Space technology

From home insulation to disaster response, and satellite navigation to high-spec medical equipment, space technology is now being used in a large number of applications which is why the space sector is set to double in size by 2020.


If this is an area that interests you, you could work in:

  • Earth observation and environmental monitoring – measuring the impacts we are having on the Earth
  • Satellite navigation – helping people to find their way
  • Telecommunications – working on the latest technology for your mobile device
  • Space weather science – giving early warnings for changes in weather patterns
  • Space tourism – sharing the awe and wonder of Space with the public

…the opportunities are huge and waiting for you!

To work in the Space sector you may have to fight off the competition and the correct qualifications can help you to do this. More than 70% of employees in the Space sector are degree qualified, but you will also need good teamwork skills as well as high attention to detail as nothing can be left to chance.

Graduate starting salaries begin at around £25,000 to £30,000 a year, rising upwards of £80,000 for physicists working in the international sector.

To get yourself ahead of the game you could:

  • Try to get involved in space societies and space exhibitions where available
  • Try to get work experience during your school/college holidays and remember to add it to your CV
  • Learn another language – the space sector is a very international field
  • Be prepared to travel to find the right job for you
  • Go for it and work hard!

For more information you may want to look at the following:

  1. Space themed section on – including career profiles from those already working in the Space sector
  2. ‘Exploring the universe’ – Institute of Physics schools and colleges lecture 2009
  3. ‘Gravity, gas and stardust’ – Institute of Physics schools and colleges lecture 2006


Teachers – have a look at the Institute of Physics ‘Teaching astronomy and space videos’ which have been built around a series of Teachers TV programmes.


This text has been adapted from ‘Space technology: Opportunities for physicists’, orginally written by the Institute of Physics.

The image within this article is courtesy of NASA/JP- Caltech