a dark blue TraitLab logo
Pricing Sign up

Have an account? Sign in

Career profile Meteorologist

Also known as Broadcast Meteorologist, Forecaster, Forensic Meteorologist, General Forecaster, Hydrometeorological Technician, Meteorologist, Research Meteorologist, Space Weather Forecaster, Warning Coordination Meteorologist, Weather Forecaster

Meteorologist

Also known as Broadcast Meteorologist, Forecaster, Forensic Meteorologist

Interests Profile
  • Investigative
  • Realistic
  • Social
Pay Range
$52,350 - $153,150 (annual)
Required Skills
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Active Listening
  • Writing
Knowledge Areas
  • Physics
  • Mathematics
  • Geography
Core tasks
  • Broadcast weather conditions, forecasts, or severe weather warnings to the public via television, radio, or the Internet or provide this information to the news media.
  • Gather data from sources such as surface or upper air stations, satellites, weather bureaus, or radar for use in meteorological reports or forecasts.
  • Measure wind, temperature, and humidity in the upper atmosphere, using weather balloons.
Is Meteorologist the right career path for you?

Would Meteorologist be a good fit for you?

Explore how your personality fits with Meteorologist and hundreds of other career paths.

Create your free account

What does a Meteorologist do?

Meteorologists 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.

In addition, Meteorologists includes weather analysts and forecasters whose functions require the detailed knowledge of meteorology.

What kind of tasks does a Meteorologist perform regularly?

Meteorologists are often responsible for overseeing or executing some or all of the following tasks:

  • Broadcast weather conditions, forecasts, or severe weather warnings to the public via television, radio, or the Internet or provide this information to the news media.
  • Gather data from sources such as surface or upper air stations, satellites, weather bureaus, or radar for use in meteorological reports or forecasts.
  • Prepare weather reports or maps for analysis, distribution, or use in weather broadcasts, using computer graphics.
  • Develop or use mathematical or computer models for weather forecasting.
  • 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.
  • Formulate predictions by interpreting environmental data, such as meteorological, atmospheric, oceanic, paleoclimate, climate, or related information.
  • Prepare forecasts or briefings to meet the needs of industry, business, government, or other groups.
  • 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.
  • Conduct numerical simulations of climate conditions to understand and predict global or regional weather patterns.
  • Conduct meteorological research into the processes or determinants of atmospheric phenomena, weather, or climate.
  • Consult with other offices, agencies, professionals, or researchers regarding the use and interpretation of climatological information for weather predictions and warnings.
  • Prepare scientific atmospheric or climate reports, articles, or texts.
  • Speak to the public to discuss weather topics or answer questions.
  • Develop and deliver training on weather topics.
  • Develop computer programs to collect meteorological data or to present meteorological information.
  • Apply meteorological knowledge to issues such as global warming, pollution control, or ozone depletion.
  • Perform managerial duties, such as creating work schedules, creating or implementing staff training, matching staff expertise to situations, or analyzing performance of offices.
  • Design or develop new equipment or methods for meteorological data collection, remote sensing, or related applications.

The above responsibilities are specific to Meteorologists. More generally, Meteorologists are involved in several broader types of activities:

Working with Computers
Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
Getting Information
Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
Processing Information
Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
Analyzing Data or Information
Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.

What is a Meteorologist salary?

The median salary for a Meteorologist is $99,740, and the average salary is $100,550. Both the median and average roughly describe the middle of the Meteorologist salary range, but the average is more easily affected by extremely high or low salaries.

Many Meteorologists earn significantly more or less than the average, due to several factors. About 10% of Meteorologists earn less than $52,350 per year, 25% earn less than $72,570, 75% earn less than $123,930, and 90% earn less than $153,150.

Between the years of 2020 and 2030, the number of Meteorologists is expected to change by 8.4%, and there should be roughly 1,000 open positions for Meteorologists every year.

Median annual salary
$99,740
Typical salary range
$52,350 - $153,150
Projected growth (2020 - 2030)
8.4%

What personality traits are common among Meteorologists?

Interests

Career interests describe a person's preferences for different types of working environments and activities. When a person's interest match the demands of an occupation, people are usually more engaged and satisfied in that role.

Compared to most occupations, those who work as a Meteorologist are usually higher in their Investigative and Realistic interests.

Meteorologists typically have very strong Investigative interests. Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.

Also, Meteorologists typically have moderate Realistic interests. Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

Values

People differ in their values, or what is most important to them for building job satisfaction and fulfillment.

Compared to most people, those working as a Meteorologist tend to value Achievement, Working Conditions, and Relationships.

Most importantly, Meteorologists strongly value Achievement. Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.

Second, Meteorologists strongly value Working Conditions. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions.

Lastly, Meteorologists strongly value Relationships. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment.

Psychological Demands

Each occupation brings its own set of psychological demands, which describe the characteristics necessary to perform the job well.

In order to perform their job successfully, people who work as Meteorologists must consistently demonstrate qualities such as analytical thinking, dependability, and attention to detail.

Below, you'll find a list of qualities typically required of Meteorologists, ranked by importance:

Analytical Thinking
Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
Dependability
Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Attention to Detail
Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Stress Tolerance
Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high-stress situations.
Adaptability/Flexibility
Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.

What education and training do Meteorologists need?

Many Meteorologists will have a four-year bachelor's degree, but some do not.

Meteorologists usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.

Educational degrees among Meteorologists

  • 0.3% completed high school or secondary school
  • 4.2% completed some college coursework
  • 3.9% earned a Associate's degree
  • 58.4% earned a Bachelor's degree
  • 23.3% earned a Master's degree
  • 10.1% earned a doctorate or professional degree

Knowledge and expertise required by Meteorologists

Meteorologists may benefit from understanding of specialized subject areas, such as physics, mathematics, or geography knowledge.

The list below shows several areas in which most Meteorologists might want to build proficiency, ranked by importance.

Physics
Knowledge and prediction of physical principles, laws, their interrelationships, and applications to understanding fluid, material, and atmospheric dynamics, and mechanical, electrical, atomic and sub-atomic structures and processes.
Mathematics
Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
Geography
Knowledge of principles and methods for describing the features of land, sea, and air masses, including their physical characteristics, locations, interrelationships, and distribution of plant, animal, and human life.
Computers and Electronics
Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
Communications and Media
Knowledge of media production, communication, and dissemination techniques and methods. This includes alternative ways to inform and entertain via written, oral, and visual media.

Important Abilities needed by Meteorologists

Meteorologists must develop a particular set of abilities to perform their job well. Abilities are individual capacities that influence a person's information processing, sensory perception, motor coordination, and physical strength or endurance. Individuals may naturally have certain abilities without explicit training, but most abilities can be sharpened somewhat through practice.

For example, Meteorologists need abilities such as oral comprehension, written comprehension, and oral expression in order to perform their job at a high level. The list below shows several important abilities for Meteorologists, ranked by their relative importance.

Oral Comprehension
The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Written Comprehension
The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
Oral Expression
The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
Written Expression
The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
Speech Clarity
The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.

Critical Skills needed by Meteorologists

Skills are developed capacities that enable people to function effectively in real-world settings. Unlike abilities, skills are typically easier to build through practice and experience. Skills influence effectiveness in areas such as learning, working with others, design, troubleshooting, and more.

Meteorologists frequently use skills like reading comprehension, active listening, and writing to perform their job effectively. The list below shows several critical skills for Meteorologists, ranked by their relative importance.

Reading Comprehension
Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.
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.
Writing
Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
Speaking
Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Science
Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.

What is the source of this information?

The information provided on this page is adapted from data and descriptions published by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration under the CC BY 4.0 license. TraitLab has modified some information for ease of use and reading, and the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment, and Training Administration has not approved, endorsed, or tested these modifications.

If you have any questions or suggestions about this information, please send a message.