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Atmospheric Scientists, Including Meteorologists

Atmospheric Scientists, Including Meteorologists
Quick Facts : Atmospheric Scientists, Including Meteorologists*
2010 Median Pay$87,780
Entry Level EducationBachelor's degree
Work Experience in Related OccupationNone
Number of Jobs, 20129,500
Job Outlook11% (About as fast as average)
Employment Change1,000

Atmospheric scientists study weather, climate, and other aspects of the atmosphere. They develop reports and forecasts from their analysis of weather and climate data. The data they collect and analyze are critical to understanding air pollution, drought, loss of the ozone layer, and other problems.

What Atmospheric Scientists, Including Meteorologists Do

  • Measure temperature, air pressure, and other properties of the atmosphere
  • Develop and use computer models that analyze data about the atmosphere (also called meteorological data)
  • Produce weather maps and graphics and report current weather conditions
  • Prepare long- and short-term weather forecasts using sophisticated computer and mathematical models, satellite and radar data
  • Issue warnings to protect life and property during severe weather, such as hurricanes, tornadoes, and flash floods

Work Environment

Most atmospheric scientists work indoors in weather stations, offices, or laboratories. Occasionally, they do fieldwork, which means working outdoors to examine the weather. Some atmospheric scientists may have to work extended hours during weather emergencies.
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Job Outlook

Employment of atmospheric scientists is projected to grow by 11 percent from 2010 to 2020, with the best job prospects for meteorologists in the private industry.
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The average salary of atmospheric scientists in May 2010 was $87,780.
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Atmospheric Scientists, Including Meteorologists*
Average Annual Salary, May 2010

Atmospheric Scientists, Including Meteorologists


Life, Physical, and Social Science Occupations


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Atmospheric Scientists, Including Meteorologists*
Percent Change in Employment

Atmospheric Scientists, Including Meteorologists


Life, Physical, and Social Science Occupations


All Jobs in the U.S.


Becoming a Atmospheric Scientists, Including Meteorologists

Atmospheric scientists need a bachelor's degree in meteorology or a closely related field for most positions. For research positions, atmospheric scientists usually need a master's degree at minimum, but preferably a Ph.D.
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