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How to Become a Meteorologist

Updated on June 17, 2015

Meteorology is a good field for anyone interested in weather. Meteorologists work hard to forecast weather events, and they also study global warming and analyze hydrological factors. Becoming a meteorologist will certainly require hard work. Not only you need to be familiar with precipitation, temperature and the atmosphere itself, you will be expected to get a decent education and work at internships. By doing so, you can have a rewarding career as a meteorologist.

Develop enthusiasm

The most important step in becoming a meteorologist is to have enthusiasm for weather and atmosphere. Meteorology is filled with curiosity. One might wonder about those puffy cumulus clouds that seem to form into all sorts of shapes. Or how much rain that fell in one day. You can explore what’s around you by studying weather books. Questions you might consider may be: “What causes humidity? What’s the normally like where I live?”

Visiting a library is a perfect way to have those questions answered. You can even do some experiments, too; measuring rain with a rain gauge is a great approach toward meteorology. Have a weather station installed at your home or school. Using the right equipment, you can measure temperature, precipitation, wind speed, and much more.

Visiting a library to check out weather books is a positive step to learn about meteorology.
Visiting a library to check out weather books is a positive step to learn about meteorology.

Familiarize yourself with technology

Technology is very vital in weather forecasting. Meteorologists rely on computer models so they can get the forecasts ready as soon as possible. Of course, you need to know how to use a computer. And since meteorologists often use calculus, physics and math in their forecasting, computer programming is important, as well.

Working with technology is very important for meteorologists, especially for creating satellite images.
Working with technology is very important for meteorologists, especially for creating satellite images.

Prepare through school

Becoming a meteorologist will virtually require a degree, so to make that happen, you’ll need to do well in school before you graduate. In high school, take a few geography and physics classes that will definitely count toward your college credits. Algebra and other advanced math courses are recommended, too. Lots of high schools hold career/college days, the time when you can visit a university, TV stations, or weather offices and introduce yourself. You can meet professional meteorologists who will share their experiences on the job, and perhaps give you pointers into graduating as a meteorologist yourself.

There are numerous colleges and universities that offer programs in meteorology, such as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
There are numerous colleges and universities that offer programs in meteorology, such as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Major in meteorology

Find a college that has a good meteorology program. Talk to your high school counselor, who should give you information about specific colleges that offer internships for meteorology. Once you’ve made your pick, and you're ready for the higher education with some help from an advisor, go over certain courses that count toward your meteorology degree. Pay attention to physics and calculus, because they too are part of the meteorology degree. If you want to become part of the American Meteorological Society (AMS), you’ll be expected to take more advanced science courses, like thermodynamics. If you wish a career as a broadcast meteorologist, you’ll have to take some communication courses.

Internships

Again, look out for internship opportunities. They are very helpful for your career success. Meteorology summer jobs can be promising; you could spend two or three months working full time at a National Weather Service or TV station, and still receive great pay. But you do need to keep in mind that these positions are competitive. They often require a GPA score; usually at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. So you’ll need to study and work hard to grab those A’s and B's for your classes.

Apply to become a meteorologist

Once you've completed all your required courses, you’re ready to graduate and get a promising career as a meteorologist! There are various weather agencies and television stations around the world you can consider working for. When you apply, make your resume and cover letters stand out with excellent grammar and no slang. Be sure to get some advice from a career mentor to increase the hiring opportunity.

Using hard work and a strong passion for weather and atmospheric science, you'll bound to have a successful meteorology career.
Using hard work and a strong passion for weather and atmospheric science, you'll bound to have a successful meteorology career.

The possibilities are yours. Meteorology is an exciting field for anyone, any age. Once you earn a meteorology degree, you’ll be on your way to studying and predicting weather phenomenons, which can even save lives.

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