Summary: Meteorologists, also known as atmospheric scientists, study the earth’s atmosphere, its physical characteristics and its effect on the environment. They perform research, analyze and study various weather conditions as well as inform the public about their findings.
Duties: A meteorologist deals with the analyzing and interpreting of meteorological data gathered; preparing reports and forecasts for public use; studying and interpreting maps, photographs, reports and charts to predict weather conditions; operating computer graphic equipment to produce weather reports; analyzing weather reports to be distributed to users, and televised weather broadcasts; broadcasting weather forecast over television or radio; issuing advisories regarding hurricanes and other severe weather conditions; preparing reports for special audiences; conducting basic or applied research; establishing and staffing weather observation stations; providing predictions and forecasts based on scientific data within a certain and updated time frame; warning air and sea travelers for potential threats that may occur due to weather disturbances; and coordinating information and investigations regarding subjects such as clouds, precipitation, humidity and global warming.
Education and Training Requirements: A bachelor’s degree is the minimum requirement to be a meteorologist, but a master’s degree is what is preferred by employers if ever a meteorologist decides to pursue that profession. Bachelor’s degrees in engineering, atmospheric science and taking courses in meteorology are often the case. Training when it comes to weather analysis, dynamic meteorology and forecasting is much required to be employed by the federal government.
Knowledge and Skills Requirements: An aspiring meteorologist must have a deep interest and curiosity about the nature of the world around us. He should have excellent analytical skills in order to interpret weather conditions and of course have reliable resources to back up his findings. Long hours of research and idle time are to be expected which requires a lot of patience.
Working Conditions: Many meteorologists are employed by private organizations which include airlines, shipping companies and government agencies. Also, many of them work and teach in colleges and universities doing research side by side. Depending on their nature of work, meteorologist usually work in an office with a pleasant, safe and clean environment with rooms full of maps, charts and equipment to help them with their research. Rotating shifts are usually the case working a usual 40 hours a week. Some professional meteorologists are assigned to weather stations in secluded and remote areas which may require for them to work alone.
Salary: Annual salary depends on the field of meteorology, employer, educational attainment and location of employment of the meteorologist but the average annual salary is $55,000. Meteorologists specializing in urban cities dealing with adverse weather conditions receive higher pay with benefits that include paid holidays and vacations, insurance, and pensions.