Quick Facts: Atmospheric Scientists, Including Meteorologists
2012 Median Pay $89,260 per year
$42.91 per hour
Entry-Level Education Bachelor’s degree
Work Experience in a Related Occupation None
On-the-job Training None
Number of Jobs, 2012 11,100
Job Outlook, 2012-22 10% (As fast as average)
Employment Change, 2012-22 1,100

What Atmospheric Scientists, Including Meteorologists Do

Atmospheric scientists study the weather and climate, and how it affects human activity and the earth in general.

Work Environment

Most atmospheric scientists work indoors in weather stations, offices, or laboratories. Occasionally, they do fieldwork, which means working outdoors to examine the weather. Some atmospheric scientists may have to work extended hours during weather emergencies.

How to Become an Atmospheric Scientist

Atmospheric scientists need a bachelor’s degree in atmospheric science or a closely related field for most positions. Those who work in research usually need a master’s degree or a Ph.D.


The median annual wage for atmospheric scientists was $89,260 in May 2012.

Job Outlook

Employment of atmospheric scientists is projected to grow 10 percent from 2012 to 2022, about as fast as the average for all occupations. The best job prospects for atmospheric scientists will be in private industry.


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