How to Become an Astronomer in India: A Complete Career Guide!

6 minute read

We see people often preferring to study courses like MBA, BSc in Nursing, etc. Undoubtedly, these courses are great but for students who have the nature to try something new and explore themselves, Astronomy can be a completely different approach though there are extreme growth chances. It’s an incredibly rapidly growing field with many exciting career opportunities available around the world. Our country, where interest in astronomy is booming in recent years, is all thanks to several successful space missions by India’s Space Research Organization (ISRO) that brought it into the international limelight. So in today’s blog, we will try to throw some light on how to become an astronomer in India and everything related to it so stay tuned and continue reading.

Growing Interest in Astronomy in India

Before we move into how to become an Astronomer in India we need to learn about the relations between India and astronomy and the dedication towards Indian space projects. India has always been interested in exploring space and for years conducted many successful satellite launches. However, more recently there has been a growing realization among Indians about how much there still is to discover within our own galaxy alone and all the credit goes to some great individuals like Dr. Vikram Sarabhai, Nambi Narayanan, Dr. A.P.J Abdul Kalam because without their contribution ISRO could never achieve its new heights and people would have never considered exploring in the field of Astronomy.

Also Read- Career In Astronomy: Know All About It

What Does an Astronomer Do?

As an astronomer, you’ll study the universe, including stars, planets, galaxies, other celestial objects, etc, and monitor phenomena that are occurring every second outside the Earth also astronomy is the science behind all of this. By using a variety of tools and techniques to observe and analyze these objects, you can unveil some of the mysteries of our universe. Being an astronomer is a fascinating field that will allow you to explore everything from black holes to the origins of our solar system.

Benefits of Becoming an Astronomer in India

Here are some key benefits of being an Astronomer in India:

  • Your career will be future-proof as India is constantly evolving and innovating in the field of astronomy and space research
  • You will have an exponential growth opportunity due to India’s bent toward exploring the outer space
  • This can provide you with an opportunity to be something special that is beyond today’s mainstream working class
  • As it’s also a research-oriented profession, you can contribute to the development of science and technology in India and the world
  • You can get a chance to gain global recognition and also get an opportunity to work with other astronomers and scientists from different countries and institutions
  • This can also provide you with an opportunity to use sophisticated instruments and technologies, such as telescopes, satellites, rockets, supercomputers, etc

Eligibility for Becoming an Astronomer

Here are the basic eligibility criteria that you need to fulfil to become an astronomer in India:

  • You need to complete your 10+2 with Physics, Chemistry, and Mathematics as these are the compulsory subjects
  • You must have a relevant Bachelor’s degree (B.Sc. or B.Tech.) in Physics, Mathematics, Engineering, or related fields from a recognized university or institute
  • You need to have a Master’s degree (M.Sc. or M.Tech.) in relevant fields like Physics, Astronomy, Astrophysics, etc
  • It’s also necessary to have a Doctoral degree (PhD) in Astronomy, Astrophysics, or related fields from a recognized university or institute.
  • You also need to appear and clear some entrance exams

Also Read- A Career in Space Science 

How to Become an Astronomer in India?

Even if you have achieved all the necessary degrees and met all the eligibility requirements, there is no direct way like other jobs to apply for ISRO or other high-profile organisations as they are very conservative in nature in terms of recruiting new candidates. Still, there is currently an opportunity at the Indian Institute of Astrophysics:

  • Simply search for the Indian Institute of Astrophysics on your search engine like Google, DuckduckGo, etc.
  • Head over to the careers page by clicking on it
  • You will see a detailed overview of the eligibility, responsibilities, and much more read it and try to understand the job description
  • There are various programs like teaching, independent research, etc which you will understand once you take a look at it
  • Scroll down and apply for the profile you are interested in 

Important Note:

You can increase your chances of becoming a successful astronomer by conducting research. This may draw the attention of other organizations and governing bodies and they can offer you some job positions. Alternatively, you can also choose the teaching profession after completing your studies.

Taking Examinations

In this section, we will discuss all the exams that a candidate needs to clear to become an astronomer in India:

 Entrance Exams-  

Other Exams related to Astronomy-

National Standard Examination in Astronomy (NSEA)- This is a written exam that tests the basic knowledge of astronomy and physics. It is held at various centres across India in November every year.

Indian National Astronomy Olympiad (INAO)– This is also a written exam that tests the advanced knowledge of astronomy and physics. It is held at various centres across India in January every year. Only those who qualify for NSEA are eligible for INAO.

International Astronomy Olympiad (IAO)–  This is an international competition that consists of theoretical, observational, and practical tasks. It is held in different countries every year in October/November. Only those who qualify for INAO are eligible for IAO.

Relevant Read- How to Become a Space Scientist in ISRO?

Top 6 Colleges in India for Astronomy

Here are the top 6 colleges in India that offer study programs in Astronomy or in a related field:

  • Indian Institute of Science (IISC), Bangalore
  • Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA), Bangalore 
  • Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences (ARIES), Nainital
  • National Centre for Radio Astrophysics (NCRA), Pune
  • Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology (IIST), Thiruvananthapuram
  • Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR)

Topic Covered in Astronomy 

Here are some of the core subjects/topics that are covered in Astronomy:

  • Mathematics 
  • Quantum Mechanics
  • Positional Astronomy
  • Space Physics
  • Astronomical Techniques
  • Celestial and Fluid Mechanics
  • Electromagnetic Waves
  • Radiating System
  • Cosmology and Galactic System
  • Meteorology

Career Prospects

Here are some job profiles with average salaries which are related to Astronomy like BSc Astronomy or PhD in Astronomy:

            Job Profiles          Average Salary
Planetary GeologistINR 10 Lakh per annum
Physicist INR 18 Lakh per annum
Telescope Design EngineerINR 5 Lakh per annum
Cosmologist INR 16 Lakh per annum
ISRO ScientistINR 25 Lakh per annum


1. Is there any way to get a job at ISRO?

As mentioned earlier unlike regular jobs, you can’t directly apply for a job at ISRO but there is one way, once you complete your studies appear for the GATE Entrance Exam and you need to have a position under 200 so you can get selected for On-Campus ISRO recruitment. Also, It’s worth mentioning the college needs to be a reputed one.

2. Is there any age limit and cut of marks to get a job in ISRO?

Yes, you need to have a minimum aggregated score of 65% in your Bachelor’s Degree like B.Tech and your age should be below 35 years.

3. Who is the No.1 Astronomer in India?

Aryabhatta who was an earlier mathematician of India and also the inventor of the digit “Zero” or “0” was the No.1 Astronomer of India.

This was everything related to How to Become an Astronomer in India. If you wish to learn more about other emerging career options out there in India and for more amazing blogs you can always stay updated by following Leverage Edu Blogs You can also follow and connect with us through our socials like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

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