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Career Spotlights ~ Meteorologist
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Basic Info

If you are good at Maths and Computing, and are interested in weather systems and the environment, this job could suit you well. Meteorologists study the Earth's atmosphere, climate and weather. They collect and interpret data to make weather forecasts, not only for the general public but also for us in agriculture, aviation and the Armed Forces. In this job you would need to methodical. You would need to have an enquiring mind and be good at solving problems. You would deal with a lot of data in this job, so you would have to be good at analysing it. To get into this job, you will need a first or upper second class degree in a subject such as Meteorology, Maths, a Science or Computer Science. For many Meteorology research jobs, you may also need a postgraduate qualification in a subject such as Meteorology or Climatology.

The Work

As a Meteoroloist you could specialise in one of two main areas - forecasting or researching. In forecasting, you might:

In research, you might:

At the start of your career in either area, you might observe and record the weather, produce charts and help senior staf. With experience, you would take on more complex work and present your findings at client meetings and conferences

Hours

As a forecaster or observer, you would often work shifts to provide 24-hour cover. In research you would work standard office hours Monday to Friday. The work is mainly office-based and involves using technical equipment and computers. You could be posted to some isolated or remote areas, which may mean working in more basic conditions. You may sometimes travel to attend conferences in the UK and overseas. Depending on your employer, you may be sent abroad to work

Income

Starting salaries for Met Office forecasters or scientists are around £20,000 a year. Experienced Meteorologists could earn between £25,000 and £35,000 a year. Meteorologists with management responsibilities may earn over £50,000.

Entry Requirements

To work in forecasting or research, you will need the following qualifications:

For many Meteorology research jobs, you are also likely to need a postgraduate qualification in Meteorology, Climatology or Atmospheric Sciences. You should check exact course entry requirements with colleges or Universities.

Training and Development

As a forecaster, you would mainly be trained at the Met Office college in Devon (trainees include Met Office employees and those working for other organisations). You would start with the Forecaster Foundation Training Programme, which involves:

After your initial training, you will be able to prove your competence by working towards NVQ Level 3 in Weather Observing and NVQ Level 4 in Weather Forecasting. Once qualified you are encouraged to develop your skills throughout your career. The Met Office College offers further training such as:

Skills and Knowledge

To be a Meteoroloist you should have:

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