Astrobiologists, also known as exobiologists, life scientists, and space scientists, study the origin of all life forms—from a simple one-celled organism, to plants, to human beings. They study and research the evolution, distribution, and future of these life forms, on Earth as well as on other planets in our solar system and beyond. Many astrobiologists are employed by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and other government-funded agencies. They are also employed at private research institut...
Minimum Education Level
Earnings for astrobiologists vary extensively based on the type and size of their employer and the individual's level of education and experience. The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) does not provide salary information for astrobiologists, but it does report that the median salary for all biological scientists was $79,590 in May 2018. Salaries ranged from less than $45,030 to more than $126,390....
The astrobiologist's work environment varies greatly, depending upon the position and type of employer. One astrobiologist may work outdoors or travel much of the time. Another may wear a white smock and spend their entire career working in a laboratory. Some work with toxic substances and disease cultures; strict safety measures must be observed.
The U.S. Department of Labor doesn't specifically track employment of astrobiologists, but related professions, including biological technicians and biochemists and biophysicists, will grow faster than the average for all occupations through 2028. Despite these predictions, it is important to remember that astrobiology is still a very small field. Competition will be stiff for top positions. Fo...