You would need a degree in astronomy or astrophysics. Then, you must pursue specialized postgraduate studies, usually a PhD, to get a position as a professional research astronomer. To continue enjoying our site, we ask you to confirm your identity as a human. Thank you very much for your collaboration.
The key message I'm trying to convey about an astro career is that it takes time. You'll need four to six years just to get a bachelor's degree, which is true in many other professions. Then comes graduate school, which can take anywhere from five years for theorists to seven or eight for experimenters and observers. Then comes a postdoctoral research appointment, where your on-the-job training continues outside of your doctorate.
In astronomy and physics, you usually have two or three of these two to five year periods before you are considered ready for a teaching job at a major research university. Because astrophysics is a very broad subject, astrophysicists often apply many disciplines of physics, including mechanics, electromagnetism, statistical mechanics, thermodynamics, quantum mechanics, relativity, nuclear and particle physics, and atomic and molecular physics.