Astronomers & physicists

Detailed Occupation

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2020 Workforce
13.4k
Average Age
46
Average Salary
$111,256
Average Male Salary
$114,463
Average Female Salary
$94,664

Employment

Information on the businesses and industries that employ Astronomers & physicists and on wages and locations for those in the field. Scientific research & development services is the industry that employs the most Astronomers & physicists, both by share and by number, though the highest paid industry for Astronomers & physicists, by average wage, is Administration of environmental quality & housing programs. Astronomers & physicists are paid most in Columbia (West) & Ellicott City (Northwest) PUMA, MD but are relatively concentrated in North Central New Mexico PUMA, NM.

Wages

Yearly Wage

$111,256
AVERAGE SALARY
± $14,200

In 2020, Astronomers & physicists earned an average of $111,256, $55,302 more than than the average national salary of $55,954.

Other financial specialists make somewhat more than Astronomers & physicists while Computer and information research scientists make somewhat less. This chart shows the various occupations closest to Astronomers & physicists as measured by average annual salary in the US.

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Wage Distribution

0.324
WAGE GINI

In 2015, Astronomers & physicists had a wage GINI coefficient of 0.324, which is lower than than the national average of 0.478. In other words, wages are distributed more evenly for Astronomers & physicists (shown in red) than for the overall labor force (shown in gray).

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Wage by Location

This map shows the Public Use Microdata Areas (PUMAs) in the United States shaded by average annual wage for Astronomers & physicists.

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Spatial Concentration

This map displays which Public Use Microdata Areas (PUMAs) in the United States have a relatively high population of Astronomers & physicists.

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Industries

Highest Paying

The highest paying industries for Astronomers & physicists, by average wage, are Administration of environmental quality & housing programs, Aircraft & parts manufacturing, and Offices of physicians.

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Industries by Share

13.4k
2020 Workforce
± 2,846
19.9%
1 YEAR GROWTH
± 26.2%

The number of people employed as Astronomers & physicists has been growing at a rate of 19.9%, from 11,206 people in 2019 to 13,441 people in 2020.

This graphic shows the share of Astronomers & physicists employed by various industries. Scientific research & development services employs the largest share of Astronomers & physicists at  33.2%, followed by Colleges, universities & professional schools, including junior colleges with 22.2% and General medical and surgical hospitals, and specialty (except psychiatric and substance abuse) hospitals with 5.57%.

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Diversity

Demographic information on Astronomers & physicists in the US. The average age of male Astronomers & physicists in the workforce is 47.2 and of female Astronomers & physicists is 40.1, and the most common race/ethnicity for Astronomers & physicists is White (Non-Hispanic).

Composition by Sex

11.3k
MALE WORKFORCE
± 2,606
2.18k
FEMALE WORKFORCE
± 1,146

83.8% of Astronomers & physicists are Male, making them the more common sex in the occupation. This chart shows the sex breakdown of Astronomers & physicists.

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Race & Ethnicity

Most Common Race or Ethnicity of Astronomers & physicists
  1. White (Non-Hispanic)
  2. Asian (Non-Hispanic)
  3. Two or More Races (Non-Hispanic)

78.5% of Astronomers & physicists are White (Non-Hispanic), making that the most common race or ethnicity in the occupation. Representing 12% of Astronomers & physicists, Asian (Non-Hispanic) is the second most common race or ethnicity in this occupation. This chart shows the racial and ethnic breakdown of Astronomers & physicists.

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Age by Sex

47.2
AVERAGE MALE AGE
± 3.58
40.1
AVERAGE FEMALE AGE
± 6

The median age of Astronomers & physicists is 46, and Male employees are generally 7.04 years older than than their Female counterparts.

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Education

Data on higher education choices for Astronomers & physicists from The Department of Education and Census Bureau. The most common major for Astronomers & physicists is Physical Sciences but a relatively high number of Astronomers & physicists hold a major in Physical Sciences.

Majors

ACS PUMS data only shows the major for bachelor's degrees. However, we can filter the data based on highest degree obtained.
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Skills

Data on the critical and distinctive skills necessary for Astronomers & physicists from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Astronomers & physicists need many skills, but most especially Science, Reading Comprehension, and Mathematics. The revealed comparative advantage (RCA) shows that Astronomers & physicists need more than the average amount of Science, Programming, and Technology Design.

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