First, congratulations on making the best decision of your life. Astronomy is a vast and incredibly rewarding field that is providing us with new insights into our world and our existence every day. You’re looking to be a part of cutting edge science and life-changing discoveries. But first, you need a job. Here’s how to find one.
1. Make sure you have the right qualifications.
Needless to say, many positions in astronomy require years of schooling and proven experience matched with knowledge. You can’t work for NASA, for example, if your last astronomy class was in high school. So before you get started, check what the minimum qualifications for the job you want are. You don’t have to start off as the director of some large project, but at least see what it takes to hold a position such as a research assistant.
2. Consider starting in a lower position.
If you’re not qualified but you desperately want to work somewhere or on a certain project, don’t be afraid to take a lower position. If it’s the project you’re passionate about, pay shouldn’t matter. If you have zero experience, you may have no choice but to accept an internship or something of the sort. You have your whole life to work your way up, so start where you can and prove that you’re good enough to move up the ladder.
3. Cast a wide net, then narrow down your options.
If you don’t have a specific company or university in mind, look everywhere. That’s right, take stock of every single job you can find. Check university and lab websites, go on the standard job search sites like Indeed and Monster Jobs. Once you know what’s out there, you can narrow down your search field to locations you’re fond of or institutions that are well known.
4. Search online of course, but also send out inquiries.
Aside from the standards mentioned (Indeed, Monster, etc.), you should also search science-specific job sites such as sciencecareers.org and sciencejobs.org. Aside from this, of course, you should definitely send personal messages to various institutions, even if they don’t have job opportunities posted. You never know who will be impressed with your initiative and what that could lead to. If you’re passionate about astronomy, never stop pushing to be part of the field. Opportunities are everywhere. You just have to look.