Atmospheric and Space Scientists

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.

Median Annual Wage: $87,980

Education: Bachelor's degree (75%); Master's degree (18%); Post-baccalaureate certificate (4%)

Projected Growth: Average (8% to 14%)

Related Job Titles: Broadcast Meteorologist; Meteorologist; Forecaster; General Forecaster; Science and Operations Officer (SOO); Warning Coordination Meteorologist; Hydrometeorological Technician; Meteorologist-in-Charge; Weather Forecaster; Chief Meteorologist

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Source: O*NET OnLine information for Atmospheric and Space Scientists.

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  • Prepare weather reports or maps for analysis, distribution, or use in weather broadcasts, using computer graphics.
  • Interpret data, reports, maps, photographs, or charts to predict long- or short-range weather conditions, using computer models and knowledge of climate theory, physics, and mathematics.
  • Develop or use mathematical or computer models for weather forecasting.
  • Gather data from sources such as surface or upper air stations, satellites, weather bureaus, or radar for use in meteorological reports or forecasts.
  • Prepare forecasts or briefings to meet the needs of industry, business, government, or other groups.
  • Measure wind, temperature, and humidity in the upper atmosphere, using weather balloons.
  • Conduct numerical simulations of climate conditions to understand and predict global or regional weather patterns.
  • Direct forecasting services at weather stations or at radio or television broadcasting facilities.
  • Formulate predictions by interpreting environmental data, such as meteorological, atmospheric, oceanic, paleoclimate, climate, or related information.
  • Prepare scientific atmospheric or climate reports, articles, or texts.
  • Perform managerial duties, such as creating work schedules, creating or implementing staff training, matching staff expertise to situations, or analyzing performance of offices.
  • Consult with other offices, agencies, professionals, or researchers regarding the use and interpretation of climatological information for weather predictions and warnings.
  • Conduct meteorological research into the processes or determinants of atmospheric phenomena, weather, or climate.
  • Analyze historical climate information, such as precipitation or temperature records, to help predict future weather or climate trends.
  • Analyze climate data sets, using techniques such as geophysical fluid dynamics, data assimilation, or numerical modeling.
  • Design or develop new equipment or methods for meteorological data collection, remote sensing, or related applications.
  • Apply meteorological knowledge to issues such as global warming, pollution control, or ozone depletion.
  • Research the impact of industrial projects or pollution on climate, air quality, or weather phenomena.

Source: O*NET OnLine information for Atmospheric and Space Scientists.

  • Science - Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Complex Problem Solving - Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  • Judgment and Decision Making - Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Active Learning - Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
  • Systems Analysis - Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.

Source: O*NET OnLine information for Atmospheric and Space Scientists.

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