How To Become an Astrophysicist

A career in astrophysics may be just the thing for you if you love physics, space, and understanding the physical world.Advanced placement classes in math and science can help you develop your skills in high school.You should major in astronomy or physics once you get into college.Over the summer, apply for internship programs or research assistant positions.You can find positions at technology-based companies and financial firms if you have a master’s or PhD in astrophysics.

Step 1: Take AP math classes.

You will need to improve your math skills in high school because math is the language of astrophysics.Advanced classes include computer science A and principles, and statistics.Prerequisites for AP classes in high school are taken in middle school.It’s important to get high marks in your classes.Advanced placement classes are offered in U.S. high schools.If you live in Canada, the UK, or India, you should take advanced classes at your high school.

Step 2: Take AP science classes.

You will need to hone your science skills in order to be successful in astrophysics.AP classes include biology, chemistry, environmental science, and physics.If you want to take AP science classes in high school, you need to do well in your science class in middle school.

Step 3: An astronomy club is a good place to join a physics club.

If you join an astronomy club, you will be able to meet people with the same passion for astronomy as you do.This will help you learn more about astrophysics.Science summer camps and programs are a great way to learn about science and math, as well as clubs.Start your own if there’s no one nearby.This shows people are interested in doing well.

Step 4: Take your interest in astrophysics to the next level with books.

Some of the books written by well-known astrophysicists include Carl Sagan, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Stephen Hawking, and Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar.There are astronomy and astrophysics books that explore topics like black holes and time warps.You can find these books at your school’s library or bookstore.

Step 5: During the summer, enroll in a science camp.

Ask your science and math teachers about local science camps.Summer Fuel and Summer Discovery host summer science programs at a wide variety of universities in the U.S., Canada, Europe, and other parts of the world.NASA has summer programs on their website.The Summer Science Program offers programs in Colorado and New Mexico.

Step 6: A bachelor’s degree in astrophysics is required.

You need to take physics, computer science, and astronomy.Some electrical engineering classes may be required.Bachelor’s degree programs can take up to 4 years to complete.If your college doesn’t offer a bachelor’s degree in astrophysics, you can get a physics degree with a minor in astronomy.

Step 7: Over the summer, apply for internship programs.

You are getting your degrees.The summer research programs are usually for astrophysics, physics, and astronomy majors.Inquire about available opportunities with your professor or advisor.Through programs like the Research Experience for Undergraduate, you can find internship programs.

Step 8: Get a master’s degree in astrophysics.

In your graduate program, you will be taking advanced physics, astronomy, and computer science classes.You can develop skills in data measurement and analysis, computer modeling, advanced mathematics, writing/communication, and independent research and scholarship through these programs.A master’s of science degree will allow you to work as a research assistant or teach at colleges and universities.Master’s programs can take up to 3 years to complete.

Step 9: Do you know about research assistant positions?

If you want to learn more about 1 or 2 of your professors’ research, ask them during office hours.If you want to pursue a similar career path, you need to know if they have a research assistant position available over the summer.How did you become interested in your research?What projects are you currently working on?They need to get high grades in their classes.

Step 10: There is a degree in astrophysics.

Students who finish a master’s degree will go on to complete a PhD in astrophysics.The independent research that you started in your master’s program will continue in a PhD program.In order to develop their expertise in a specific field, PhD candidates take courses.A PhD will prepare you to work at a college or university as a researcher or teacher, for government agencies like NASA, private and public research facilities, and national observatory and science centers.It can take up to 6 years to complete a PhD.

Step 11: There is a paid post-doctoral research fellowship.

University job boards are a good place to look for a fellowship.Government or public research facilities can be used to find fellowships.The fellowship lasts 3 years.If you want to become a researcher at a university, you will need to complete 1 to 2 fellowships before applying for full-time faculty positions.

Step 12: You can apply for positions at universities.

There are university and college job boards.If you have a PhD, apply for research or teaching positions.Let your professors know that you are looking for a job.They might have information about schools that are looking for candidates.If you only have a master’s degree, apply for professor-in-residence or visiting professor positions in fields such as geology, chemistry, applied math, atmospheric science, and engineering.

Step 13: There are technician positions at technology-based companies.

Astrophysicists are usually hired by technology-based companies as technicians or technical staff members.You can find jobs at Apple, IBM, Microsoft, Intel, and other technology companies.

Step 14: Data analysis jobs are available at financial firms.

Financial firms often hire astrophysicists to do market modeling because of their advanced data analysis skills.In order to predict financial markets, these jobs involve analyzing data.There are jobs at the World Bank, Mastercard, ING, Goldman Sachs, GE Capital, and Standard Chartered Bank.

Step 15: National observatory or agency jobs are available.

astrophysicists with master’s degrees are hired by these agencies to work as technicians for satellite development, space programs, and exo-planet research.There are jobs at the Argentine Institute of Radio Observatory.Look for jobs at agencies like NASA and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.