Cosmologists study the universe to help answer questions such as how it formed, what events are taking place there currently, and what its fate might be. Cosmologists use ground and space telescopes to gather data and observe astronomical objects. They must have expertise in astronomy and physics, since cosmology combines the two sciences. Cosmologists are hired by both public and private organizations that have an interest in testing or explaining the mysteries of the universe. Common employers include government agencies, universities, observatories, planetariums and science centers.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics groups cosmologists under the job category of physicists and astronomers. The combined average annual salary of these two professions was $106,360 in 2012. According to a 2013 BLS report, the average annual salary of astronomers was $110,440 a year, while a physicist averaged $117,040 a year.
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