Meteorology Jobs

What is Meteorology

Meteorology, or atmospheric science, is the study of the atmosphere. This includes monitoring the earth’s movements, weather patterns, and extensive research into weather from a historical perspective.

What is a Meteorologist?

Meteorologists make use of the research findings and their broad knowledge base in atmospheric science to make weather predictions. In addition to this commonly known task, meteorologists are involved in taking the research findings and applying them to a wide range of industries so that the industries might benefit from the information. A few of these industries are:

  • Agriculture
  • Forestry
  • Government
  • Transportation

What qualifications do Meteorologists need?

A bachelor’s degree in meteorology or atmospheric science is the industry recommended credential for entry level positions. Other areas of study that can lead to a meteorologist job include science, mathematics, and chemistry. Within the degree programs, employers look for a good mix of courses in physical science, statistics, chemistry, climatology, hydrology, computer science, and thermodynamics. The various employers and industries may have specific courses they are looking for. Employment opportunities increase with a master’s degree, and a Ph.D is a requirement for positions involving substantial amounts of research.

What does a Meteorologist do?

The largest percentage of meteorologists predict the weather. Some even become television personalities, sharing their predictions on nightly newscasts. To make accurate forecasts, the meteorologist must examine air pressure, temperature, humidity, and wind velocity within the context of physics, mathematics, and known patterns. Satellites, radar, and weather stations placed in strategic locations provide the data the meteorologist needs to do his job.

A meteorologist’s job is important because not only does the general public rely on the information he provides, but safety issues come into play as industry makes decisions based on the weather. These decisions involve travel, events, and employee safety.

Other tasks performed by meteorologists include:

  • Research and development
  • Environmental analysis
  • Weather observation
  • Supervision and administrative tasks

Are there any areas of specialization?

The field of meteorology offers the option of specialization. Specialization increases earning potential and advancement opportunities. Some specializations include:
  • Operational meteorologist
  • Atmospheric scientists
  • Consulting
  • Physical meteorologist
  • Environmental scientist
  • Hydrometeorology


Meteorologists can also choose to specialize in preparing forecasts for specific industries. Farming, commodity investors, construction businesses, and utility companies all have a need for seasonal forecasts so that they can plan their schedules. Since these industries have climate restrictions to take into considerations, meteorologists can focus in on one of them, helping with organization and scheduling of weather sensitive activities.

Who employs Meteorologists?

Meteorologists are employed in government and in the private sector. Weather consulting firms, manufacturing companies, the media, environmental groups, and educational facilities all hire meteorologists. Once they have a great deal of experience and have established a reputation in their field, many meteorologists start their own business or consulting firms. Clients of these firms are those companies that need the services of a meteorologist on an “as needed basis” or those who cannot afford to fill the position in house. Examples of companies who employ meteorologists are: United Airlines, CNN, and the United State’s National Forest Service.