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Astronomers and Physicist Salary Information

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 2016 and published in April 2017 [1].

Table 1. Astronomers and Physicist Salary in the United States

Percentile BracketAverage Annual Salary
10th Percentile Wage
25th Percentile Wage
50th Percentile Wage
75th Percentile Wage
90th Percentile Wage

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 $187,430. The median annual salary (50th percentile) is $114,870. The average annual salary for the bottom 10 percent is $57,310. Notice that in the United States, the annual salary of the 90th percentile (the top 10 percent of the highest paid) is almost 227% higher than that of the bottom 10 percent.

Salary Trend (2012 to 2016)

The following table and chart show the trend of the median salary of astronomers and physicists from 2012 to 2016.

YearMedian SalaryYearly Growth4-Year Growth

Table 2. Astronomers and Physicist Salary by Industry Sector

The average salaries of astronomers and physicists in 9 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 $158,920. The lowest paying sector is the educational services sector (annual salary $68,770).

Industry Sector Median Annual Salary
Health Care and Social Assistance
Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services
Management of Companies and Enterprises
Federal, State, and Local Government
Administrative and Support and Waste Management and Remediation Services
Educational Services


Highest paying industries for astronomers and physicists.