Are you fascinated when you see TV reporters deliver weather forecasts? Do you see yourself doing the same job? Does weather and climate interest you the most? If yes, you might make it big in this profession and become a potential meteorologist. By definition, meteorology is a broad field of science which studies the atmosphere and certain factors the affect it. Meteorologists are people who specialize in this field and some of their main responsibilities include giving out reports about the weather, conducting research on some weather phenomena and its potential effects to people and perform data analysis on air pollution and global warming. If you want more information, keep reading this article and learn about how to become a meteorologist.
1. Learn about what a meteorologist does.
Familiarize the profession and know what are the duties and responsibilities of a meteorologist. Remember to choose a career that inspires and interests you. Meteorologists does not only focus on giving forecasts in news reports but also study and conduct research on the factors that affects the climate and environment. These researches are very much useful for a lot of industries such as in agriculture, forestry, transportation and even in our state defense. You may also consult your guidance counselors for career advices and schools that could offer you the best programs available.
Decide which specialization you would like to pursue. Below is a list of the types of meteorologists and their main responsibilities:
- Operational Meteorologists: forecast weather updates and climate changes.
- Physical Meteorologists: conduct research and studies in atmospheric features and properties.
- Synoptic Meteorologists: create new tools and computer software that could contribute to better weather forecasting by using mathematical applications and models.
- Environmental Meteorologists: study certain environmental pollution and assess it’s effects in the quality of air.
- Climatologists: focused on studying climate and seasonal changes in a period of time.
2. Educational Requirement.
While you are still in high school, you can start early in your pursuit for career development. Try to focus on subjects that would be beneficial for you such as: Physics, Trigonometry, Calculus, Chemistry and the like. Be familiar with the basic definition of terms and instruments used in meteorology. You may also browse through research and paper works in the internet to give you further knowledge and updates.
One of the most important requirements for you to become a professional meteorologist is to complete either a Bachelor’s Degree in Meteorology or Bachelor’s Degree in Atmospheric Science. If you aim to be a part of the broadcast news, you must include courses that would enhance your skills in journalism and speech delivery. However, if you prefer to undergo undergraduate degrees, you may do so as long as you take up the basic courses such as: physics, computer science, biology, chemistry and calculus. Look for colleges that offer accredited undergraduate and graduate programs in meteorology.
3. Develop your communication skills.
Some of the highest paid meteorologists are television weather personalities. Most of the time, you are dealing with the public in terms of information dissemination and education. Therefore, you must be able to deliver forecasts and reports in an impressive way. You can do this by getting serious with your speech and public speaking classes.
4. Be computer literate.
Most of the time, you will use modern facilities and instruments in order to predict weather changes and provide accurate report to the media and public. Courses in computer science and information technology would be very useful.
5. Apply for an internship.
While still in college, try to look into internships at TV stations or the National Weather Services (NWS). Through this, you may be able to learn the basics in being and meteorologist and be provided the necessary recommendations and feedback that could increase your knowledge and job opportunities.
6. Become certified.
If you wish to work in radio and television stations, you must become a Certified Broadcast Meteorologist by The American Meteorological Society (AMS). Requirements to gain certification are the following:
- Bachelor’s Degree in Meteorology or Atmospheric Science.
- Pass the examination formulated by (AMS).
- Submission of a portfolio or samples of your work.
7. Look for good employment.
The federal government offers job opportunities for meteorologists. You may work for the US Department of Defense. Since climate and weather changes could affect their military operations, updates and weather forecasts are important. On the other hand, you may also seek for good employment from the private sectors.
- Agriculture Industry- hire meteorologists to give out updates and reports that would be beneficial for crop forecasting.
- Aerospace companies- advise necessary routing of flights in case of foreseen delays due to weather changes such as: turbulence and storms.
- Radio and Television Stations
- Insurance and Shipping Companies
- Air Quality Agencies- checks state utilities in line with air quality control.
- Universities and Colleges
- Forensic Meteorology
8. Continue your education.
For those who would like to pursue a career in research or teach meteorology, we suggest you take up a Masters Degree or Doctorate Degree. These would also be useful if you aspire for higher positions, more career opportunities and if you wish to specialize in certain areas such as: hydro-meteorology and agricultural meteorology.
If you plan to go into meteorology, remember that it is not an easy job. Oftentimes, you would be asked to work on nightshifts and even during weekend. Deadlines would be set once you are assigned for a particular task; therefore you need to be flexible and alert. However, consider this as a rewarding job since most people rely on weather forecasts for their plans and activities. Also, there is a foreseen increase in work opportunities for the next five years. This is because more studies are conducted in terms of pollution, global warming and other environmental problems. As a beginner, you can expect to earn an annual salary from $19,000 to $24,000 but this could increase once you get more experience and credentials.
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