How To Become a Meteorologist

Meteorology is one of those fascinating fields that demands less preparation and more hands-on learning. Weather affects every part of our lives and has an influence on our health and wellness, too. Those who are addicted to the study of weather will find it quite easy to become a meteorologist.

Job Description
Both government and private sector companies employ meteorologists. Use of modern technology is a skill necessary for anyone wishing to become a meteorologist. You must be able to gather every piece of information that becomes available and mesh it into a forecast. A good forecaster, who can also communicate well, will certainly have plenty of work options to pursue.

Once you have decided to become a meteorologist, be sure you are prepared to fill one or more of these duties:

  • Broadcasting
  • Consulting
  • Air Quality Measurement
  • Computer Programming
  • Research and Development
  • Teaching
  • Forensic Expert
  • Instrument Development
  • Climatology
  • Marketing and Management

It's Not a J-O-B
The meteorologist earns at least - if not more than - any other scientist. As in any other professional position, the knowledge, skills and experience that you can offer will determine earning capacity. This is not a job. You are pursuing a lifestyle.

Some individuals become a meteorologist at the entry level, which offers barely a minimum wage, but tremendous hands-on education. An estimated 50% of entry-level positions are compensated between $20,000 and $30,000 annually. With a couple of year's experience, 60% will receive $25,000 to $40,000, and five years of experience means that more than 50% of all meteorologists may earn $30,000 to $50,000. A small number of knowledgeable broadcasting forecasters experience continual progression and realize an annual income exceeding $100,000.

Background and Education
You do not need a college degree to look outside, look up, make a judgment about incoming weather, dew points and humidity and advise others of your results so they know what to expect.  However, if you are looking to become a meteorologist, then advanced education is necessary.

Meteorology touches on every area of science, having become part of the applied mathematics field. Therefore, it is advisable that a potential meteorologist have strong skills in math as well as science and technology.  Communication skills and advanced computer skills are equally important.

Some schools offer non-degree basic meteorology courses. However, this is not helpful if your goal is to become a meteorologist. Today's practicing meteorologists have a basic undergraduate degree in meteorology. They have knowledge in physics, biology, chemistry, calculus and computer science.

The good news is that you do not need a Ph.D to become a meteorologist. Weather belongs to everyone and it changes everyday. Commitment and fervor will serve you well as you become a meteorologist.


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