4 Careers In Meteorology And How To Get There (2023)

As anyone on the East Coast of the US is very much aware right now after four nor’easters in three weeks, weather can be a wacky thing. The good news? Humans no longer exist at its sheer mercy thanks to meteorology. Defined by the Met Office Meteorological Glossary as "the science of the atmosphere ... embracing both weather and climate. It is concerned with the physical, dynamical and chemical state of the earth's atmosphere (and those of the planets), and with the interactions between the earth's atmosphere and the underlying surface,” meteorology gives us the capacity not only to observe and record weather conditions, but also to analyze and predict them.

Thinking of a career in this hot (or cold, as the case may be) field? Read on for a roundup of four possible careers in meteorology, along with an overview of the training necessary to become a meteorologist.

Four Careers in Meteorology

1. Broadcaster

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Probably the first job that comes to mind when you think of meteorology, broadcast meteorologists work for television networks and radio stations using their specialized knowledge of meteorology to create and provide forecasts to the public. In other words, just like news reporters deliver the news, broadcast meteorologists deliver the weather.

2. Researcher

Not all meteorologists are in front of the camera; many work behind the scenes. Says the National Severe Storms Laboratory, “A research meteorologist studies more specific areas of weather like severe weather or climate change. They can also develop tools like radar or weather models to help other meteorologists in their jobs.”

Echoes Houston Chronicle, “The collection of data on atmospheric conditions and weather is a coordinated worldwide effort. Meteorologists who conduct research often participate in multi-disciplinary efforts to study weather trends and their effects on plants, animals, humans and the world's oceans. Researchers also study historical atmospheric data to find clues that help the scientific community understand how weather events shape the earth's ecosystems.”


Indeed, given the challenges the planet is facing regarding climate change, global demand for climate change research and researchers is expected to skyrocket in the years ahead. If you’re looking for a job that matters, meanwhile, you’ll find it as a researcher in the field of meteorology.

3. Military and Airline Forecaster

If you’ve ever had a flight delayed or canceled due to precarious weather conditions, you may have grumbled over it -- but ultimately the decision was made with your safety in mind. Responsible for informing these kinds of calls, which are not made lightly? Meteorologists. Says Stephanie Klipfel, a meteorology supervisor at Delta, “Days one, two and three are the most important to look at. We’re interested in what’s happening at the airports. We’re looking at the hubs. Once we complete or update our tailored forecasts, we immediately get that information to the System Operations Managers and Flight Superintendents (dispatchers who monitor flights) to come up with a plan for Delta’s operation.”

Similarly, meteorologists in the military make weather observations and forecasts for flights, deployments, air strikes, space launches and other missions around the world.

(Video) How to Find and Apply for Government Meteorology Jobs

4. Teaching

Knowledge about meteorology is constantly changing. How do we make sure the next generation of meteorologists are prepared to navigate future challenges? Educate them. Says Houston Chronicle, “Meteorologists with PhD degrees often teach the courses that aspiring meteorologists must complete for the initial or graduate degree. These jobs are at colleges or universities that offer degrees in meteorology or one of the sciences that is the foundation of this discipline. Meteorology professors also work for the government or the military and oversee research projects that graduate students undertake while completing their degree requirements.”

How to become a Meteorologist

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook is strong for atmospheric scientists, including meteorologists. Predicted to grow 8 percent from 2020 through 2030 -- faster than the average for all occupations -- a meteorologist salary could exceed $99,740 a year.

(Video) Advice for Being/Becoming a Meteorology Major

The work of meteorologists is important, and therefore requires a concrete set of skills. Typically, the minimal requirement necessary to become an entry-level meteorologist is a bachelor’s degree. If your goal is to go into teaching, research or consulting, continuing your education at the master’s or doctor level will be necessary. Many schools also offer Certificate programs in Meteorology aimed at delivering the targeted training necessary for meteorology jobs.

Additionally, internships and other opportunities for hands-on experience can both strengthen your resume while simultaneously giving you the opportunity to explore different disciplines within the field. For example, if you’re considering going into broadcast meteorology, an internship at a television studio can give you a better sense of what the job is like while also boosting your qualifications as a candidate.

One last thing to keep in mind? While meteorology may on the surface be about weather and climate, it's also about something else: Helping people and even saving lives. From giving early warnings and helping to get the word out quickly to identifying rising issues and creating technology designed to improve accuracy, meteorologists make the planet a safer, better place for its inhabitants. Will you take your place among them?


What are 5 jobs of meteorology? ›

  • Air Pollution Scientist.
  • Atmospheric Scientist*
  • Aviation Forecaster.
  • Broadcast Meteorologist.
  • Climatologist.
  • Environmental Assessment.
  • Facilities Management.
  • Forensic Meteorology.

What are the four major branches of meteorology? ›

Meteorology traditionally is divided into four branches: physical, dynamical, synoptic, and applied meteorology. Physical meteorologists deal with topics such as the physics of rain formation, atmospheric electricity, radiative transfer and remote sensing.

What are four additional careers that are connected to the career of a meteorologist? ›

Meteorologists are involved with research, teaching, consulting, and forecasting.

What is a career in meteorology? ›

Careers in Meteorology

Meteorology is the science concerned with the Earth's atmosphere and its physical processes. A meteorologist is a physical scientist who observes, studies, or forecasts the weather.

What are 3 things meteorologist do? ›

Meteorologists are observers and researchers. They note the physical conditions of the atmosphere above them, and they study maps, satellite data, and radar information. They also compare various kinds of weather data from local, regional, and global sources.

What kind of job is meteorology? ›

Meteorologists are scientists who study and predict atmospheric conditions. They also offer advice in natural disaster scenarios and research current and past weather events. Meteorologists usually work in scientific laboratories, although some work in the field, and a few work in broadcasting as weather presenters.

What are the four 4 factors that cause weather patterns? ›

Although many factors combine to influence weather, the four main ones are solar radiation, the amount of which changes with Earth's tilt, orbital distance from the sun and latitude, temperature, air pressure and the abundance of water.

What are the 4 types of weather data? ›

Weather data tells a story about the state of the atmosphere in a particular location over a specific period of time by measuring several different parameters, including temperature, air quality, wind speed, and precipitation level.

How many types of meteorology are there? ›

Synoptic and dynamic meteorology are two major branches of meteorology. Synoptic meteorologists use simultaneous weather reports to analyze the present state of the atmosphere and predict its future states. Dynamic meteorologists use mathematical equations to describe the motions of the atmosphere.

What are the three branches of meteorology? ›

RADIOMETRY – How electromagnetic radiation in the atmosphere is observed and measured. AERODYNAMICS – How air circulates in the atmosphere. HYDROMETEOROLOGY – How water and energy are transferred between the land surface and atmosphere (hydrologic cycle).

What are some examples of meteorology? ›

These events are thunderstorms, sea breezes, severe local storms, tornado events, and low-level jet streams. The weather maps that television meteorologists use are mainly from this scale. Air quality, snow watch, local storm watch all occur on this scale.

Is meteorology is a good career? ›

Employment of atmospheric scientists, including meteorologists is projected to grow 4 percent from 2021 to 2031, about as fast as the average for all occupations. About 700 openings for atmospheric scientists, including meteorologists are projected each year, on average, over the decade.

Can a meteorologist be a doctor? ›

Some Meteorologists complete a Masters, or even a Doctorate in Meteorology or in Atmospheric Sciences. After completing your degree, you can apply to work for science research centres, news stations, and a variety of other government and private jobs related to climatology.

How do I start a career in meteorology? ›

A bachelor's degree in meteorology is the standard entry-level credential within this field. However, a graduate degree such as a master's or Ph. D. degree may be necessary for certain positions, especially roles that involve teaching or research, according to experts.

What skills do you need for meteorology? ›

Key skills for meteorologists
  • Analytical skills.
  • Genuine interest in weather systems.
  • Teamworking skills.
  • Interpersonal skills.
  • Written and oral communication skills.
  • Problem solving skills.
  • Computer literacy.
  • Mathematical abilities.

Who is a meteorologist for kids? ›

A meteorologist is a type of scientist that studies the atmosphere to predict and understand earth's weather. They help us prepare for each day's temperatures and let us know to expect rain, snow, or sun.

What is meteorologist short answer? ›

A meteorologist is an individual with specialized education who uses scientific principles to explain, understand, observe or forecast the earth's atmospheric phenomena and/or how the atmosphere affects the earth and life on the planet.

What is basic meteorology? ›

Jun 15, 2017. The basics of metrology begin as a method by which any given unit of measurement can be used universally. Defining the units, realizing how they are used in practice and tracing the measurements made in practice to reference standards are the three core activities that metrology is concerned with.

What do meteorologists major in? ›

What do Meteorologists study? Meteorologists usually need a bachelor's degree in atmospheric science or a closely related field that's specific to atmospheric phenomena. Degrees in physics, chemistry, or geoscience may be adequate for certain positions.

Is meteorology a hard major? ›

Meteorology is a tough college major. The courses are challenging, but with a little planning and dedication you can get through it. Your planning should start in high school. Meteorologists need to be good at math and science, so take all the courses that you can!

Do meteorologists make money? ›

How much does a Meteorologist make in California? The average Meteorologist salary in California is $117,781 as of January 26, 2023, but the range typically falls between $90,991 and $146,225.

What are 4 aspects of climate? ›

The four connected components of Earth's climate system: the atmosphere, hydrosphere, geosphere, and biosphere.

What are 4 factors that can impact and change climate? ›

The most important natural factors are:
  • distance from the sea.
  • ocean currents.
  • direction of prevailing winds.
  • shape of the land (known as 'relief' or 'topography')
  • distance from the equator.
  • the El Niño phenomenon.

What is the 7 elements of weather? ›

The basic atmospheric conditions that make up the weather include precipitation, humidity, temperature, pressure, cloudiness, and wind. The air is constantly in movement. There also is a continuous exchange of heat and moisture between the atmosphere and Earth's land and sea surfaces.

Is meteorology just guessing? ›

Always remember that a weather forecast is an educated guess – meteorologists (and mankind, in general) cannot control the weather. The best we can do is observe past and present atmospheric patterns and data, and apply this information to what we think will happen in the future.

Is there a lot of math in meteorology? ›

Math is used every day from the time you wake up until the time you go to bed. It's often said that math is the universal language. Meteorology students are required to take at least three semesters of Calculus, along with other math classes. Math helps meteorologists understand how the atmosphere works.

Who was the first meteorologist? ›

Aristotelian meteorology

Aristotle is considered the founder of meteorology. One of the most impressive achievements described in the Meteorology is the description of what is now known as the hydrologic cycle. His work would remain an authority on meteorology for nearly 2,000 years.

What are the 6 main elements of weather? ›

The elements of weather and climate are those quantities or properties that are measured regularly and include: a) air temperature, b) humidity, c) type and amount of clouds, d)type and amount of precipitation, e) air pressure, and f) wind speed and direction.

What are the 6 components of weather? ›

Temperature, humidity, atmospheric pressure, wind, precipitation, and cloudiness. When combined, these six elements make up the weather. Without taking all six into consideration, weather reports and forecasts are incomplete.

What is meteorology class 5? ›

Short term change in the environment like temperature, and rain in the surrounding is called the weather. Q. Meteorology is the study of inter-relationships between the components of air, geological movement of earth, natural cycles and climate.

Why is meteorology difficult? ›

Why is predicting the weather so difficult for meteorologists? Well, meteorologists need to track multiple conditions and variables at the same time across vast areas, and many of these variables interact and affect one another. Weather prediction is more than just a moving target.

Why did you choose meteorology? ›

Studying meteorology is a rewarding career path that connects you intimately with happenings in the atmosphere. Becoming a meteorologist means you will be at the forefront of weather forecasting. Not only will you do important research, but also clouds will never appear to be the same to you again!

Is meteorologist a stressful job? ›

High. Meteorologists tend not to find their jobs stressful, which likely contributes positively to career satisfaction.

Who studies tornadoes? ›

Meteorologists can detect tornadoes before or as they occur. Several American Geophysical Union scientists are available to comment on the science of tornadoes, including tornado formation, forecasting, warning systems, hazards and damage mitigation.

What does a forensic meteorologist do? ›

Forensic meteorologists use historical weather data to reconstruct the weather conditions for a specific location and time. They investigate what role weather played in unusual events such as traffic accidents and fires. Forensic meteorologists may be called as experts to testify in court.

Is meteorology a BS or a BA? ›

About the Program

The Bachelor of Science in Meteorology (BSMet), a degree program offered by the Department of Meteorology, is designed to develop highly competent and world-class professionals in atmospheric science.

What age is a meteorologist? ›

Broadcast Meteorologist Age Breakdown

Interestingly enough, the average age of broadcast meteorologists is 40+ years old, which represents 69% of the population.

What should I study to become a meteorologist? ›

  • Students interested in becoming a meteorologist should take science in class 12.
  • After, they can pursue BTech in Atmospheric Sciences or BSc in Meteorology, offered by IITs in India, the admissions to which is based on JEE Main scores.

Am I too old to become a meteorologist? ›

Whatever your age, it's never too early or too late to grow your love and knowledge of weather!

What are 3 tasks a meteorologist completes most days? ›

The responsibilities of a meteorologist include analyzing and interpreting meteorological data, issuing severe weather warnings, and broadcasting the weather forecast over television or radio.

What are the types of meteorology? ›

Synoptic and dynamic meteorology are two major branches of meteorology. Synoptic meteorologists use simultaneous weather reports to analyze the present state of the atmosphere and predict its future states. Dynamic meteorologists use mathematical equations to describe the motions of the atmosphere.

What are the 5 major factors that affect climate? ›

Hint:The five main factors which affect the climate of a region are Latitude, Altitude, relief, currents and winds and distance from the sea. Complete answer: Latitude: Climate of a region depends on the latitude where it lies.

Why is it called meteorologist? ›

He called it Meteorologica because it dealt with things that fell from the sky, like meteors. The word stuck, and thus a person who forecasts the weather has come to be called a meteorologist because he or she studies things that fall from the sky.

What are the 6 elements of weather? ›

Temperature, humidity, atmospheric pressure, wind, precipitation, and cloudiness. When combined, these six elements make up the weather. Without taking all six into consideration, weather reports and forecasts are incomplete.

What is a meteorologist 3rd grade? ›

A meteorologist is a type of scientist that studies the atmosphere to predict and understand earth's weather.

What is a person who studies weather and climate called? ›

Atmospheric scientists, including meteorologists study weather, climate, and other aspects of the atmosphere. They develop reports and forecasts from their analysis of weather and climate data.


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