Atmospheric & Space Scientists
Also called: Forecaster, General Forecaster, Meteorologist, Warning Coordination Meteorologist
Produced by CareerOneStop
Video transcript: skip transcript
Even before breakfast, and certainly before leaving the house, most people consult the weather forecast. That essential item of news is provided by atmospheric and space scientists, who study the weather and climate, and examine how those conditions affect human activity and the earth. Atmospheric scientists collect data from the field using instruments such as weather balloons, radar systems, and satellite imagery. Many write their own computer programs to model or predict weather developments, and advise the public or their clients on risks caused by weather events and climate change. There are many types of atmospheric scientists… For example, weather forecasters use computer models to forecast short- and long-term conditions for airports, farmers, utility companies, and others. Climate scientists model climate change to help plan building design and adapt agricultural production to changing conditions. Atmospheric scientists generally work full time and may be called upon to work at odd hours, or overtime—keeping the public informed during severe weather or monitoring conditions around the clock at a field station. They may work in government weather stations, laboratories and offices, or television and radio stations. Atmospheric scientists need a bachelor’s degree in meteorology or a related earth science field for most positions. To lead research or teach at the college level usually requires a Ph.D. or master’s degree in the field.
What they do:Investigate atmospheric phenomena and interpret meteorological data, gathered by surface and air stations, satellites, and radar to prepare reports and forecasts for public and other uses. Includes weather analysts and forecasters whose functions require the detailed knowledge of meteorology.
On the job, you would:
- Broadcast weather conditions, forecasts, or severe weather warnings to the public via television, radio, or the Internet or provide this information to the news media.
- Gather data from sources such as surface or upper air stations, satellites, weather bureaus, or radar for use in meteorological reports or forecasts.
- Develop or use mathematical or computer models for weather forecasting.
Math and Science
- arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics
Arts and Humanities
- English language
Engineering and Technology
- computers and electronics
- product and service development
- reading work related information
- listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions
- noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it
People and Technology Systems
- thinking about the pros and cons of different options and picking the best one
- figuring out how a system should work and how changes in the future will affect it
- communicate by speaking
- listen and understand what people say
Ideas and Logic
- make general rules or come up with answers from lots of detailed information
- notice when problems happen
- choose the right type of math to solve a problem
- add, subtract, multiply, or divide
- see hidden patterns
People interested in this work like activities that include ideas, thinking, and figuring things out.
They do well at jobs that need:
- Analytical Thinking
- Attention to Detail
- Stress Tolerance
You might use software like this on the job:
Analytical or scientific software
Graphics or photo imaging software