What Atmospheric Scientists, Including Meteorologists Do
Atmospheric scientists study the weather and climate, and how those conditions affect human activity and the earth in general.
Most atmospheric scientists work indoors in weather stations, offices, or laboratories. Occasionally, they do fieldwork, which means working outdoors to examine the weather. Some atmospheric scientists may have to work extended hours during weather emergencies.
How to Become an Atmospheric Scientist
Atmospheric scientists need a bachelor’s degree in atmospheric science or a closely related field for most positions. Those who work in research usually need a master’s degree or a Ph.D.
Employment of atmospheric scientists is projected to grow 9 percent from 2014 to 2024, faster than the average for all occupations. The best job prospects for atmospheric scientists will be in private industry.
Job Trends for Atmospheric Scientists, Including Meteorologists
This occupation supported 11,100 jobs in 2012 and 11,800 jobs in 2014, reflecting an increase of 6.3%. In 2012, this occupation was projected to increase by 9.9% in 2022 to 12,200 jobs. As of 2014, to keep pace with prediction, the expected number of jobs was 11,300, compared with an observed value of 11,800, 4.4% higher than expected. This indicates current employment trends are better than the 2012 trend within this occupation. In 2014, this occupation was projected to increase by 9.9% in 2024 to 12,900 jobs. Linear extrapolation of the 2012 projection for 2022 results in an expected number of 12,400 jobs for 2024, 3.9% lower than the 2014 projection for 2024. This indicates expectations for future employment trends are better than the 2012 trend within this occupation.