Meteorologists, or atmospheric scientists, study weather conditions and forecast weather changes. By analyzing weather maps covering large geographic areas and related charts, like upper-air maps and soundings, they can predict the movement of fronts, precipitation, and pressure areas. They forecast such data as temperature, winds, precipitation, cloud cover, and flying conditions. To predict future weather patterns and to develop increased accuracy in weather study and forecasting, meteorologists conduct research on such subjects as atmospheric electricity, clouds, precipitation, hurricanes, and data collected from weather satellites. Other areas of research used to forecast weather may include ocean currents and temperature. There are about 10,800 atmospheric and space scientists employed in the United States.

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Quick Facts
Alternate Title(s) Applied Meteorologists, Atmospheric Scientists, Climatologists, Dynamic Meteorologists, Environmental Meteorologists, Flight Meteorologists, Forensic Meteorologists, Industrial Meteorologists, Operational Meteorologists, Physical Meteorologists, Synoptic Meteorologists
Duties Study weather conditions and forecast weather changes
Salary Range Below $25,000 to $100,000+
Work Environment Primarily Indoors
Best Geographical Location(s) Opportunities are available throughout the country
Minimum Education Level
  • Bachelor's Degree
School Subjects
  • Geography
  • Mathematics
  • Physics
Experience Internship or co-op
Personality Traits
  • Curious
  • Scientific
  • Technical
  • Computer
  • Research
  • Scientific
Certification or Licensing Recommended
Special Requirements None
Employment Prospects Good
Advancement Prospects Good
Outlook About as Fast as the Average
Career Ladder
  • Broadcast Meteorologist
  • College Professor or Weather Consultant
  • Experienced Meteorologist
  • Meteorologist

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