What does a meteorologist do?
Meteorologists (also called atmospheric scientists) study the physical characteristics, processes, and motions of the world’s atmosphere. They study the ways these factors affect the rest of the world’s environment. Meteorologists forecast the weather and strive to recognize and understand trends in climate. They also try to understand past weather patterns and they examine the weather of today. Meteorological research and information on the weather are useful in agriculture, control of air pollution, air and sea transportation, forestry, defense, and the study of likely trends in the climate of the Earth such as ozone depletion, droughts, and global warming.
There are different types of meteorologists such as operational, physical, synoptic, and environmental meteorologists, and Climatologists. Operational meteorologists forecast the weather and are the biggest group of specialists. Physical meteorologists work in research. Synoptic meteorologists use complicated mathematical models of atmospheric activity and computers to create new tools for forecasting the weather. Environmental meteorologists study environmental problems and often assess and report quality of air. Climatologists study the variations in climate that has occurred over time.
What kind of training does a meteorologist need?
Meteorologists typically need a bachelor degree in meteorology or atmospheric science or other closely related field with supporting credits in meteorology. For some higher-level positions a master degree is required and for most basic research positions, a doctorate degree is necessary. In some cases a combination of education and sufficient experience may be substituted for a degree. It is also important to have a strong computer science, physics, and mathematics background in addition to completing meteorology classes.
What are the prospects for a career in meteorology?
Employment for meteorologists is projected to increase approximately as fast as average for all professions, increasing 11% from 2006 10 2016 (1).
The demand of meteorologists will be driven by the need for analyzing and monitoring of air pollutants and efforts to improving worldwide weather observations. Job opportunities will be the best in private industries.
Job prospects are expected to be favorable especially as people retire or leave the field for other reasons.
How much do meteorologists make?
As on July 2009, the middle 50% of meteorologists earned annual salaries between $70,422 and $108,935. The highest 10% earned more than $127,493 (2).
A career as a meteorologist is an excellent choice for individuals who have a genuine interest in the atmosphere and weather patterns. Meteorologists must have great communication skills and be able to work in a variety of environments. They must have flexible schedules and be able to work long hours. Being able to work effectively independently as well as part of a team is also essential.