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How much money does an astronomer make?

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Quick Answer

According to the 2012 United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for astronomers is $96,460. Location and experience level factor into salary determination.

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There are three industries that typically hire astronomers. Educational institutions, such as colleges and universities, hire astronomers to teach classes and seminars; this sector pays an average of $76,670 annually. Astronomers that are hired in the scientific research and development sector make an average of $107,170 annually. Finally, astronomers that work for the federal government make an average of $130,570 per year.

Maryland has the highest number of astronomers, and the state also pays the highest salary, with its astronomers earning an average of $128,520 per year.

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