Christopher Landsea's avatar image.

Atmospheric Scientist

My name is Christopher Landsea, recipient of the US Department of Commerce Bronze Medal

Anonymous profile image
  • What do I need to study in order to become an atmospheric scientist?

    Christopher Landsea's avatar image.

    Meteorology/atmospheric science is a very small field. There are about 30,000 meteorologists in the U.S., including researchers, forecasters, TV weather broadcasters, and air chemists. Compare this to the number of police officers just in New York City, about 40,000. So the field is well known, but small. In the last decade or so, it's become apparent that the number of folks graduating with a B.S. in meteorology are far outstripping the number of jobs available. It used to be that someone interested in forecasting could get a B.S. in meteorology and then get a forecasting position either in the National Weather Service or in the private sector. Now, however, just to get a foot in the door with an entry level analyst or forecaster job, it's almost essential to have a Masters Degree in meteorology.

    It's also important to know that as it's a physical science that many classes are also required in mathematics and physics. Additionally, having expertise in computer science and communications are valuable job skills, which boost the opportunity to get hired.