career in meteorology

A Rewarding Career in Meteorology: A Guide

Are you fascinated by the intricacies of weather patterns and atmospheric science? Do you want to pursue a career that combines your passion for science with the opportunity to make a real impact on people’s lives? A career in meteorology may be just what you’re looking for.

Meteorology is a diverse and rewarding field that offers a wide range of career opportunities. From weather forecasting to research and beyond, meteorologists play a vital role in understanding and predicting weather patterns, protecting lives and property, and advancing scientific knowledge.

Quick Answers:

  • Meteorology is an exciting field with diverse career opportunities.
  • Jobs in meteorology include weather forecasting, atmospheric research, and emergency management.
  • Meteorologists typically require a degree in meteorology or atmospheric science.
  • Salaries and job opportunities in meteorology are influenced by experience, education, location, and industry demand.
  • Continuing education and professional development are integral to a successful career in meteorology.

Understanding Meteorology: An Introduction

If you’re interested in pursuing a career in meteorology, it’s important to first understand the basics of this exciting field. Meteorology is the study of the Earth’s atmosphere and weather patterns, and it encompasses a range of sub-disciplines, including atmospheric science and climatology. One of the essential steps towards pursuing a career in meteorology is obtaining the right education, typically through a meteorology degree program.

Atmospheric science is a critical area of meteorology, as it focuses on understanding the behavior of the Earth’s atmosphere and the various processes that affect it. This includes the study of weather patterns, precipitation, atmospheric chemistry, and climate change. By gaining a deep understanding of atmospheric science, you can develop the skills and knowledge needed to pursue a successful career in meteorology.

But what does it take to obtain a meteorology degree? Generally, you’ll need to complete a program that combines coursework in mathematical and physical sciences with meteorology-specific subjects. Coursework may include topics such as atmospheric dynamics, thermodynamics, and meteorological instrumentation, as well as broader subjects like calculus, statistics, and physics.

A meteorology degree program can be both challenging and rewarding, and it’s important to have a strong foundation in the sciences and mathematics in order to succeed. However, with dedication and hard work, you can develop the skills and knowledge you need to pursue a fulfilling career in this exciting field.

Types of Meteorology Careers

There are a variety of exciting career opportunities available to those interested in the field of meteorology. As a meteorologist, you can choose from a range of specialties to pursue a fulfilling career.

Some of the most common meteorology careers include:

Specialty Description
Atmospheric Science Atmospheric scientists study the Earth’s atmosphere and use this knowledge to understand and predict weather patterns, environmental issues, and more.
Weather Forecasting Weather forecasters use cutting-edge technology to analyze weather data and provide accurate predictions to the public and private industries.
Climatology Climatologists study long term weather patterns and their effects on the environment. They use this data to develop climate models that inform public policy and private enterprise.
Research Positions Research positions in meteorology offer the opportunity to investigate specific weather phenomena, develop new technologies, and contribute to the scientific community.

Meteorology careers can be found in a wide range of industries, including:

  • Government agencies, such as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
  • Private companies, including consulting firms and utilities
  • Research institutions, such as universities and scientific organizations

With so many career options available, it’s important to consider your interests and strengths when choosing a career path in meteorology. Whether you enjoy analyzing data, working in the field, or communicating with the public, there is a meteorology career that can provide a satisfying and rewarding experience.

Skills and Qualifications for Meteorologists

Aspiring meteorologists must possess a unique set of skills and qualifications to succeed in this exciting field. A meteorology degree is the best place to start, but it is not enough on its own. Here are some of the essential skills and qualifications needed to become a successful meteorologist:

Strong Mathematical and Analytical Abilities

Meteorology involves a lot of calculations, data analysis, and problem-solving. Thus, strong mathematical and analytical abilities are crucial for aspiring meteorologists. You should be proficient in algebra, trigonometry, and calculus, as these subjects form the foundation of meteorology.

Excellent Communication Skills

Effective communication is an essential skill for meteorologists. You should be able to convey complex weather information to the public in a clear and concise manner. You should also be comfortable working in a team and collaborating with other professionals, such as atmospheric scientists and environmentalists.

Proficiency in Computer Programming and Data Analysis

Meteorology is a highly data-driven field, so proficiency in computer programming and data analysis is a must. You should be comfortable working with software such as MATLAB, R, and Python and be familiar with statistical analysis techniques and data visualization tools.

Meteorology-Specific Knowledge Acquired through a Degree Program

A meteorology degree program will provide you with the fundamental knowledge and skills needed for a career in meteorology. In addition to the mathematical and analytical skills, you will also learn about atmospheric physics and chemistry, weather forecasting techniques, and climate modeling.

By developing these skills and qualifications, you can become a well-rounded meteorologist and pursue a successful career in this exciting field.

Pursuing a Meteorology Degree

If you are interested in pursuing a career in meteorology, obtaining an appropriate degree is essential. You will need a comprehensive understanding of atmospheric science, weather systems, and meteorological data analysis to excel in this field.

When choosing a meteorology degree program, consider factors such as program accreditation, faculty expertise, and curriculum. Bachelor’s, master’s, and Ph.D. degree programs in meteorology are available at many universities and colleges.

The coursework involved in a meteorology degree program typically includes the following:

Course Description
Mathematics and Statistics Calculus, differential equations, probability, and statistics are essential for data analysis and modeling in meteorology.
Physical Sciences Students take courses in the physical sciences, such as physics, chemistry, and geology, to gain a fundamental understanding of the earth and its atmosphere.
Dynamic Meteorology Students learn about atmospheric motion and circulation patterns, including the forces that generate weather systems.
Weather Forecasting Students learn the techniques and technologies used in weather forecasting, including data analysis, computer modeling, and communication of forecasts to the public.
Climate Students study the long-term patterns and changes in the earth’s climate, including the effects of human activity on climate change.

In addition to coursework, you may have the opportunity to gain practical experience through internships or undergraduate research projects. These experiences can be invaluable for providing hands-on training and building your resume as you prepare to enter the job market.

Obtaining a meteorology degree can prepare you for a wide range of careers in meteorology, including weather forecasting, research, and atmospheric science. It can also lead to opportunities for advanced study and specialization in specific areas of meteorology.

Gaining Experience through Internships and Research

As you pursue a career in meteorology, gaining practical experience through internships and research opportunities can be crucial to your success. These experiences not only enhance your knowledge and skills but also demonstrate your commitment to the field.

To find internships in meteorology, start by checking with your school’s career center or contacting local businesses and government agencies that employ meteorologists. Look for opportunities to work with experienced professionals and gain exposure to a variety of meteorology specialties.

Research is another way to gain valuable experience in meteorology. Whether you are conducting research for a degree program or as part of an internship, you will have the opportunity to work on real-world projects and contribute to the scientific community.

Meteorology Internships Meteorology Research Opportunities
  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
  • National Weather Service
  • AccuWeather
  • The Weather Channel
  • StormGeo
  • National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR)
  • Goddard Space Flight Center
  • Jet Propulsion Laboratory
  • Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
  • Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES)

Remember to take advantage of all opportunities to showcase your skills and knowledge throughout your internships and research experiences. This can include presenting your research at conferences, networking with professionals in your field, and seeking feedback from mentors and colleagues.

Weather Forecasting and Atmospheric Research

As a meteorologist, you can specialize in weather forecasting and atmospheric research, which are crucial fields that provide essential services to society.

In weather forecasting, meteorologists use advanced technology, such as satellites, weather balloons, and radar systems, to collect data about the Earth’s atmosphere and predict weather patterns. This information is vital for a range of industries, including transportation, agriculture, and emergency management.

Atmospheric research, on the other hand, involves the study of the Earth’s atmosphere to gain a better understanding of its behavior and dynamics. This research helps us understand climate change and its impact on our planet.

If you choose to specialize in weather forecasting or atmospheric research, you will need to stay up-to-date with the latest technological advancements and scientific discoveries.

Weather Forecasting Atmospheric Research
Uses advanced technology to predict weather patterns Involves the study of the Earth’s atmosphere
Provides valuable information for transportation, agriculture, and emergency management Helps us understand climate change and its impact on our planet
Requires staying up-to-date with the latest technological advancements Requires staying up-to-date with the latest scientific discoveries

Whether you choose to specialize in weather forecasting or atmospheric research, your work as a meteorologist will be both rewarding and important. You’ll have the opportunity to make a real difference in people’s lives by providing critical information that helps them prepare for severe weather events and make informed decisions about their future.

Meteorology Careers in Government and Public Service

Meteorology careers extend beyond the private sector, and your skills and knowledge are highly sought after by government agencies and public service organizations.

Emergency Management

Meteorologists play a crucial role in emergency management, providing critical information about severe weather conditions that could endanger lives and property. As a meteorologist in emergency management, you may work for state or local government agencies, or for non-profit organizations, like the Red Cross.

With an annual average salary of $80,430, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the demand for meteorologists in emergency management is projected to grow by 8% by 2029.

Environmental Protection

Meteorologists also play an important role in environmental protection. As a meteorologist in this area, you could work for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) or other government agencies.

You would use your expertise to help ensure compliance with environmental regulations by monitoring air and water quality, predicting the impact of human activities on the environment, and analyzing the effects of climate change.

Public Safety Sector

In the public safety sector, you could apply your meteorology expertise in various ways, such as aviation, transportation, or law enforcement. For example, you could work for the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) to investigate weather-related accidents, or for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to provide weather-related guidance for aviation safety.

According to the BLS, meteorologists in the federal government (excluding postal service) earn an annual average salary of $100,160, making it a competitive field to break into. However, with the right qualifications and experience, you could find yourself with a rewarding meteorology career in government or public service.

Salary and Job Outlook in Meteorology

When choosing a career, it’s important to consider the earning potential and job opportunities. In meteorology, salaries and job outlooks can vary depending on factors such as experience, education, location, and industry demand.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for atmospheric scientists, including meteorologists, was $97,630 as of May 2020. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $55,580, while the highest 10 percent earned more than $147,160.

When it comes to job outlook, the employment of atmospheric scientists, including meteorologists, is projected to grow 6 percent from 2019 to 2029, faster than the average for all occupations. This growth is mainly due to the increasing need for weather information in industries such as agriculture, transportation, and energy.

A meteorology career can offer exciting opportunities for those interested in understanding and predicting weather patterns. With a solid education, relevant skills, and practical experience, you can enjoy a fulfilling and well-compensated career as a meteorologist.

Meteorology Careers: Continuing Education and Professional Development

If you’re interested in pursuing a career in meteorology, obtaining a degree is just the first step. To stay competitive in the constantly evolving field of meteorology, it’s important to continually expand your knowledge and skills through continuing education and professional development opportunities.

There are many options available for meteorologists who want to pursue advanced degrees, certifications, and specialized training. Some of these include:

  • Earning a master’s or Ph.D. degree in meteorology or a related field.
  • Obtaining certification through professional organizations like the American Meteorological Society or the National Weather Association.
  • Participating in workshops and training programs to learn new techniques and technologies.
  • Conducting research and publishing papers to enhance your expertise.

Continuing education and professional development can help you stay up-to-date with the latest trends and advancements in meteorology, which can give you a competitive edge in the job market. It can also help you specialize in a particular area of meteorology, such as climate modeling or severe weather forecasting.

Additionally, participating in these opportunities can lead to career advancement and higher salaries. According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, meteorologists with advanced degrees and certifications typically earn higher salaries than those without.

Educational Level Median Annual Salary
Bachelor’s Degree $97,160
Master’s Degree $101,480
Doctoral Degree $121,770

Overall, continuing education and professional development are essential for meteorologists who want to excel in their careers. By investing in your education and skills, you’re investing in yourself and your future in the dynamic field of meteorology.


Congratulations on learning about the exciting and rewarding career opportunities in meteorology! By reading this guide, you have gained valuable insights into the essential steps and skills needed to pursue a fulfilling career in this field.

As you embark on your journey towards a career in meteorology, remember to stay focused on your goals and remain committed to acquiring the knowledge and experience necessary to succeed. Whether you choose to pursue a degree in meteorology or gain practical experience through internships and research opportunities, the opportunities are virtually endless.

With a career in meteorology, you can play a vital role in helping society better understand and predict weather patterns, protect public safety, and preserve our planet’s environment. So don’t hesitate any longer – take the first steps towards a career in meteorology today and unlock a world of possibilities!

Your dream career in meteorology is within reach. With persistence, dedication, and a passion for meteorology, you can achieve your goals and enjoy a fulfilling and rewarding career for years to come. Good luck on your journey!

Compare Training Companies


Sign up our newsletter to get update information, news and free insight.

Latest Post