Atmospheric Scientists

Posted on: 02.19.2015 in interact

If you love science and are not afraid of storms, then atmospheric scientist may just a great job for you.

atmospheric-scientist1What Atmospheric Scientists Do

According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, atmospheric scientists study the weather and climate and research the effects they have on the planet. Yes, that means atmospheric scientists are instrumental in tracking climate change. Some of their duties include:

  • Measuring temperature, pressure, humidity, wind speed
  • Using computer models that analyze meteorological data
  • Producing weather maps and graphics about current weather conditions
  • Preparing weather forecasts and issuing warnings in cases of severe weather, such as hurricanes, tornadoes and floods

Atm-Scientist-672x378How to Become an Atmospheric Scientist

To become an atmospheric scientist, you’ll need a bachelor’s degree in meteorology or a closely related earth science degree such as physics, chemistry or geology. In addition to meteorology and atmospheric science courses, you may also need to take advanced courses in physics, mathematics, communications as well as computer programming. Many atmospheric scientists write and edit computer software programs that produce forecasts. And if you want to become a broadcast meteorologists, you may take courses in speech or journalism.

The National Weather Association has compiled a list of universities, by state, that offer degree programs in meteorology and atmospheric science.

atmospheric-scientistAtmospheric Scientist Jobs

The US Department of Labor estimates that, in 2012, atmospheric scientists held 11,100 jobs. Employment in the field is projected to grow 10 percent from 2012 to 2022.

The median annual wage for atmospheric scientists in 2012 was $89,260.

Some of the jobs you can get with a degree in atmospheric science are:

  • Atmospheric chemist — studying atmospheric components, gases, chemical reactions that occur in clouds and ultraviolet radiation
  • Weather forecasters — using computer and mathematical models to produce weather reports and short-term forecasts that can range from a few minutes to more than a week
  • Broadcast meteorologists — giving the weather forecasts on television, the radio and the Internet
  • Climatologists — studying historical weather patterns and creating long-term climate forecasts. Global climate change is the main area of study for climatologists
  • Forensic meteorologists — reconstructing weather conditions for a specific time and location using historical weather data

Atmospheric scientist often have very demanding schedules, including extended hours during severe weather. Weather conditions can change quickly and need constant monitoring, so entry-level staff at field stations often work rotating shifts — including nights, weekends and holidays– to cover all 24 hours in a day.

leave a comment