Meteorology covers many aspects of science through different job roles. While people typically identify meteorologists as the presenters on TV who give out weather predictions, these are only around ten percent of the people working in the profession.
A meteorologist is focused on the science behind the earth’s atmospheric changes by observing, forecasting, understanding and conveying what the data means. While a bachelor’s degree in atmospheric science or meteorology is typical in this professional, there are master’s and Ph.D. qualifications that go into greater depth or areas of specialization.
Building a Foundation
Gaining a background in high school education with high scores in scientific classes such as chemistry, physics, and mathematics provides a good grounding to pursue a meteorology career after university graduation. Indeed, while many meteorologists have degrees in meteorology, others studied chemistry or physics at degree level.
It’s quite possible to have studied hard science at the degree level and taken a Master’s in Atmospheric Science to bolster a career choice. Having studied the sciences already, these provide a better understanding of topics that touch on meteorology and related disciplines. Being able to understand complex topics quickly and build upon that knowledge are foundational requirements in this type of career.
What’s Studied in a Meteorology Degree?
Unlike what most people believe, meteorology is a wide field and a master’s degree, or PhD amply reflects that reality.
For instance, Penn State University has one of the longest-running Meteorology departments where their master’s and Ph.D. courses cover bioclimatology, cloud physics, atmospheric convection, and dynamic meteorology too. Their courses also include climate change and are tailored to the career aspirations of each student.
Princeton University is another example. They started with their Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences courses in 1964. Today, their Geosciences team has a strong focus on modeling accurate atmospheric changes, global warming, and climate and oceanic movements. Their courses include classes on climate dynamics and weather prediction, biogeochemistry of the oceans and land mass, the Paleo-climate, and so much more.
What Other Jobs are Open to Meteorologists?
Atmospheric researchers collaborate with scientists of many stripes including physicists, environmental specialists, hydrologists and oceanographers. They work in conjunction to better understand the atmosphere and how it affects weather patterns, causes extreme weather, changing temperatures, ocean movements, and more.
Forensic meteorologists are part weather expert and part historian. They look at past weather to gain insights into how they may have contributed to unexplained events, wildfires, or even an accident on the road.
How Can Hobbyists Get Started with Weather?
If you have an active interest in weather patterns, you might want to consider learning to code. This way you can create mobile apps that incorporate the best weather API from Aeris Weather to pull the latest weather data and satellite maps directly into your apps.
Should your interest grow through this exploration, then it’s certainly possible to study meteorology or a related degree that provides access to a fascinating career. What could start with the weather might move onto climate change or even focus on tracking extreme weather conditions like tornados to better understand how they occur in nature.
Anyone interested in the weather or how the planet works will find meteorology and related subjects totally fascinating. Also, with the current necessary interest in climate change, many of these specialized subjects have never been more relevant than they are today.
Last Updated on February 3, 2021.