Meteorologist Job Description, Skills, and Salary
Get to know about the duties, responsibilities, qualifications, and skills requirements of a meteorologist. Feel free to use our meteorologist job description template to produce your own. We also provide you with information about the salary you can earn as a meteorologist.
Who is a Meteorologist?
Meteorology is the study of the atmosphere, employing scientific principles to help explain, comprehend, observe, and forecast atmospheric phenomena on the earth’s surface. Meteorologists frequently specialize in a variety of scientific fields. A good example is a physical meteorologist who conducts experiments and physical analyses of atmospheric conditions. Meteorologists typically take math, physics, chemistry, and computer programming classes to assist them in learning how to forecast weather and climate.
A meteorologist is a scientist who is concerned with the study of the atmosphere. They analyze weather patterns and changes that are critical to announce for public safety and interest. They are typically employed in research laboratories but are most visible on television news networks, where they spend time reporting in the studio and on location during severe weather events.
Meteorologists study science and mathematics and use logic and reason to gain an understanding of the atmosphere and forecast changes in weather phenomena that affect the planet.
While some meteorologists forecast daily weather changes and events, others study larger climatological trends. While some meteorologists study the effect of pollution on the environment, others monitor physical changes in the environment to gain a better understanding of the atmosphere.
Many people associate the term meteorologist with a broadcast journalist discussing the day’s weather on a news channel.
In reality, not all meteorologists on television are licensed, professional scientists.
The meteorologist’s job is to comprehend, interpret, and publicize weather conditions and events. The majority of meteorologists work in laboratories or offices, compiling, analyzing, and studying data about the atmosphere for the National Weather Service, which then serves as a resource for broadcast meteorologists.
Meteorologists study the weather and atmosphere and use scientific research and mathematical models to forecast weather patterns and changes. This entails delving into the physical nature of the laws governing air movement, pressure, and temperature changes to ascertain the factors that contribute to the formation of the various atmospheric conditions.
Today, meteorologists play a critical role in determining the causes and effects of climate change, raising awareness of global environmental issues, and advising others. Typically, work activities are divided into two broad categories: forecasting and research.
Although meteorologists are most commonly associated with weather forecasting, this is only one aspect of their job. However, strictly speaking, a weather forecaster is solely responsible for the production of weather forecasts. Met Éireann forecasting offices are staffed by fully trained meteorologists who are also capable of working in other areas of the service, such as climatology and research.
Meteorologists also conduct research, which may include climatology and marine meteorology studies, the development of new forecasting models and techniques, the study of weather satellite and radar data, the development of computer graphics and plotting systems, the development and provision of training for recruits, and environmental monitoring.
Meteorologist Job Description
Below are the meteorologist job description examples you can use to develop your resume or write a meteorologist job description for your employee. Employers can also use it to sieve out job seekers when choosing candidates for interviews.
The duties and responsibilities of a meteorologist include the following:
- Collecting data from satellite images, radar, remote sensors, and weather stations located throughout the world to determine variables such as air pressure, temperature, and humidity at various atmospheric levels.
- Making short- and long-range weather forecasts by utilizing physical and mathematical relationships and sophisticated computer models.
- Communicating with colleagues and clients from across the country and around the world.
- Collecting data from satellite images, radar, remote sensors, and weather stations located throughout the world using sophisticated computer systems.
- Analyzing and interpreting the results of physical and mathematical models to produce short- and long-range weather forecasts.
- Presenting weather information to a diverse group of stakeholders, including aviation, shipping, utilities, the armed forces, farmers, the insurance industry, emergency services, and the general public.
- Collaborating with colleagues and clients from across the country and around the world.
- Developing mathematical representations to aid in the prediction of atmospheric processes and to improve forecast accuracy.
- Bringing findings to the attention of colleagues, governments, and policymakers.
- Performing statistical analysis and recording of data from global weather stations, satellites, and radars.
- Interpreting patterns in the land, sea, and atmosphere.
- Accomplishing weather forecasting by applying mathematical and physical formulae and utilizing computer modeling applications.
- Enhancing weather forecasting models.
- Keeping abreast of technological advancements.
- investigating topics such as airflow in the lower kilometer of the atmosphere, cloud and precipitation physics, and global climate change.
- Enhancing the accuracy of forecasts by developing and improving numerical and computer models for predicting atmospheric processes.
- Researching forecasting of seasons, forecasting of the oceans, and climate prediction
- Observing and investigating changes in the stratosphere (ten to fifty kilometers above the Earth’s surface), particularly the ozone layer.
- Applying research findings to provide flood warnings or make projections about the likely effects of global warming.
Typically, meteorologist training begins when a high school graduate enrolls in an undergraduate degree program related to meteorology, and in some cases, this course is followed by admission to an advanced degree program. Following graduation from college, recruits receive on-the-job meteorologist training that includes instruction in the use of specific types of software and the interpretation of satellite data.
Many employers require applicants for meteorologist positions to have studied science in college; however, some employers accept applicants who studied mathematics or physics in college as long as they took some meteorology classes. Individuals employed in this field have a variety of job responsibilities, as do the academic requirements for each role. Government agencies are frequently concerned with climate change, and applicants for these positions may be required to complete an advanced degree in climatology. Because shipping companies are primarily concerned with weather conditions at sea, meteorologists applying for positions with these firms may be required to have studied marine meteorology. Employers sometimes prefer to promote from within, which means that an existing employee may be required to earn a master’s degree focusing on a particular aspect of the science before being promoted to a more specialized role.
Beyond college, meteorologist training typically begins with an experienced forecaster shadowing a recruit. He or she is instructed in the use of computer programs for the collection and processing of atmospheric data. Additionally, these individuals are taught various techniques for deciphering charts containing information about weather patterns and atmospheric disturbances. As is the case with many branches of science, meteorologists make predictions about future events and are typically more interested in developing theories than in producing tangible facts. As a result, those new to the position may be asked to review historical data on weather forecasts and patterns to gain a better understanding of how weather systems typically develop in specific areas.
Meteorologists are frequently required to deliver presentations on television, radio, or in front of committees that make decisions about altering travel routes or evacuating coastal areas during storms. Apart from science, meteorologist training frequently includes classes in which recruits learn how to gather and disseminate information efficiently. Forecasters are trained to use interactive devices that project weather maps onto screens, and television networks typically require meteorologists to undergo broadcast training, during which they learn how to stand and address the audience effectively, thereby simplifying forecasts.
Meteorologists rely on a variety of hard and soft skills to perform their jobs professionally and competently. Meteorologists have a logical and scientific mindset and may also possess interpersonal and communication skills, which are advantageous when working in the media. The following are some skills you may wish to develop to succeed as a meteorologist:
- Analytical Skills
A meteorologist’s role entails developing and testing hypotheses. This necessitates a logical mindset and the capacity to analyze data. You could write reports or articles about the results of experiments and their impact on the entire planet. As a meteorologist, you must be capable of assessing and quantifying data on the climate and weather to perform your job effectively.
Meteorologists manage massive amounts of data concurrently. To provide accurate results and predictions, it is critical that you can quickly and efficiently comprehend this data without missing any details. Your role may require you to report to government bodies, organizations, and agencies on your findings or predictions. It is critical to pay close attention to detail when delivering these reports because it enables organizations to react and respond appropriately.
- Communication Skills
Meteorologists make forecasts for a wide variety of people. You may become involved in a variety of facets of science that apply to a variety of industries. This means that your ability to communicate professionally and effectively is critical, as you’re likely to interact with a variety of professionals. You may also be involved in media campaigns or projects, making it critical to understand how to communicate effectively with the public. This includes demystifying complex subjects in terms that the general public can comprehend.
- Technical Skills
Meteorologists work in laboratories or research facilities with a variety of technical equipment. Many of these pieces of equipment require technical expertise to operate. Because you may work in a small team of two to three people, you must understand how to operate these machines and equipment efficiently and how to repair them if they break.
Meteorology can require teamwork, particularly when attempting difficult forecasts, as this helps ensure accuracy. Peer review may also be required for much of the measurement and reporting in atmospheric science. This means that, as a meteorologist, you’d need to be able to collaborate with others in reviewing and evaluating the quality of their work. Your role will almost certainly involve providing feedback and collaborating with other members of your team.
How to Become a Meteorologist
- Identify your career path
If you choose this scientific path, it’s critical to understand that your work may involve more complicated subjects such as chemistry, physics, statistics, or mathematics. Diverse specializations necessitate varying degrees of education and expertise. It’s a good idea to identify the career path you’d like to take so that you can focus on the aspects of meteorology that interest you the most.
- Earn a degree in a science or meteorology-related field.
Meteorologists must possess technical knowledge and a high level of skill to conduct scientific research. By earning a science degree, you can enhance your knowledge of physics, mathematics, and chemistry. The majority of individuals can begin their education with a bachelor’s degree in meteorology or atmospheric science. Additionally, you can pursue a general science degree followed by a master’s degree in meteorology.
- Enhance your technological abilities
Meteorologists frequently work with technology and must possess the requisite skills to operate it effectively. Your work in meteorology may entail performing scientific analyses using sophisticated software or equipment. Additionally, you can conduct measurements and analyze the weather using scientific instruments and equipment. You may even operate broadcasting equipment, depending on the field you choose to pursue.
- Acquire pertinent experience
It is critical to acquire relevant experience in any of the specializations you choose. There may be available internships or apprenticeships where you can gain on-the-job experience. Additionally, an aspiring meteorologist may choose to shadow a qualified scientist to ascertain the necessary skills and characteristics for success. Volunteering or interning with a scientific climate organization can also help you improve your CV when applying to universities or other organizations.
- Update your curriculum vitae and apply for job openings
The final step in the process of becoming a meteorologist is to create a resume and search for job openings in your field of interest. Maintain an up-to-date CV to increase your chances of success with job applications. Include all pertinent education, credentials, skills, and experience to assist you in locating a meteorology position that fits your background and interests.
Where to Work as a Meteorologist
Meteorologists possess a diverse set of skills that they can apply to a variety of agencies and organizations. Typically, they work for governmental meteorological organizations that specialize in a particular area and are responsible for determining how weather patterns and changes affect citizens. Additionally, they can work in a broader context within international governmental organizations such as the European Union. This type of work may involve analyzing atmospheric patterns that may affect climate change. Typical work environments for meteorologists include the following:
- Nongovernmental organizations
- Governmental agencies
- Broadcasting networks, such as radio or television
- Private businesses requiring scientific atmospheric research
- Legal offices requiring scientific input
Meteorologist Salary Scale
In the United States, the national average salary for a Meteorologist is $58,853 per year.