The salary statistics of astronomers and physicists are shown in Table 1. The average hourly salary of astronomers and physicists in the United States is shown in Table 2. In the next few tables we compare the average salaries of astronomers and physicists within different industry sectors and in the 50 states of the United States. The astronomers and physicists annual salary statistics are from the national compensation survey conducted by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2017 and published in April 2018 .
|Percentile Bracket||Average Annual Salary|
|10th Percentile Wage||$56,950|
|25th Percentile Wage||$81,650|
|50th Percentile Wage||$117,220|
|75th Percentile Wage||$154,940|
|90th Percentile Wage||$188,230|
Table 1 shows the average annual salary for astronomers and physicists. The average annual salary for the 90th percentile (the top 10 percent of the highest paid) astronomers and physicists is $188,230. The median annual salary (50th percentile) is $117,220. The average annual salary for the bottom 10 percent is $56,950. Note that in the United States, the annual salary of the 90th percentile (the top 10 percent of the highest paid) is almost 230% higher than that of the bottom 10 percent.
The table and chart below show the trend of the median salary of astronomers and physicists from 2012 to 2017.
|Year||Median Salary||Yearly Growth||5-Year Growth|
The average salaries of astronomers and physicists in 12 major industry sectors are shown in Table 2. We note that the salaries vary considerably within different industry sectors. The highest paying industry sector for astronomers and physicists occupations is the health care and social assistance sector with an annual salary $169,110. The lowest paying sector is the educational services sector (annual salary $68,010).
|Industry Sector||Median Annual Salary|
|Health Care and Social Assistance|| |
|Management of Companies and Enterprises|| |
|Other Services (except Federal, State, and Local Government)|| |
|Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services|| |
|Federal, State, and Local Government|| |
|Administrative and Support and Waste Management and Remediation Services|| |
|Wholesale Trade|| |
|Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation|| |
|Educational Services|| |