engineering
Waterford IT
Theoretical Physics
TCD
Theoretical Physics and Mathematics
Maynooth University