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Summary Report for:
19-2021.00 - Atmospheric and Space Scientists

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. Includes weather analysts and forecasters whose functions require the detailed knowledge of meteorology.

Sample of reported job titles: Broadcast Meteorologist, Chief Meteorologist, Forecaster, General Forecaster, Hydrometeorological Technician, Meteorologist, Meteorologist-in-Charge, Science and Operations Officer (SOO), Warning Coordination Meteorologist, Weather Forecaster

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Tasks  |  Tools & Technology  |  Knowledge  |  Skills  |  Abilities  |  Work Activities  |  Detailed Work Activities  |  Work Context  |  Job Zone  |  Education  |  Credentials  |  Interests  |  Work Styles  |  Work Values  |  Related Occupations  |  Wages & Employment  |  Job Openings  |  Additional Information

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. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Prepare weather reports or maps for analysis, distribution, or use in weather broadcasts, using computer graphics. See more occupations related to this task.
  • 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. Green Task Statement See more occupations related to this task.
  • Develop or use mathematical or computer models for weather forecasting. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Gather data from sources such as surface or upper air stations, satellites, weather bureaus, or radar for use in meteorological reports or forecasts. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Prepare forecasts or briefings to meet the needs of industry, business, government, or other groups. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Measure wind, temperature, and humidity in the upper atmosphere, using weather balloons. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Conduct numerical simulations of climate conditions to understand and predict global or regional weather patterns. Green Task Statement See more occupations related to this task.
  • Direct forecasting services at weather stations or at radio or television broadcasting facilities. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Formulate predictions by interpreting environmental data, such as meteorological, atmospheric, oceanic, paleoclimate, climate, or related information. Green Task Statement See more occupations related to this task.
  • Prepare scientific atmospheric or climate reports, articles, or texts. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Perform managerial duties, such as creating work schedules, creating or implementing staff training, matching staff expertise to situations, or analyzing performance of offices. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Consult with other offices, agencies, professionals, or researchers regarding the use and interpretation of climatological information for weather predictions and warnings. Green Task Statement See more occupations related to this task.
  • Conduct meteorological research into the processes or determinants of atmospheric phenomena, weather, or climate. Green Task Statement See more occupations related to this task.
  • Analyze historical climate information, such as precipitation or temperature records, to help predict future weather or climate trends. Green Task Statement See more occupations related to this task.
  • Analyze climate data sets, using techniques such as geophysical fluid dynamics, data assimilation, or numerical modeling. Green Task Statement See more occupations related to this task.
  • Design or develop new equipment or methods for meteorological data collection, remote sensing, or related applications. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Apply meteorological knowledge to issues such as global warming, pollution control, or ozone depletion. Green Task Statement See more occupations related to this task.
  • Research the impact of industrial projects or pollution on climate, air quality, or weather phenomena. Green Task Statement See more occupations related to this task.
  • Teach college-level courses on topics such as atmospheric and space science, meteorology, or global climate change. See more occupations related to this task.

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Tools & Technology

Tools used in this occupation:

  • Air samplers or collectors — Air quality samplers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Anemometers — Analog anemometers; Digital anemometers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Barometers — Mercury barometers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Desktop computers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Hygrometers — Whirling hygrometers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Light trucks or sport utility vehicles — Storm chase vehicles See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Lightmeters — Light meters See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Meteorology instrument accessories — Weather balloons See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Notebook computers — Laptop computers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Personal computers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Psychrometers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Radarbased surveillance systems — Doppler radar equipment; Next Generation Weather Radar NEXRAD See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Radiosonde apparatus — Radiosonde launchers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Rainfall recorders — Rain gauges; Tipping bucket rain gauges See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Solar radiation surface observing apparatus — Solarimeters See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Surface thermometers — Surface temperature probes See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Tablet computers — Graphic tablets See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Temperature or humidity surface observing apparatus — Air temperature thermometers; Relative humidity gauges; Temperature and humidity data loggers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Temperature transmitters — Soil temperature probes See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Two way radios See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Weather stations — Weather observation stations See more occupations related to this tool.

Technology used in this occupation:

  • Analytical or scientific software — PC Weather Products HURRTRAK; Systat Software SigmaStat; Unidata Gempak Analysis and Rendering Program GARP; WSI TrueView Professional (see all 32 examples) See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Data base user interface and query software — Microsoft Access See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Desktop publishing software — QuarkXPress See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Electronic mail software — Microsoft Outlook See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Graphics or photo imaging software — AccuWeather Galileo; Adobe Systems Adobe Photoshop software; Advanced Visual Systems AVS/Express; Microsoft Paint (see all 5 examples) See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Map creation software — ESRI ArcInfo; ESRI ArcView See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Presentation software — Microsoft PowerPoint See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Word processing software — Microsoft Word See more occupations related to this technology.

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Knowledge

  • 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. See more occupations related to this knowledge.
  • Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications. See more occupations related to this knowledge.
  • 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. See more occupations related to this knowledge.
  • Computers and Electronics — Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming. See more occupations related to this knowledge.
  • English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar. See more occupations related to this knowledge.
  • 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. See more occupations related to this knowledge.
  • Customer and Personal Service — Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction. See more occupations related to this knowledge.
  • Education and Training — Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects. See more occupations related to this knowledge.
  • Public Safety and Security — Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions. See more occupations related to this knowledge.

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Skills

  • Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Science — Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • 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. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Instructing — Teaching others how to do something. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Systems Analysis — Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Learning Strategies — Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Time Management — Managing one's own time and the time of others. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Service Orientation — Actively looking for ways to help people. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Persuasion — Persuading others to change their minds or behavior. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Systems Evaluation — Identifying measures or indicators of system performance and the actions needed to improve or correct performance, relative to the goals of the system. See more occupations related to this skill.

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Abilities

  • Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events). See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations). See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer). See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Flexibility of Closure — The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Mathematical Reasoning — The ability to choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Fluency of Ideas — The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity). See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Far Vision — The ability to see details at a distance. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Number Facility — The ability to add, subtract, multiply, or divide quickly and correctly. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Originality — The ability to come up with unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop creative ways to solve a problem. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Visual Color Discrimination — The ability to match or detect differences between colors, including shades of color and brightness. See more occupations related to this ability.

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Work Activities

  • Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Interacting With Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Communicating with Persons Outside Organization — Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Performing for or Working Directly with the Public — Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information — Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others — Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Coaching and Developing Others — Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Provide Consultation and Advice to Others — Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics. See more occupations related to this activity.

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Detailed Work Activities

  • Prepare scientific or technical reports or presentations. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Interpret research or operational data. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Provide technical information or assistance to public. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Collaborate on research activities with scientists or technical specialists. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Develop theories or models of physical phenomena. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Collect environmental data or samples. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Develop environmental research methods. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Instruct college students in physical or life sciences. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Conduct climatological research. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Research environmental impact of industrial or development activities. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Measure environmental characteristics. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Apply knowledge or research findings to address environmental problems. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Prepare research or technical reports on environmental issues. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Create images or other visual displays. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Develop mathematical models of environmental conditions. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Direct technical activities or operations. See more occupations related to this activity.

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Work Context

  • Electronic Mail — 93% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Time Pressure — 82% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Face-to-Face Discussions — 79% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Telephone — 74% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Freedom to Make Decisions — 59% responded “A lot of freedom.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 89% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 57% responded “Extremely important.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Spend Time Sitting — 50% responded “Continually or almost continually.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Deal With External Customers — 57% responded “Extremely important.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Work With Work Group or Team — 50% responded “Extremely important.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 52% responded “Very important results.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Structured versus Unstructured Work — 61% responded “Some freedom.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Frequency of Decision Making — 54% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Contact With Others — 46% responded “Constant contact with others.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Level of Competition — 36% responded “Highly competitive.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Duration of Typical Work Week — 71% responded “40 hours.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Coordinate or Lead Others — 44% responded “Important.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Public Speaking — 36% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 29% responded “Very important.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — 54% responded “Moderate responsibility.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Letters and Memos — 50% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Physical Proximity — 64% responded “Slightly close (e.g., shared office).” See more occupations related to this work context.

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Job Zone

Title Job Zone Four: Considerable Preparation Needed
Education Most of these occupations require a four-year bachelor's degree, but some do not.
Related Experience A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations. For example, an accountant must complete four years of college and work for several years in accounting to be considered qualified.
Job Training Employees in these occupations usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.
Job Zone Examples Many of these occupations involve coordinating, supervising, managing, or training others. Examples include accountants, sales managers, database administrators, teachers, chemists, art directors, and cost estimators.
SVP Range (7.0 to < 8.0)

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Education


Percentage of Respondents
Education Level Required
75   Bachelor's degree
18   Master's degree
4   Post-baccalaureate certificate Help

This occupation may require a background in the following science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) educational disciplines:

Physics/Astronomy — Atmospheric Chemistry and Climatology; Atmospheric Physics and Dynamics; Atmospheric Sciences and Meteorology, General; Meteorology

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Credentials

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Interests

Interest code: IR

  • Investigative — 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. See more occupations related to this interest.
  • Realistic — 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. See more occupations related to this interest.

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Work Styles

  • Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Independence — Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job. See more occupations related to this work style.

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Work Values

  • Achievement — Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement. See more occupations related to this work value.
  • Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy. See more occupations related to this work 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. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service. See more occupations related to this work value.

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Related Occupations

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Wages & Employment Trends

Median wages (2014) $42.30 hourly, $87,980 annual
State wages Local Salary Info
 
Employment (2012) 11,000 employees
Projected growth (2012-2022) Average (8% to 14%) Average (8% to 14%)
Projected job openings (2012-2022) 3,800
State trends Employment Trends
 
Top industries (2012)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2014 wage data external site and 2012-2022 employment projections external site. "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2012-2022). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.

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Job Openings on the Web

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Sources of Additional Information

Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.

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