How Much Do Astronauts Get Paid?

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If you are keen on becoming an astronaut, then this question should cross your mind, “how much do astronauts get paid?”

Astronauts are the closest thing to real-life superheroes on the planet. They travel in spaceships, visit faraway worlds, and are just some of the most outstanding individuals on the globe.

Unfortunately, being an astronaut is exceedingly tough for most of us. There are various severe qualifications for becoming an astronaut, according to NASA’s website.

Foremost, you must be a United States citizen. Second, you must have a master’s degree in a STEM discipline (such as engineering, computer science, biology, or mathematics), and you are unlikely to be accepted unless you receive your degree from a prestigious university.

But, while the average salary for astronauts certainly is not low, it might still surprise you how much these heroes make every year. Journey with us!

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Who is an Astronaut?

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) refers to astronauts as “all those who have been launched as crew members aboard NASA’s [or any other space agency’s] spacecraft bound for orbit and beyond”.

The official NASA website further explains that the word “astronaut” is derived from the Greek words ‘Astron’ and ‘nautes’, which when translated, means “space sailor”.

Becoming an astronaut is a challenging process that is not for everyone since your physical and genetic makeup plays a role in your chances. One candidate described the selection process as “out of this world.”

An astronaut’s job is prominent because they risk their lives to discover more about the universe and save humanity through their astronomical expertise.

It’s a wonderful goal to pursue, and one that needs to be rounded out with a rounding innovation.

What are the Responsibilities of an Astronaut? What Do Astronauts Do? 

An astronaut, also known as a space sailor, has a wide range of responsibilities. Astronauts spend much of their time in space shuttle compartments conducting scientific experiments, providing fast input to qualified staff on Earth, and collecting samples from the celestial worlds they visit.

They come up with theories and conduct experiments to test them all while monitoring other active projects. Because astronauts travel in groups, each one has a specific function to fulfill throughout a space trip.

As a result, you can not tell the exact function of all astronauts in your sight unless you’re told. The crew flies to various destinations and sometimes missions.

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How Much Do Astronauts Make?

Astronauts are not sports or superstars in the entertainment industry, nor do they deserve to be. They do not receive millions of dollars for each mission, as Hollywood stars do after starring in a blockbuster film.

However, NASA and some experts report that the rising frequency at which Elon Musk’s Space X and Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin are launching rockets will increase the demand for more astronauts and space science workers.

The job supply& demand market for this career is not yet at its peak.

According to NASA, an astronaut who ranks among the top achievers in his class can earn more than $100,000 per year.

The actual figure is determined by the astronaut’s academic and technical qualification grade.

Astronauts’ annual earnings are classified into the official pay scales for grades GS-12 and GS-13.

The salary also depends on the Federal Government’s budget for space travel that year. If the latter is higher, then the astronauts receive higher pay and vice versa.

The US Office of Personnel Management is in charge of the base salary. Also, regulating how much they can pay an astronaut each year.

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Nasa in 2016: Salaries for Civilian Astronaut

Candidates’ payments are based upon the Federal Government’s General Schedule pay scale for grades GS-11 through GS-14.

The grade is determined by each individual’s academic achievements and experience.

Currently, a GS-11 starts at $66,026 per year, and a GS-14 can earn up to $144,566 per year.

Nasa in 2017: Salaries for civilian Astronaut

Candidates’ payments are based on the Federal Government’s General Schedule pay scale for grades GS-12 through GS-13.

Also, each person’s grade is determined according to his/her academic achievements and experience.

Currently, a GS-12 starts at $65,140 per year, and a GS-13 can earn up to $100,701 per year.

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NASA in 2018: grades GS-11

US Government’s General Schedule pay scale for grades GS-11 is at $98,317 per year, while grade GS-14 astronauts get $63,600 per year.

Astronauts with a GS-13 pay grade could start earning $75,628 per year (Step 1) and, after some years of service, up to $98,317 per year.

This already explains How Much Astronauts Get Paid.

Should Astronauts Get Paid More?

They should pay astronauts more than they are now because of all the hard years of academia followed by intensive NASA training, as well as the fact that they implicitly risk their lives when traveling into space.

For comparison, a lawyer’s average compensation in 2021 was roughly $150,000. While lawyers are critical to maintaining the integrity of our legal system in the United States, none of them will put on a spacesuit and go to another planet during their careers.

With all that being said, most astronauts probably are not complaining too much about not getting paid enough. As we stated at the beginning of the article, every kid has dreamed about being an astronaut. And, when it’s time for an astronaut to climb into a spacecraft and blast off, that’s a dream being realized. And that’s priceless.

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Should You Become an Astronaut? 

Naturally, it is up to you to decide whether you wish to be an astronaut. This is a question that entirely depends on you and your chosen professional path. The path to becoming an astronaut is not for the faint of heart, and the job criteria for a certified astronaut are far from simple.

Some astronauts spend months in space before returning to Earth and seeing their families. As a result, the level of dedication to the job is extremely high.

Some astronauts spend months in space before returning to Earth and seeing their families. As a result, the level of dedication to the job is extremely high.

However, if you have a powerful drive to learn about other parts of the universe and its contents, as well as a desire to further humanity’s ambition of becoming interplanetary people, becoming an astronaut might be a suitable fit for you.

Since we have already established how much an astronaut earns, it should motivate you to pursue a career as one.

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One of the most difficult occupations to qualify for and practice is that of an astronaut. It’s also a much-needed career, as the space industry’s privatization has raised the demand for astronauts now and in the coming decades.

The income is low compared to the high grade of the job requirements, according to this report. Although astronauts’ average pay may arise in the future, the desire to explore the universe and help the world remains the driving force behind becoming an astronaut.

Do you have questions about how much astronauts get paid? Leave us a comment below.


Do astronauts get paid for life?

They stay on active duty and continue to receive a military salary, perks, and time off.

Do astronauts get paid a lot of money?

According to NASA, civilian astronauts are paid in pay grades ranging from GS-11 to GS-14, with a wide variety of earnings. The starting salary is just over $66,000 per year. On the other hand, experienced astronauts can earn up to $144,566 per year.

What is a GS 14 astronaut?

Astronauts are qualified for one of these two classes since they have a Ph. D. and extensive specialized training. GS-14 and GS-15 are government positions allocated for upper management. The Senior Executive Service (SES) pay scale is utilized above GS-15.

How much is a NASA astronaut paid?

According to the US government’s 2020 pay scales and a NASA job listing, a civilian astronaut in 2020 can earn between $66,167 and $161,141 per year. However, active military service members can earn more through additional benefits they bring with them to NASA’s astronaut corps



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