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How Much Money Astrophysicists Make

  1. Aug 28, 2005 #1
    As I said in a couple threads before I really want to go into politics later in life. I honestly am satisfied with the money that is said physicist make but if I want to have a successful career in politics many sites and people say I need money.

    But I have a strong love for science, especially cosmology. How much do astrophysicists get payed on average? More specifically how much do astrophysicists in cosmology (cosmologists) get payed? Would they make enough for me to be successful in politics later on life?
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 29, 2005 #2
    Nobody does science for the money. You have to choose what you'd rather do.

    Or even better, do science find some rich friends who will support you later.

  4. Aug 29, 2005 #3
    Yeah, If you have a "strong love" for it you wouldn't be asking this question.. Though I find it hard to believe that you need money to get into politics.. If you mean locally then I'd prob say no you don't , however, I'm not an expert on these things.
  5. Aug 30, 2005 #4
    But do you know the average made an year anyways for a astrophysicist?
  6. Aug 30, 2005 #5
    They make...

    2.50 an hour. Happy?
  7. Aug 30, 2005 #6


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    What makes you think you belong in politics? Or that you'll contribute to the overall optimal balance between the law and what people want or need?

    If you just go into a field for glamor and personal gain - what makes you think you belong there? There are plenty of politicians who dont belong where they are today, and because of them there are a lot of people who suffer, and some lose lives.

    If you think science is about making money, then somebody seriously misinformed you. If you do get paid $100k a year by some ego rush to the top, you should seriously consider spending most of it away on research - buying equipment, investing in new software, hardware, start up corporations, etc. Like Paul Allen for example.
  8. Aug 31, 2005 #7
    I noticed that many people on PF have a negative view towards money as if it is an evil thing. Is this a euro socialist forum or what :rolleyes:. If I ask a question on money it doesn't mean I'm money crazy, geez.

    And don't make me laugh, lol, 2.50 an hour :rofl:.

    What makes you think I'm going into politics for glamor and personal gain? I think it is the best way to help people considering you have actual power. There is especially one thing I can do, make the lives of scientists easier in whatever way;).

    $100K is not bad, but I'm curious what is the starting pay?
  9. Aug 31, 2005 #8


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    Part of the reason astrophysicists aren't concerned with how much money they make is that they don't have the time to spend it. To be successful in astrophysics, you have to work at least 60 hours a week for most of your career. If you make a huge discovery or get a lucrative faculty position, you can get away with less than this, but that wouldn't be until at least your late 30's (probably later).

    All you need to know is that you'll live comfortably after graduate school (assuming you get a job). If that doesn't satisfy you, then I suggest another career, because you'll be an absolutely miserable astrophysicist if your focus isn't on the work.
  10. Aug 31, 2005 #9

    1. I am not a Euro Socialist.
    2. For the brief periods I have visited this forum, I have never seen anyone have a negative view towards money, people just realize that money isn't everything.
    3. Like any "job", since you didn't list a specific job for a specific group, how is anyone supposed to know what the wage is? It's not like there's a job titled "Astrophysics" and pays "$#" for "#" years.
    4. You need to grow up. Politics isn't really something that you just kinda jump into after you've been a physicist. It sounds as if you are having a midlife crisis and think, "Hmmm, what can I be that sounds cool? First I'll be an Astrophysicist, then a Politician, then I'll be an investment specialist, pilot, and then I'll retire and write a best-selling novel."
  11. Aug 31, 2005 #10
    You mean I won't be able to be a physicist turned pro cage fighter turned astronaught? :(

  12. Aug 31, 2005 #11


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    Its incompatible. being successful in politics requires you to either be very rich, very well known, or start your political career early in your life. You can't gain a bunch of money (and probably nowhere near enough disposable money to mount a campaign or enough friends to help establish enough money) by working and then going into politics. At the most, probably, if you follow that road.... you could get a city council position after retirement... maybe even an assembly position.
  13. Aug 31, 2005 #12


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    Theres hte key. You can live comfortably quite easily but as far as making enough money to run campaigns or truely become rich, its a long shot it seems (unless of course you are decently active and successful in stocks or things that require little time investment).
  14. Aug 31, 2005 #13
    The thing is, if you want to go into physics, you won't have time for politics. You'll be too busy studying. You'll get out of school by the time you're almost 30. And then you need to find a job and situate yourself before you can explore any other careers. So you'll be "getting into" politics in your mid 30's, with no background. Doesn't look too good for you.

  15. Aug 31, 2005 #14


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    and no money! :rofl: :rofl:
  16. Sep 2, 2005 #15
    I really do want to go into politics, but by the sounds of it physics is not a good profession to go into for it, maybe it is not for me. However I cannot imagine any other job I can work for before going into politics, I really do love cosmology. Any suggestions :wink:.
  17. Sep 2, 2005 #16


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    Politics is the job politicians go into to get into politics.

    On a more serious note... MAYBE a lawyer... definitely government... but not science, nothing science.
  18. Sep 2, 2005 #17
    Pengwuino is right here. You can do a lot of work in politics even if you're not (yet) an elected official, and if that's your goal it's probably the best way to get there.

    Of course, anyone can be a politician (even scientists) but it's not a very easy route or direct route to go through cosmology.
  19. Sep 2, 2005 #18
    Political science.

    Sorry, I had to. :)

  20. Sep 3, 2005 #19
    But is politics really all about money? I mean if you have really good public speaking skills some say that is all you need. I mean how else can a madman like Hitler become Fuhrer of Germany with little to no college education (correct me if I'm wrong). In fact Hitler was nothing more than an unemployed teenager before he went into politics, he somehow had the ability to blind the people in thinking it was all the Jews fault :eek: for all the problems, with really only his voice and no money.

    Of course then again some say Bush is a representation that only rich people can do good in politics, especially considering how bad Bush is at public speaking.

    Cosmology in a way is not only limited to science. It covers science, philosophy, esotericism, and religion. 3 of that list is basically related in many ways to politics indirectly :wink:.
  21. Sep 3, 2005 #20


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    Ok I really don't think your situation will compare at all to the rise of Hitler. Unless WW3 breaks out, we lose, and the UK and French blame us for the war and our economy becomes 3rd world with most of the nation in utter devestation, your situation just does not compare to Hitler's rise to power.

    This is like the people who bring outlandish theories and say "Well Einstein was a patent clerk when he developed his most famous theories". I'm sorry but Einstein wasnt exactly your typical clerk and hitler was not in a typical political situation.

    The major problem here (I assume you live in the US) is that in order to get into a decent political scene, you will have some huge obstacles.

    You will need a lot of money nad a lot of connections to get on the ballot and hope you can mount a successful campaign. This CAN be reduced if you find yourself in a district (we're talking city council or maybe assemblymen) where the people in charge are just doing a horrible job. For example, new york and Guillianis capturing of the mayor's office. If people are fed up like they were in New York, it is possible that you wont need a huge campaign (not that Guilliani's campaign wasnt big, i dont know anything about his funding back then). Someone in my city won re-election by only spending a few cents per voter! But of course, these are special situations.

    What I noticed people doing around here is that they will put up a few hundred grand of their own money (sometimes by putting their houses on the line) to start financing a campaign. Then you can go from state assembly to state senator to congressmen to senator to presidential candidate. All very hard! You can also get a government position and go up the ranks in the organization. Many presidents and vice presidents were ex-CIA, ex-Secretaries, and important people in various other government agencies as well. Its very hard to just pop out of a lab in your 40's and go 'im gonna run for president someday!'. Its possible but the odds are so against you and the cost of trying is so high that its not at all advisable to try.
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2005
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