CompGeo Salary Survey Benchmark Job Summary and Competencies


The Benchmark Job Description below represents the specific Position Characteristics of the job used in the Salary Survey. Benchmark Job Descriptions should be inspected carefully to review the degree of matching between an organizations' Job and the Salary Survey Benchmark. Matching internal Jobs to Salary Survey Benchmark Jobs should not be done on Job Title alone. A thorough comparison of Salary Survey Benchmark to Internal Job Descriptions is recommended. A good overlap should exist on any comparisons used on critical Job Dimensions and Competencies.
CompGeo Occupation Group: Engineering/Scientific
Job Family: Scientist
Benchmark Title: Astronomers
Summary Job Description Tasks
Observe, research, and interpret astronomical phenomena to increase basic knowledge or apply such information to practical problems. Study celestial phenomena, using a variety of ground-based and space-borne telescopes and scientific instruments.
Analyze research data to determine its significance, using computers.
Present research findings at scientific conferences and in papers written for scientific journals.
Measure radio, infrared, gamma, and x-ray emissions from extraterrestrial sources.
Develop theories based on personal observations or on observations and theories of other astronomers.
Raise funds for scientific research.
Collaborate with other astronomers to carry out research projects.
Develop instrumentation and software for astronomical observation and analysis.
Teach astronomy or astrophysics.
Develop and modify astronomy-related programs for public presentation.
Calculate orbits and determine sizes, shapes, brightness, and motions of different celestial bodies.
Direct the operations of a planetarium.
CompGeo Occupation Group: Engineering/Scientific
Job Family: Scientist
Benchmark Title: Astronomers
Important Knowledge Competencies Competency Description
Physics Knowledge and prediction of physical principles, laws, their interrelationships, and applications to understanding fluid, material, and atmospheric dynamics, and mechanical, electrical, atomic and sub- atomic structures and processes.
Mathematics Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
English Language Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Computers and Electronics Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
Engineering and Technology Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
Education and Training Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
Chemistry Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods.
CompGeo Occupation Group: Engineering/Scientific
Job Family: Scientist
Benchmark Title: Astronomers
Important Skill Competencies Competency Description
Reading Comprehension Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Science Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
Active Learning Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
Writing Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
Critical Thinking Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Active Listening Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Speaking Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Mathematics Using mathematics to solve problems.
Complex Problem Solving Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
Judgment and Decision Making Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
Learning Strategies Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.
Monitoring Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
Coordination Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
Instructing Teaching others how to do something.
Persuasion Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.
Systems Analysis Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.
Social Perceptiveness Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
Management of Personnel Resources Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, identifying the best people for the job.
Systems Evaluation Identifying measures or indicators of system performance and the actions needed to improve or correct performance, relative to the goals of the system.
CompGeo Occupation Group: Engineering/Scientific
Job Family: Scientist
Benchmark Title: Astronomers
Important Ability Competencies Competency Description
Written Comprehension The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
Inductive Reasoning The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
Written Expression The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
Deductive Reasoning The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
Oral Comprehension The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Oral Expression The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
Near Vision The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
Mathematical Reasoning The ability to choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem.
Flexibility of Closure The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material.
Originality The ability to come up with unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop creative ways to solve a problem.
Problem Sensitivity The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
Information Ordering The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
Number Facility The ability to add, subtract, multiply, or divide quickly and correctly.
Selective Attention The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
Far Vision The ability to see details at a distance.
Speech Recognition The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
Speech Clarity The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
Fluency of Ideas The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity).
Category Flexibility The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
Memorization The ability to remember information such as words, numbers, pictures, and procedures.
Visualization The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.
CompGeo Occupation Group: Engineering/Scientific
Job Family: Scientist
Benchmark Title: Astronomers
Tools/Technology Example Product Category
Abstraction plus reference plus synthesis A++ Development environment software
Adaptive optics AO simulation software Analytical or scientific software
Analyz Analytical or scientific software
Astronomical Image Processing System AIPS Analytical or scientific software
Astronomical Image Processing for Windows AIP4WIN Analytical or scientific software
Astronomical information processing system AIPS++ Analytical or scientific software
Avis Fits Viewer Graphics or photo imaging software
C++ Object or component oriented development software
Data reduction software Analytical or scientific software
Diffraction Limited MaxIm DL Analytical or scientific software
European Southern Observatory Munich Image Data Analysis System ESO-MIDAS Analytical or scientific software
Formula translation/translator FORTRAN Development environment software
IRIS Graphics or photo imaging software
Interface definition language IDL Development environment software
MSB Software Astroart Analytical or scientific software
Microsoft Excel Spreadsheet software
Microsoft Word Word processing software
Multipurpose Interactive Image Processing System MIIPS Analytical or scientific software
National Instruments LabVIEW Development environment software
Python Object or component oriented development software
Software Bisque CCDSoft Analytical or scientific software
Spectroscopy databases Data base user interface and query software
Starcal Analytical or scientific software
Visual Numerics PV-WAVE Analytical or scientific software
Web browser software Internet browser software
Atomic absorption AA spectroscopes Atomic absorption AA spectrometers
Automated telescopes Telescopes
Ball mills Laboratory mills
Baseband recorders Digital readout recorders
Charge-coupled device CCD imagers Telescopes
Cryostats Cryostats
Desktop computers Desktop computers
Differential scanning calorimeters Calorimeters
Dobsonian telescopes Telescopes
Doppler Rayleigh laser imaging ranging and detecting LIDAR systems Radarbased surveillance systems
Ebert-Fastie spectrometers Spectrometers
Echelle spectrometers Spectrometers
Electron beam ion traps EBIT Ionization chambers
European VLBI Network EVN telescopes Telescopes
Fourier transform infrared FTIR spectrometers Infrared spectrometers
High powered binoculars Binoculars
High resolution spectrographs Spectrographs
Interferometers Interferometers
Laptop computers Notebook computers
Laser imaging detection and ranging LIDAR systems Radarbased surveillance systems
Low resolution imaging spectrographs Spectrographs
Multi-object spectrographs MOS Spectrographs
Near-infrared imagers and spectrometers NIRI Spectrometers
Near-infrared integral field spectrometers Spectrometers
Optical interferometers Interferometers
Optical telescopes Telescopes
Personal computers Personal computers
Photometers Photometers
Planetary radar transmitters Radio frequency transmitters or receivers
Pulsar processors Spectrometers
Radio antennas Radio antennas
Radio telescopes Telescopes
Reflector telescopes Telescopes
Refracting telescopes Telescopes
Resonance fluorescence laser imaging detection and ranging LIDAR systems Radarbased surveillance systems
Scanning telescopes Telescopes
Schmidt-Cassegrain telescopes Telescopes
Scientific calculators Calculators or accessories
Single-dish radio telescopes Telescopes
Solar telescope filters Polarizers
Solar telescopes Telescopes
Spectroscopes Spectrometers
Thermal evaporators Laboratory evaporators
Tilting filter photometers Photometers
Very large array VLA telescopes Telescopes
Very long baseline array VLBA telescopes Telescopes
Wide-field mosaic charge-coupled device CCD cameras Digital cameras
Wideband pulsar processors Spectrometers
X ray diffractometers X ray diffraction equipment
CompGeo Occupation Group: Engineering/Scientific
Job Family: Scientist
Benchmark Title: Astronomers
Prerequisite Qualification Category Education and Experience Level
On-Site or In-Plant Training None
On-the-Job Training None or short demonstration
Required Level of Education Post-Doctoral Training
Required Level of Education Doctoral Degree
Related Work Experience None
CompGeo Occupation Group: Engineering/Scientific
Job Family: Scientist
Benchmark Title: Astronomers
Alternate Job Title(s)
Astronomy Department Chair
Astronomy Professor
Lunar and Planetary Institute Director
National Radio Astronomy Observatory Director
Observatory Director
Research Scientist
Space Sciences Director
CompGeo Occupation Group: Engineering/Scientific
Job Family: Scientist
Benchmark Title: Astronomers
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