CompGeo Salary Survey Benchmark Job Summary and Competencies

Astronomers

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)
Astronomer
Astronomy Department Chair
Astronomy Professor
Astrophysicist
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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