Only the upper class were able to escape the collapsing earthsphere, with it’s diminishing resources and survivability. Entering space introduces a whole new class system, though, as investing in moving out to space is a very expensive venture. Only the truly rich are able to enjoy luxuries in space, ships that look pretty on the outside and in, housing with gravity, housing with amenities, etc. There are a handful of planets that have been colonized, because the atmosphere was already compatible with human physiology, or the resources are rich and valuable enough that people are willing to live there in sealed habitats.
There are a number of ways to get into space aside from out of your own pocket, as well. People of Earth who have access and funds to go to the proper colleges and academies may get accepted as CST or CSTP recruits, or they may even be accepted by a small EEM company, though that is extraordinarily rare – most of those companies don’t have the spare funds or manpower to hire from Earth.
The occupations in space are plentiful. One could fulfill a role on a larger spacecraft, working as one of the many on board, such as an Orehauler or a CSTP Warboat or Cruiser. There are also many R&D facilities in space, since the environment allows for new experiments and limitless space to work with, allowing for exciting developments in many different fields. Space stations require any number of odd jobs, or you could simply be a freelance pilot, taking up whatever opportunity for money comes your way.
If you do any of the above without making regular reports of your activities, or registering with the CSTP, you will likely be regarded with caution, because that is a telltale sign of an illegal. Illegals tend to stick to the outer reaches of known space, some of the braver ones daring to venture beyond it. There are rumors of hidden stations that cater only to illegals, but the CSTP doesn’t claim to know of their existance.