Work at NASA: how much money does an astronaut earn per year

Work at NASA: how much money does an astronaut earn per year

Work at NASA: how much money does an astronaut earn per year, As entrepreneurs like SpaceX founder Elon Musk launch ever more powerful rockets into space, wager on a new space race,  and prepare to send astronauts to the moon, it becomes more and more interesting to join the NASA ranks.

But to become an astronaut, the first thing you have to do is pass a rigorous list of requirements, including being a US citizen, having a college degree in science, engineering, or math, and three years of professional experience or 1,000 hours as an airplane pilot. jet.

The interested person then has to go through an exhausting selection process that is about 74 times more difficult than getting into Harvard University (USA). NASA selects a new class of astronauts every 2 years. In 2019, the last call, only 11 of the more than 18,000 applicants made it.

So how much does NASA pay its astronauts for the extensive experience and training required plus the risk of putting life in danger?

According to a  section of frequently asked questions on the NASA page, the annual salary of an astronaut “is based on the salary scale of the Federal Government for the categories GS-12 and GS-13″.

“The [professional] category of each person is determined based on their academic achievements and experience,” adds the space agency.

These categories are used to determine how much different white-collar workers should be paid at many of America’s government agencies. Each category is further divided into 10 subcategories based on performance and years of service.

The US Office of Personnel Management (OPM) handles agency base salaries as well as severance, so the numbers change every year.

How much does the United States pay its astronauts?

In 2021, according to the OPM salary scale, a new astronaut with category GS-12 and experience in subcategory 1 would earn 66,167 dollars per year (about 54,5400 euros at current exchange rates). After several years of adequate performance, the same astronaut could enter subcategory 10 in the GS-12 group; that is, 86,021 dollars per year (about 70,766 euros per year).

Meanwhile, the most qualified astronauts with a professional category GS-13 could start earning about $78,681 per year in subcategory 1 (about 64,728 euros per year) and after a few years reach up to $102,288 per year in subcategory 3 ( about 84,149 euros per year).

However, astronauts are not limited to the GS-12 and GS-13 categories for their entire careers, but could reach the highest level of the scale—GS-15, subcategory 10—and earn up to $142,000 a year. (about 116,800 euros per year) according to their position, responsibilities, and performance within the astronaut corps.

“When a civilian is selected for the Astronaut Program, their category can initially be GS-12 and GS-13,”  former astronaut William “Bill,” McArthur tells Business Insider by email. “As an active astronaut, between 2001 and 2007, my professional category was at the highest level of the civilian ladder.”

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