CareerExplorer’s step-by-step guide on how to become a meteorologist.
Is becoming a meteorologist right for me?
The first step to choosing a career is to make sure you are actually willing to commit to pursuing the career. You don’t want to waste your time doing something you don’t want to do. If you’re new here, you should read about:
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Take the Right Classes in High School
It is advisable to take as many science and math courses as you can while in high school. English and computer science courses are also very useful.
Get a Bachelor's Degree
Most meteorologists have a degree in meteorology. However, it is possible to major in a relevant subject such as mathematics or another science if you are planning on getting a graduate degree in meteorology later.
Depending on the specialization you are interested in, take some classes that are geared towards that area, such as journalism, chemistry, or computer science.
Decide if You Need a Graduate Degree
While there are meteorologist positions available for those with only a bachelor's degree, most high level positions will require at least a master's degree. You will need a PhD if you want to do research.
Getting an internship while in university will give you valuable work experience and opportunities to make connections that could lead to positions in the future.
Internships also show what the day-to-day life of a meteorologist is like, and what meteorology specializations you may want to consider.
It would be wise to put some thought into what specialization you'd like to pursue, as well as where you'd like to work. Both of these decisions will affect which classes you take in school.
Meteorologists are able to work in a variety of places. The largest employer for meteorologists is the government. You can also work for TV stations and private companies. The possibilities even extend to working within the legal system as a forensic meteorologist.
Be Prepared to get Additional Training
Some employers, like the National Weather Service, will require you to go through some additional training when they hire you. Entry level government positions usually place you in various intern positions so you can train in different areas before you're assigned to a specific duty.