Career in Meteorology
The Aviation Meteorologist analyzes weather data and prepares weather reports for the Flight Dispatcher, pilot, and other airline personnel concerned with weather information. He or she assists the flight dispatcher in preparing flight plans.
Working indoors at the airport in the airline operations office, the meteorologist uses weather facsimile machines, teletype machines, computer terminals, weather charts, and other meteorological data. Shift work is required, and the normal workweek is 40 hours.
Airlines, depending upon their size, pay between $28,000 and $47,000 per year as a starting wage. For meteorologists employed by the Federal Government, those with a bachelor's degree but no experience receive starting salaries ranging from $17,000 to $22,000, depending on college performance. For master's degrees, starting wages range from $21,000 to $27,300 and Ph.D.'s from $25,700 to $33,400.
A meteorologist with a large airline may be promoted to chief meteorologist or take a position as an assistant flight dispatcher. The employee may also use this experience to become a meteorologist for the National Weather Service or for a private meteorology service.
A college degree with a major in meteorology is required. It is common to gain prior experience with military weather services or with the National Weather Service as a meteorological technician or meteorologist.
The American Meteorological Society (AMS)
The American Meteorological Society promotes the development and dissemination of information and education on the atmospheric and related oceanic and hydrologic sciences and the advancement of their professional applications.
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Atmospheric scientists held about 9,400 jobs in 2008. This does not include individuals employed in college and university departments of meteorology or atmospheric science, physics, earth science, or geophysics; these individuals are classified as college or university faculty, rather than atmospheric scientists. Employment is expected to increase faster than average. Applicants face keen competition; those with graduate degrees should enjoy better prospects than those with only a bachelor’s degree.
Current Job Openings
University Corporation for Atmospheric Research(UCAR) provides services to and promotes partnerships in a collaborative community of researchers and educators who are dedicated to understanding the atmosphere—the air around us—and the complex processes that make up the Earth system, from the ocean floor to the Sun's core. UCAR manage the National Center for Atmospheric Research and UCAR Community Programs on behalf of the National Science Foundation and the university community.