What Are Some Astrophysics Jobs?


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Astrophysicists often work as research scientists for major universities, private corporations or the federal government. Their duties can include developing theories to explain the nature of matter and the universe or putting those theories to the test in lab experiments. Major employers of astrophysicists include the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, NASA, 3M and Honeywell.

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Specific astrophysics job titles include teacher, professor, data analyst, research scientist and telescope engineer. The astrophysics work environment may consist of offices, classrooms, laboratories and observatories. Some jobs naturally feature one of these more so than the others.

Most jobs in astrophysics require a Ph.D. These jobs usually fall into one of two categories: theoretical or applied astrophysics. People working in theoretical astrophysics pose questions about space, time, matter and the universe, while those working in applied astrophysics create experiments to answer those questions and prove or disprove certain theories.

The European Organization for Nuclear Research, or CERN, is the home base for many leading astrophysicists as of 2014. At CERN, the Large Hadron Collider smashes subatomic particles together to reveal the nature of the universe at the smallest level. Discoveries at CERN have contributed to scientists' understanding of what happened in the first moments after the universe began.

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