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So you want to work in Meteorology?

Meteorology is an interdisciplinary scientific study focussing on the earth’s atmosphere. While studies that have been undertaken in the field stretch back hundreds and even thousands of years, sound progress did not really occur until the 18th century. Modest progress was seen in the 19th century after networks of observers formed across several countries. It was, however, the development of the computer in the second half of the 20th century that led to the most significant weather and atmospheric forecasting breakthroughs.

The observable weather events that are explained by the science of meteorology include air pressure, temperature, water vapour, and the interactions and gradients of each variable, and also how they change over time. Various scales are used to determine how particular events and systems will impact the weather and climate on local, regional and global levels.

Meteorologists are best known by the public for weather forecasting on TV or radio. Some of these presenters are trained meteorologists and some some are reporters with no formal meteorological training. You can also find meteorologists working for utilities, government agencies, private research and consulting organisations and in education.

Types of jobs in the Meteorology industry include:

  • Research meteorologist
  • Operational forecaster
  • Meteorologist for an airline
  • Meteorologist in the military
  • Radio or television meteorologists

Personal Skills

Five key skills that will help you score a job in the Meteorology industry:

  • Maths, science and engineering skills
  • A good understanding of statistics
  • The ability to work under stress and to deadlines
  • Great observation and reporting skills
  • Reliability and a great work ethic

Interview and Job Hunting tips

  • Make sure you know the fundamentals of your field. If it is a forecasting position, make sure you master the basics of meteorology.
  • Ensure you feel confident in initialising current conditions. This is key to forecasting and will likely be covered in the interview. Don’t just ‘model watch’ without making sure the models are performing well.
  • Try and become fluent in METAR code. Many entry level candidates struggle with this so this will give you an edge over the competition.
  • Become familiar with the various satellite and radar products and models. Make sure you can pick out severe weather parameters and differentiate between precipitation types.