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How to Become a Meteorologist

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Meteorology is a sector of the broader atmospheric science career field. Meteorologists combine a background in atmospheric science with weather forecasting to predict future weather conditions. A bachelor's degree is the typical educational requirement.

Educational Standards

Meteorologists typically need a bachelor's degree in atmospheric science or meteorology. While meteorologists take many of the same science classes as other atmospheric scientists, they also take classes in math, communications and computer programming. The ability to analyze weather data and make sense of information generated through meteorological software are primary qualities needed in meteorology. Broadcast meteorologists use communication courses to develop public speaking and verbal communication skills.

Training and Skill Development

Many aspiring meteorologists complete internships near the end of their degree programs. Internships often include significant time researching the weather and preparing reports. In some cases, interns may have opportunities to fill in for on-screen forecasts. For national positions such as with the National Weather Service, meteorologists can expect to invest 200 hours and about two years in on-the-job training, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.