Research Jobs & Salaries

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Government and Academic Jobs:


Many scientists and engineers work for the United States government at agencies like NASA and NOAA (National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration). You can learn more about the kinds of jobs that are available with these agencies by looking at the job openings advertised on the USAJOBS web site. The USAJOBS web site is the official job site of the United States Government.

1) Go to the USAJOBS ( web site. Click on the "Search Jobs" tab near the top of the page. Type "NASA" in the "Keyword Search" box and then scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on the "Search for Jobs" button.

  • a) How many positions are available with NASA right now?
  • b) Where in the United States are some of these jobs located?
  • c) Look at the titles of the positions being advertised by NASA. What kinds of jobs are available? Are the positions being advertised only for scientists and engineers? Are other types of jobs, such as management positions, also available?

2) Click on a job listing in the search results that you think sounds interesting to obtain more information about it.

  • a) Look at the information under the "Overview" tab. What is the title of this job? Is it a full-time or a part-time job? What is the salary range advertised for this job?
  • b) Now click on the "Duties" tab. What are some of the responsibilities of this job?
  • c) Now click on the "Qualifications and Evaluations" tab. What kind of educational background is required for this job? What kind of previous work experience is required? Are any special certifications required for this job?
  • d) Now click on the "How to Apply" tab. Can you apply for this job online?

Many space scientists also work at colleges and universities. One place where you can find information about jobs at colleges and universities is the Chronicle of Higher Education ( website.

1) Scroll down the navigation menu on the left hand side of the Chronicle of Higher Education web page, and click on "Careers." In the careers section of this web site, you can find all kinds of information about faculty positions at schools around the country.

  • a) In the Job Search section, where it says "Browse jobs by:" click on"state/region." In the list of states, click on your home state to see the jobs currently available at colleges and universities in your state. If you do not live in the United States, click on "Other Countries" near the top of the page to see jobs available at colleges and universities around the world.
  • b) Click on one of the schools listed. What kinds of jobs are currently being advertised? Are they faculty positions, post-doctoral positions, or administrative positions?
  • c) Click on one of the positions currently available? If a salary range is provided, what is it? What are the duties of this job? What kind of educational background is required? How much experience is required? Is this a job in a science department or another type of department?

2) The Chronicle of Higher Education also provides information about the average salaries for faculty members at many different schools. In the navigation bar on the left hand side of the web page, click on "Tools and Resources" in the "Careers" section. On the right hand side of the "Tools and Resources" page, look for the "Salaries" section and click on "Search five years of data."

  • a) This tool will allow you to search for information about faculty salaries at different types of institutions in your state. Select your state and the most recent year from the menus on the web page. Select "Doctoral Institutions" from the menu for the type of institution and then click on the "Go" button. How many institutions
    of this type are located in your state? What are the average salaries for Assistant, Associate, and Full Professors?
  • b) Now try searching for information about faculty salaries at other types of schools in your state.

1) Would you like to do any of the jobs that you have read about on the Internet? Which ones? Why do you think you would like doing these jobs? What kinds of skills would you need to learn? Would you need to go to college to do this job? What kinds of things could you do now to help you prepare to do this job in the future?

2) Today you've looked for jobs at government agencies and academic institutions. What are some other places where people have jobs related to the space sciences? How would you learn about these jobs?

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