Salaries For NASA Astronaut

The annual salary for NASA astronauts ranges from $65,000 to $141,715 per year. The pay scale for grades GS-12 through GS-13 of the Federal Government serves as the foundation for the salary for civilian astronaut candidates. Based on academic performance and employment history, a grade is issued to them. Here we will see about Salaries For NASA Astronaut.

An astronaut earns at least $100,000 annually. However, the amount will vary based on several factors, including experience and mission type. A full health insurance program and lodging at the NASA Houston headquarters are additional benefits they received. A stipend is also given to them to assist with mission-related expenses.

Salaries For NASA Astronaut

Salary for NASA Astronauts:

The salary for NASA astronauts ranges widely as they do some of the most difficult tasks in the world. They also have the chance to work for respectable pay while carrying out innovative research and exploring space. According to estimates from Glassdoor, an entry-level astronaut’s beginning salary is roughly $100,000 annually.

This number can increase dramatically with more authority and responsibility. A six-figure pay is possible for astronauts with more than 10 years of experience, and astronauts in executive positions at NASA may even make up to $300,000 annually. Incredible benefits and several incentives, including paid training, medical facilities, and retirement benefits are also provided.

Astronauts Get Paid for Life or not:

Astronauts must go through training and certification to do their duties efficiently. But unlike a lot of other professions, becoming an astronaut is regarded as a dangerous job. This implies that astronauts typically have several compensation entitlements after departing the program. In reality, NASA provides retiring astronauts with a pension and lifetime health insurance.

Jeff Bezos Career Advice
Jeff Bezos Career Advice

Therefore, even though they may not be paid for life, astronauts do receive several benefits that assist to balance the risk associated with their line of work. However, astronauts may have several financial advantages after they retire. Former astronauts, for instance, can be eligible for more retirement or pension benefits that are provided to other federal employees. After exiting the space program, a lot of former US astronauts have achieved success in business and entrepreneurship. Thus, even though an astronaut’s pay is minimum while they are employed, they occasionally receive a sizable payoff after leaving active duty. 

Astronauts Earning in Money:

The successful completion of a two-year training and evaluation phase is needed before becoming an astronaut. The benefits typically reflect the persistence and commitment required to carry it through. However, astronauts can make a good living after completing their school and training.

Salaries for Civilians

The pay grade for civilian astronauts, according to NASA, ranges from GS-11 to GS-14, hence the wage range is quite broad. Starting pay is a little over $66,000 per year while seasoned astronauts can make up to $144,566 annually.

Salaries for Military

But since many astronauts are former service members, they receive a pay grade depending on their level of active duty, just like everyone else in the military. Astronauts are commissioned with the brigadier general rank and are paid at the O-7 pay grade. After approximately eight years of service, they would make $118,872 a year, or $9,906 each month. Moreover, the salary climbs to $10,212 per month or $112,544 annually after ten years of active duty. Military salary is $12,591 per month or $151,092 per year after 20 years of service.

Benefits of NASA astronauts 

The military astronauts receive housing benefits, much like other military members. In addition to their base pay, colonels and captains receive housing allowances of more than $1,528 without dependents and over $1,845 with them. Any position above a brigadier general receives $1,667 per month without dependents and $2,050 with dependents. Additionally, they can be qualified for additional benefits such as aviation career incentive pay, which could raise their base earnings by an additional $150 to $1,000 per month. None of these advantages would be available to civilian astronauts.

Job Prospects for NASA astronauts

Although NASA is constantly looking for astronauts, the likelihood of being employed is very low. Although NASA doesn’t advise any particular degree to increase your chances, the fundamental qualifications are frequently in engineering, biological science, physical science, or mathematics. In addition, acceptance to the school requires either 1,000 hours of pilot-in-command time in jet aircraft or three years of relevant professional experience. However, the majority of applicants gain military jet aircraft expertise.

Compensations given to NASA astronauts:

The civilian astronauts are supposed to work for NASA for a minimum of five years during which time they are federal government workers. The majority of federal employees advance according to a system of occupational pay levels or grades. The pay for 15 grades is determined by a general schedule or GS. The entry-level grade for a certain occupation is often where employees start their careers in the federal civil service. From there, they go up the career ladder through numerous promotions until they reach the full-performance grade for that occupation. The GS levels and pay grades are determined by experience and academic standing. A GS-11 astronaut’s starting wage is currently $64,724 per year, and a GS-14 astronaut’s compensation can reach $141,715 per year.

The government partially reimburses the premium costs for a variety of health and life insurance choices that are available to civilian astronauts. NASA details military astronauts for a set period of service. They continue to serve on active duty and continue to be eligible for leave and military pay.


The extraordinary accomplishments and efforts of astronauts can allow them to earn substantial pay. Even though earnings for other professions have now surpassed those of astronauts, they still make a respectable living. Moreover, there will be more options for astronauts to find employment as a result of the numerous new space exploration initiatives. Through this article we have learned about Salaries For NASA Astronaut.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. What do NASA astronauts get paid?

The salary range for a NASA astronaut in the US is from $24,079 to $640,817, with an average pay of $116,165 per year. The middle 57% of NASA astronauts make between $116,169 and $291,008 annually.

Q2. Who earns the most money as an astronaut?

Neil Armstrong received a salary of $27,401 for the Apollo 11 mission in 1969, making him the highest-paid astronaut at the time, according to the Boston Herald. 

Q3. Is NASA well-paid?

The estimated median compensation at NASA is $117,103, or $56 per hour, while the estimated average annual salary, including base pay and bonuses, is $124,363, or $59 per hour. At NASA, a Group Product Manager earns an average salary of $223,604 a year, while a Sr Desktop Support earns an average salary of $41,000.

Q4. Which academic field is ideal for astronauts?

The degrees in science, technology, engineering, and math will help you to work as an astronaut. Engineering, biological science, physical science (such as physics, chemistry, or geology), computer science, or mathematics majors are usually employed by NASA.

Salaries For NASA Astronaut

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Scroll to top