Astronauts WantedThe Space Age is Back (with Space Careers)

Astronauts Wanted

For a long time, when you searched any job site for the term “Astronauts Wanted”, all you got were jobs at the Sony Music label by that name. This year space became cool again. We had rocket launches from Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin, the successful reusable rocket launch from Elon Musk’s SpaceX, Stephen Hawking joining Virgin Galactic, and importantly, a new Star Wars film that didn’t suck (although we share Neil deGrasse Tyson’s many concerns about the film).

Now we also have some great career news for space buffs. NASA is looking for astronauts again. In their latest job posting, NASA is accepting applications for a new class of astronauts. To quote the job posting:

The next class of astronauts may fly on any of four different U.S. spacecraft during their careers: the International Space Station (ISS), two new commercial spacecraft being built by U.S. companies, and NASA’s Orion deep-space exploration vehicle. NASA is in the midst of an unprecedented transition to using commercial spacecraft for its scheduled crew and cargo transport to the ISS. For the last 15 years, humans have been living continuously aboard the orbiting laboratory, expanding scientific knowledge and demonstrating new technologies. Future crewmembers will continue this work.

Key requirements include:

  • A bachelors degree in a relevant field (fields include technology, psychology, nursing, social sciences, aviation and more)
  • Three years of work experience (a wide range of experience including teaching K-12 counts as qualifying work experience)
  • Ability to pass the difficult NASA physical
  • US citizenship

If these job requirements seem easy, it’s worth noting that applications will likely be very competitive. NASA strongly recommends advanced degrees. There are only 47 members of NASAs active astronaut corps. A look at the 8-strong astronaut class of 2013 reveals a group ranging from 34 to 39 years old, and many with both military backgrounds and graduate degrees.

What does an astronaut earn? Anywhere from $66,000 a year to $144,000 a year. To learn more, read the FAQ also also check out the AMA (ask me anything!) they conducted on Reddit.

A screenshot of the job posting is below:


We hope this heralds an exciting new age in space travel. Love outer space but don’t qualify to be an astronaut? Perhaps consider our curated channels for engineering jobs at aerospace firms, or jobs for PhDs at space organizations.

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Pathfinder Paul is a team of Tapwage writers and guest contributors who discuss career paths and how to navigate important transitions in your career