How to Become a Meteorologist

Written by

Ray Grant Walden


August 14, 2014



Meteorology is an important field of science that studies the atmosphere, weather processes, and other natural factors that influence our world. It helps people learn how to predict natural disasters and prevent detrimental effects on the environment. Meteorologists are the professionals who study meteorology. Learn how to become a meteorologist and browse meteorologist salary info and degree programs.

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?

To become a meteorologist, you 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 to 2016.

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.

Meteorologist Salary: How much do meteorologists make?

The median salary for meteorologists was $87,980 in 2014, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. As of this year, the meteorologist salary for the middle 50% of meteorologists was between $70,422 and $108,935, while the salary for the highest paid 10% was more than $127,493.

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 for anyone considering whether and how to become a meteorologist. Those interested in meteorology may also be interested in being a climatologist or becoming a geographer.

Becoming a Meteorologist Requires Skills & Training, Start Today

Are you serious about becoming a Meteorologist? Then you need to get the required skills and training to do it! To start your new career, first you must decide what school you want to enroll in, so you need to gather info about potential schools. Use the  College Mouse Degree Search tool  to find the right course and college for you, and get started towards your new dream job today! If you want more personalized assistance, call (888) 389-7996 TOLL FREE to speak with a college advisor, who will help you find the best college for you. After you sign up for your course, make sure you fill out and submit the FAFSA so you can take advantage of any financial aid currently available to you!

Written by:  Ray Grant Walden

Ray Grant Walden attended American University College and now lives in Houston. He has enjoyed a very exciting career and has experience in a wide variety of professions, including college counseling.

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