Astronaut Job Description

Astronaut Job Description, Skills, and Salary

Are you searching for an astronaut job description? Get to know about the duties, responsibilities, qualifications, and skills requirements of an astronaut. Feel free to use our astronaut job description template to produce your own astronaut job description. We also provide you with information about the salary you can earn as an astronaut.


Who is an Astronaut?

Astronauts are highly skilled persons who can operate a spacecraft or travel across space in one. Astronauts go through training to work in space, and among their daily operating duties are providing medical and emergency services, doing maintenance, and other duties. The weeks or months-long missions that astronauts take part in are not uncommon. It might be physically demanding to be on a mission. Spending a lot of time in low-gravity enclosed areas would be an illustration of this.

The translation of “astronaut” is “sailor among stars.” An astronaut is a person who participates in a space program and is particularly prepared and outfitted for space travel. NASA, also known as the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, has employed astronauts as a component of the American space program since 1959.

Any crew member of a NASA spacecraft or a member of the NASan astronaut Corps is referred to as an “astronaut” by NASA. NASA selects astronauts from a large pool of candidates with a variety of backgrounds. Only a small number of applicants are selected for the rigorous astronaut candidate training program of the thousands that apply. American astronauts typically range in age from 26 to 46, with an average age of 34, while there is no minimum age requirement. The youngest applicant accepted is a female candidate who is 16 years old and gearing up for a journey to Mars.

Early American astronauts were members of the military with engineering degrees and experience piloting jet aircraft. Scientist-astronauts were added in 1964 and needed a doctorate in biology, chemistry, physics, engineering, or medicine. Typically, either civilian space agencies or military branches like the Air Force or Space Force train astronauts.

Although a master’s degree is still necessary for NASan astronauts, civilian teachers, doctors, journalists, and other professionals can now apply. Commercial astronauts have only recently been added as the number of commercially funded space missions has increased. The best explorers in the world are astronauts. Few people ever get to journey into space, experience weightlessness, and view Earth from this vantage point.

Before being able to fly into space, astronauts must complete lengthy training. They need to be in top physical shape and be knowledgeable about every facet of their job, from using the spacecraft’s technology to handling emergencies.


Astronaut Job Description

What is an astronaut job description? An astronaut job description is simply a list of duties and responsibilities of an astronaut in an organization. Below are the astronaut job description examples you can use to develop your resume or write an astronaut job description for your employee. Employers can also use it to sieve out job seekers when choosing candidates for interviews.

The duties and responsibilities of an astronaut include the following;

  • Get ready for spacewalks to set up new hardware or carry out upkeep in orbit Conduct research in the domains of biology, chemistry, physics, materials science, meteorology, and geology.
  • Examine novel technologies that might be applied to space travel or space habitation.
  • Report findings or problems that emerge throughout the mission to mission control promptly.
  • Test crew member’s ability to do their responsibilities under pressure.
  • Conduct research in space to improve understanding of events in microgravity conditions.
  • Prepare for emergencies including fires, cabin depressurization, oxygen supply loss, communication failure with Earth, solar flares, and other hazards to the mission’s and the astronauts’ safety.
  • Track the health of a spacecraft’s systems and spot errors or irregularities.
  • Equipment inspection and maintenance.
  • Upkeep, test, and repair aboard a spacecraft roof space station.
  • Put in or fix scientific instruments and equipment.
  • Establish, conduct, and observe experiments.
  • Research and develop robotics in cooperation with observers on Earth.
  • Prepare for emergencies including fires, cabin depressurization, oxygen supply loss, communication failure with Earth, solar flares, and other hazards to the mission’s and the astronauts’ safety.
  • Research the evolution of stars, comprehend how the sun and solar system were formed, and forecast future occurrences.
  • Apply the laws of mathematics and physics to the observation of items on Earth and other worlds.



  • A bachelor’s degree at the very least in engineering, mathematics, biology, or a related field, as well as professional experience.
  • The ability to move gracefully, quickly, and with coordination.
  • The capacity to work under extreme time constraints.
  • Excellent detail-oriented observational skills.
  • The capacity to document these minute observations.
  • The capacity to manage and use machinery Leadership abilities.


Essential Skills

  • Knowledge of Spacewalks: To plan and carry out missions in space, astronauts draw on their experience with spacewalking. Astronauts venture outside of their spaceship during a spacewalk to complete duties. They put on specialized costumes that shield them from chilly conditions and supply oxygen while they operate. Additionally, astronauts receive training on how to use instruments and computers that are used during spacewalks.
  • Robotics: The capacity to program and run machinery is known as robotics. Robotics is a tool that astronauts use because they frequently command robots from Earth during space missions. When operating equipment in space, such as robotic arms that construct satellites or maintain spacecraft, they also use robotics. Robotics is a crucial ability for astronauts to possess because it may be utilized for many different things in space.
  • Emergency Exit Training (EET): Astronauts receive training in emergency egress, which teaches them how to safely leave a spaceship in an emergency. This entails being aware of the location of every exit, being aware of what to do in an emergency, and being knowledgeable about how to use any potential safety equipment. Astronauts working in space can benefit from training in emergency egress.
  • Training for Space Flight: Astronauts learn how to operate in space through spaceflight training. This includes being familiar with the tools they’ll use, as well as learning how to carry out activities and tests while in orbit around the Earth. Before entering space, astronauts often undergo thorough training so they are ready for any eventuality.
  • Flying the T-38 Talon Jet: To safely fly through air traffic and land, astronauts use their understanding of the T-38 Talon jet. Approximately 955 kilometers per hour, or Mach 1.5, is the top speed that the T-38 supersonic aircraft can achieve. This kind of plane can be flown safely in space by astronauts who have successfully finished their flying training in it.
  • Flexibility: The ability to alter course as necessary. Astronauts frequently work in teams, so being adaptable can help them change their positions as needed and work well with others. Being adaptable also aids astronauts in being prepared for any difficulties that may arise while on missions. For instance, an astronaut must be adaptable enough to pick up new skills fast if they are required to take over the work of another crew member.
  • Extravehicular Activity (EVA):EVA skills are used by astronauts to carry out duties outside of a spaceship. These include making repairs to or installing equipment, gathering samples, and carrying out scientific research in space. EVA abilities can be used by astronauts for leisure activities like playing golf on the moon.
  • Communication: The ability to communicate information clearly and concisely is referred to as communication. Both ground control staff on Earth and the other members of the astronaut team must be able to communicate with the astronauts. Additionally, they must be able to provide technical information regarding their experiments or missions. Astronauts that possess this talent will be able to collaborate and operate more effectively with others.
  • Leadership: The capacity to inspire and direct people is known as leadership. Astronauts must be capable of effective leadership because they operate in teams. To cooperate with other astronauts and ground control staff, they also need to possess good interpersonal skills. When an astronaut must make important decisions during a mission, leadership abilities are very helpful.
  • International Space Station (ISS): A space lab that orbited the Earth is called the International Space Station. The ISS astronauts are in charge of doing repairs and maintenance on the station’s systems, carrying out research projects, and gathering information about how living things respond to microgravity. Additionally, the ISS features a robotic system called Canadarm2 that astronauts use to move supplies around the station or carry out maintenance.
  • Adaptability: Astronauts need to be flexible enough to adjust to shifting conditions. They may have a plan for how they want their mission to proceed, but a lot of things might change without warning. For instance, an astronaut might have to wait many days before entering space if the weather is bad on the day of launch. Being flexible is being prepared to modify your plans when necessary to still achieve your goals.
  • Teamwork: Teams of astronauts collaborate to perform missions. They must be able to successfully interact with one another and offer assistance to one another when necessary. Because they frequently train together for months or years before a flight, astronauts also rely on teamwork throughout training. This enables children to establish solid bonds that may aid them in overcoming obstacles and remaining composed in the event of a mishap.
  • Problem-solving: This is the ability to identify problems and find solutions. When using equipment in space or on Earth, astronauts may employ problem-solving techniques since they must be able to resolve any technical issues that may develop. This ability also aids astronauts in anticipating difficulties so they can be ready for them when they arise.
  • Shuttle Mission Simulator (SMS): Astronauts can hone their skills for piloting the space shuttle using a computer program called the shuttle mission simulator. This program is used by astronauts to travel through various missions, learn how to use the space shuttle’s systems, and carry out emergency procedures if something goes wrong during a trip.
  • Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory (NBL): The capacity to manage your body’s position in the water is known as neutral buoyancy. Because they would have to carry out activities underwater during space missions, astronauts need to be proficient in neutral buoyancy. You can learn how to navigate through water and operate tools while submerged by participating in neutral buoyancy training.


How to Become an Astronaut

  • Choose a career path: You must choose between a civilian and a military astronaut if you wish to become an astronaut. You must enlist in the military if you decide to become a military astronaut. One advantage of becoming an astronaut through the military is that they can take your training and experience into account. The majority of astronaut pilots are former military personnel.
  • Finish your undergraduate studies: You will finish your study in the military if you wish to be a military astronaut. Both military and civilian astronauts must get a bachelor’s degree in mathematics, engineering, or a related field.
  • Acquire practical work experience: To become a pilot, you must have suitable work experience or flight time after earning your bachelor’s degree. Because you can log training hours and perform missions, becoming a pilot through the military is simpler.
  • Get in the best possible physical condition: Astronauts must meet demanding physical criteria, therefore becoming in shape is crucial. If applicants want to become astronauts, they must put their health and fitness first.
  • Apply for astronaut training candidate selection: Both NASA and the European Astronaut Corps are organizations that provide astronaut training. You can apply for NASA’s candidate screening procedure after becoming in top physical condition, finishing your education, and accumulating relevant work experience. You might have to wait a bit before receiving feedback on your application since the screening procedure for NASA’s applications can take up to two months (60 days). To stand out from the competition, you must perform well on all of the screenings and examinations.
  • Finish the fundamental training course: Before being allowed to enter flight, astronaut candidates must complete a rigorous mission training course. This two-year training course lasts. It includes classroom instruction and covers subjects including cars, machinery, and space stations. All astronauts are required to endure military-style survival training.
  • Finish the second training period: During the second stage of training and after a mission has been chosen, rookie astronauts are teamed with seasoned astronauts. The pairing is designed to allow the rookie astronauts to benefit from the expertise of their more seasoned crew members. They get knowledge about, for instance, how to launch a mission successfully and how to enter orbit.
  • Finish your advanced training: When an astronaut is assigned to a mission and a crew, advanced training begins. You are certain to gain the abilities required for your particular function in the broader team during the advanced training, which typically lasts ten months.


Where to Work as an Astronaut

A space station is occupied by astronauts. While they may be on call around-the-clock, seven days a week, astronauts often work a 40-hour work week. They frequently have to travel away from their homes for training and mission assignments. On a mission, they might put in long days of labor followed by extended periods of rest. Long hours, being away from loved ones, and the possibility of harm or death must all be managed by astronauts.


Astronaut Salary Scale

In Canada, The typical wage for an entry-level astronaut (with 1-3 years of experience) is $51,653. A senior-level astronaut, on the other hand, makes an average of $87,956 per year (8+ years of service).

In Australia, the average astronaut income is $92,905 per year or $47.64 per hour. Most experienced workers earn up to $123,301 per year, while entry-level occupations start at $71,819 annually.

In Ireland, an astronaut has an average salary of €48,891 per year and €24 per hour. An astronaut may expect to make between €34,713 and €59,110 per year on average. An astronaut often has a bachelor’s degree as their greatest level of education.

Science, Technology, and Engineering

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