The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has job opportunities for all kinds of people. While many of their positions are for engineers and scientists, you can also work at NASA in an administrative support position, such as in human resources or public relations. If you’re interested in working at NASA, learning what kinds of jobs it offers can help you better prepare for your next job search.
In this article, we provide a list of 40 jobs you can get at NASA, including the national average salaries and primary job responsibilities for each.
15 types of jobs at NASA
Here are 15 jobs that you might be able to get at NASA. For the most up-to-date salary information from Indeed, visit indeed.com/salaries.
1. Avionics technician
National average salary: $40,018 per year
Primary responsibilities: Avionics technicians work with the central systems of spacecraft and satellites, such as communication and navigation systems. They may assemble, install, repair and test components for these systems or replace a malfunctioning component. When applicable, they use flight test data to identify potential performance issues, so they can fix components before a malfunction occurs. Avionics technicians also keep detailed documentation of their work, including a record of any repairs and malfunctions, which engineers use to improve designs.
National average salary: $41,705 per year
Primary responsibilities: Photographers at NASA take photos at many stages of a space project to document its progress. They may work closely with engineers and scientists to photograph important moments in the project, such as a discovery, event or launch. Their documentation may include taking photographs of a project’s team members, which can act as a record of NASA activities. Photographs from NASA can have many uses, such as being included in publicity or marketing, posted on social media or published in scientific papers.
3. Computer engineer
National average salary: $52,121 per year
Primary responsibilities: Computer engineers design, test and develop the computer hardware and other systems NASA uses. This can include the computer systems NASA uses to observe space, such as measuring activity and collecting data, or the hardware researchers, scientists and other engineers use. When designing a new product, computer engineers create detailed documentation of their process and instructions for others to use it properly. Other responsibilities can include testing software, creating programs, setting up networks and troubleshooting glitches or malfunctions.
National average salary: $55,658 per year
Primary responsibilities: Producers at NASA primarily work on educational videos, which may be for internal use and training, such as a video demonstrating how to assemble, use and repair certain equipment. NASA may also distribute these videos to the media, schools or the public to explain scientific concepts. Producers manage many aspects of filming these videos, such as the budget, production schedule and crew selection, and they may give the director input on creative decisions.
5. Technical writer
National average salary: $59,097 per year
Primary responsibilities: Technical writers translate complex scientific information into language the public can understand. They work closely with scientists and engineers to learn the details of their projects, missions and research and identify the details that are most helpful for people to learn. They also may conduct extra research, depending on the subject. Some techniques technical writers use to simplify information include illustrating the text with visual material, like photographs and diagrams.
6. Electronics technician
National average salary: $62,718 per year
Primary responsibilities: Electronics technicians follow directions, diagrams and specifications to repair or improve electronic components in spacecraft and satellites. They inspect and test components for potential performance issues, identify the causes of malfunctions and perform maintenance work. They may also install new components, do preventative maintenance, adapt components and perform safety checks. Other responsibilities can include making suggestions for design improvements, assisting engineers with designing new components, determining material needs, reporting potential hazards and maintaining detailed records.
National average salary: $66,182 per year
Primary responsibilities: Meteorologists are atmospheric scientists who prepare weather forecasts based on observations of the weather and climate. The technology they use in their forecasts includes weather balloons, satellites, radar systems and computer programs that can analyze weather data and create simulated weather predictions. At NASA, meteorologists may be part of forecasting weather for launches, or they may study the atmosphere and climate from space to improve forecasting technology. Meteorologists may also be involved in heliophysics projects that study the activity and behavior of the sun.
8. Public relations specialist
National average salary: $67,584 per year
Primary responsibilities: Public relations specialists at NASA provide information to the media and public about space projects, events and discoveries. They may release this information through press releases, blog posts or social media. Their work also involves arranging media interviews for NASA professionals, such as scientists, researchers and astronauts, and teaching them how to communicate effectively to help them prepare for those interviews. Other responsibilities can include responding to media requests, working with schools to arrange educational speakers, writing speeches and coordinating with others on the publicity team.
9. Aerospace technician
National average salary: $71,049 per year
Primary responsibilities: Aerospace technicians help engineers design, develop and test spacecraft and satellites. This often involves preparing equipment for testing, conducting tests and recording and analyzing results. After comparing the results against the test’s objectives, they work with an engineer to identify changes and adjust the design before running more tests. Aerospace technicians also may maintain equipment, monitor inventory and write reports to assist engineers.
10. Mechanical engineer
National average salary: $81,178 per year
Primary responsibilities: Mechanical engineers collaborate with other engineers to create parts for their products. Components they might design include engines, sensors and steering mechanisms that go into rockets or satellites. They also may examine and repair the components they create or train others on the maintenance of the components, such as writing a detailed document explaining how it works. Other responsibilities can include developing prototypes, overseeing the manufacturing process, testing components, analyzing malfunctions, identifying solutions and adjusting designs.
11. Aerospace engineer
National average salary: $103,655 per year
Primary responsibilities: Aerospace engineers at NASA design and create spacecraft and satellites. They research current and new technology, work with a team to create the design and oversee the manufacturing process. They also perform extensive testing, which can involve using environments that simulate outer space, so they can ensure the product works without resources like oxygen. After testing, aerospace engineers identify the source of a malfunction and determine adjustments that may improve performance to troubleshoot issues.
12. Propulsion engineer
National average salary: $106,298 per year
Primary responsibilities: Propulsion engineers are aerospace professionals who design the propulsion components for aerospace devices, such as spacecraft and satellites for NASA. These components can include engines, control systems, propellant systems, compressors, pumps and fuel systems. Propulsion engineers may design assessment tools for testing their designs, and their work often includes creating blueprints for new designs, improving designs, making prototypes, testing components and helping with manufacturing. Other responsibilities include collaborating with other engineers, performing tests to ensure safety and performance, working within a budget and creating instructional and repair documents.
13. Electronics engineer
National average salary: $108,550 per year
Primary responsibilities: Electronics engineers design and test the electrical equipment and components in spacecraft and satellites. Their work usually focuses on smaller, specific components, such as instrument panels, radar systems or communication systems in spacecraft. They ensure the components are high quality, function properly, meet the necessary standards and regulations and are safe for astronauts or other aerospace professionals to use. Engineers also often document their work and create detailed maintenance procedures for their designs to help with future repairs.
14. Avionics engineer
National average salary: $120,923 per year
Primary responsibilities: Avionics engineers design, develop and test the avionics systems for spacecraft and satellites, which include the systems for communication, navigation and weather radar. They work with a team of engineers and technicians to create project proposals they can complete within budget, and they design criteria to measure the performance, safety and quality of the final product. They perform rigorous tests on the systems and troubleshoot any malfunctions. Other responsibilities can include mentoring junior engineers, consulting on other projects and documenting their work.
National average salary: $128,950 per year
Primary responsibilities: Astronomers are scientists who study the universe and the celestial bodies within it, including stars and planets. They collect data about celestial bodies using equipment like telescopes, satellites and space probes, and they use that data to better understand the age and composition of the body. Astronomers also may design and test new scientific instruments to help them collect data. At NASA, an astronomer’s data and discoveries can guide missions by finding potential areas of the universe to research.
25 other jobs at NASA
Here are 25 more jobs you might get at NASA, including their national average salaries. For the most up-to-date salary information from Indeed, visit indeed.com/salaries.
Human resources specialist: $45,149 per year
Medical assistant: $47,276 per year
Administrative assistant: $50,058 per year
Marketing specialist: $50,671 per year
Pilot: $51,614 per year
IT specialist: $51,664 per year
Information specialist: $51,782 per year
Financial management specialist: $52,540 per year
Accountant: $53,847 per year
Researcher: $55,622 per year
Social media specialist: $57,134 per year
Security officer: $60,988 per year
Budget analyst: $73,167 per year
Logistics manager: $64,369 per year
IT security specialist: $69,076 per year
Contract specialist: $69,638 per year
Project manager: $77,063 per year
Program analyst: $83,8978 per year
Industrial hygienist: $84,314 per year
Attorney: $88,618 per year
Technical manager: $92,910 per year
Materials engineer: $93,433 per year
Software engineer: $96,573 per year
Data scientist: $103,226 per year
Mathematician: $107,161 per year