Astronomer Career Questionnaire

Questions: I have some questions that I need answered for an essay on your career as an astronomer.  — Daniel

1) What college did you go to?

I have a Bachelor’s degree from the University of California at Berkeley and Masters and PhD degrees from the University of Virginia.

2) What is your starting salary?

Astronomers are not rich people, but we do make enough to get by.

3) What is the working environment like?

Not too different from a regular office that you might find with any business.  Sometimes my work schedule is a bit different than nine-to-five, but other than that it is pretty “standard”.

4) Do you love your job? If so, why?

Yes.  I get to work on a lot of different and interesting things, which makes it exciting.

5) Has your job been a positive experience?

Yes.  Not sure I can see myself doing anything else.

6) How many hours do you typically work in a week?

My hours are a bit unusual.  I work 50 to 60 hours per week, but that is by my own choosing so that I can keep-up with all of the things I want to work on.

7) How often do you work on weekends?

Every weekend, but that is by choice.  I like to keep up with all of my tasks, so I choose to put in hours on weekends to stay ahead.

8) Do the people around you have a positive attitude for their job?

Yes, in general.  We basically get to work on understanding how the universe works, so it is hard not to like this line of work.

9) What is your typical day consist of?

Quite variable.  I really cannot predict what work each day will entail.

Jeff Mangum

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