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
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
- 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.
- Prepare weather reports or maps for analysis, distribution, or use in weather broadcasts, using computer graphics.
- 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.
- Develop or use mathematical or computer models for weather forecasting.
- Gather data from sources such as surface or upper air stations, satellites, weather bureaus, or radar for use in meteorological reports or forecasts.
- Prepare forecasts or briefings to meet the needs of industry, business, government, or other groups.
- Measure wind, temperature, and humidity in the upper atmosphere, using weather balloons.
- Conduct numerical simulations of climate conditions to understand and predict global or regional weather patterns.
- Direct forecasting services at weather stations or at radio or television broadcasting facilities.
- Formulate predictions by interpreting environmental data, such as meteorological, atmospheric, oceanic, paleoclimate, climate, or related information.
- Prepare scientific atmospheric or climate reports, articles, or texts.
- Perform managerial duties, such as creating work schedules, creating or implementing staff training, matching staff expertise to situations, or analyzing performance of offices.
- Consult with other offices, agencies, professionals, or researchers regarding the use and interpretation of climatological information for weather predictions and warnings.
- Conduct meteorological research into the processes or determinants of atmospheric phenomena, weather, or climate.
- Analyze historical climate information, such as precipitation or temperature records, to help predict future weather or climate trends.
- Analyze climate data sets, using techniques such as geophysical fluid dynamics, data assimilation, or numerical modeling.
- Design or develop new equipment or methods for meteorological data collection, remote sensing, or related applications.
- Apply meteorological knowledge to issues such as global warming, pollution control, or ozone depletion.
- Research the impact of industrial projects or pollution on climate, air quality, or weather phenomena.
- Teach college-level courses on topics such as atmospheric and space science, meteorology, or global climate change.
Tools & Technology
Tools used in this occupation:
- Air samplers or collectors — Air quality samplers
- Anemometers — Analog anemometers; Digital anemometers
- Barometers — Mercury barometers
- Desktop computers
- Hygrometers — Whirling hygrometers
- Light trucks or sport utility vehicles — Storm chase vehicles
- Lightmeters — Light meters
- Meteorology instrument accessories — Weather balloons
- Notebook computers — Laptop computers
- Personal computers
- Radarbased surveillance systems — Doppler radar equipment; Next Generation Weather Radar NEXRAD
- Radiosonde apparatus — Radiosonde launchers
- Rainfall recorders — Rain gauges; Tipping bucket rain gauges
- Solar radiation surface observing apparatus — Solarimeters
- Surface thermometers — Surface temperature probes
- Tablet computers — Graphic tablets
- Temperature or humidity surface observing apparatus — Air temperature thermometers; Relative humidity gauges; Temperature and humidity data loggers
- Temperature transmitters — Soil temperature probes
- Two way radios
- Weather stations — Weather observation stations
Technology used in this occupation:
- Analytical or scientific software — PC Weather Products HURRTRAK; SPSS software ; Systat Software SigmaStat; WSI TrueView Professional (see all 33 examples)
- Data base user interface and query software — Microsoft Access
- Desktop publishing software — QuarkXPress
- Development environment software — Formula translation/translator FORTRAN
- Electronic mail software — Microsoft Outlook
- Graphics or photo imaging software — AccuWeather Galileo; Adobe Systems Adobe Photoshop software ; Advanced Visual Systems AVS/Express; Microsoft Paint (see all 5 examples)
- Map creation software — ESRI ArcInfo; ESRI ArcView; ITT Visual Information Solutions ENVI
- Object or component oriented development software — C++ ; Practical extraction and reporting language Perl ; Python ; R
- Operating system software — Cisco IOS; Linux
- Presentation software — Microsoft PowerPoint
- Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel
- Word processing software — Microsoft Word
Hot Technology — a technology requirement frequently included in employer job postings.
- 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.
- Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
- 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.
- Computers and Electronics — Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
- English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
- Science — Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
- 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.
- Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
- Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
- Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
- Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
- Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
- Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
- Instructing — Teaching others how to do something.
- Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
- Systems Analysis — Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.
- Learning Strategies — Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.
- Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
- Time Management — Managing one's own time and the time of others.
- Service Orientation — Actively looking for ways to help people.
- Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
- Persuasion — Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.
- 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.
- Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
- Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
- Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
- Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
- Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
- 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.
- 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).
- Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
- Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
- 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.
- Mathematical Reasoning — The ability to choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem.
- Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
- 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).
- Far Vision — The ability to see details at a distance.
- Number Facility — The ability to add, subtract, multiply, or divide quickly and correctly.
- 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.
- Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
- Visual Color Discrimination — The ability to match or detect differences between colors, including shades of color and brightness.
- Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Interacting With Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
- Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
- Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
- Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
- Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
- Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
- 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.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
- Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
- Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
- Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
- Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
- 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.
- Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
- Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
- 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.
- Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others — Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.
- Coaching and Developing Others — Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.
- Provide Consultation and Advice to Others — Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics.
Detailed Work Activities
- Prepare scientific or technical reports or presentations.
- Interpret research or operational data.
- Provide technical information or assistance to public.
- Collaborate on research activities with scientists or technical specialists.
- Develop theories or models of physical phenomena.
- Collect environmental data or samples.
- Develop environmental research methods.
- Research environmental impact of industrial or development activities.
- Instruct college students in physical or life sciences.
- Prepare research or technical reports on environmental issues.
- Conduct climatological research.
- Measure environmental characteristics.
- Apply knowledge or research findings to address environmental problems.
- Create images or other visual displays.
- Develop mathematical models of environmental conditions.
- Direct technical activities or operations.
- Electronic Mail — 93% responded “Every day.”
- Time Pressure — 82% responded “Every day.”
- Face-to-Face Discussions — 79% responded “Every day.”
- Telephone — 74% responded “Every day.”
- Freedom to Make Decisions — 59% responded “A lot of freedom.”
- Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 89% responded “Every day.”
- Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 57% responded “Extremely important.”
- Spend Time Sitting — 50% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Deal With External Customers — 57% responded “Extremely important.”
- Work With Work Group or Team — 50% responded “Extremely important.”
- Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 52% responded “Very important results.”
- Structured versus Unstructured Work — 61% responded “Some freedom.”
- Frequency of Decision Making — 54% responded “Every day.”
- Contact With Others — 46% responded “Constant contact with others.”
- Level of Competition — 36% responded “Highly competitive.”
- Duration of Typical Work Week — 71% responded “40 hours.”
- Coordinate or Lead Others — 44% responded “Important.”
- Public Speaking — 36% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
- Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 29% responded “Very important.”
- Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — 54% responded “Moderate responsibility.”
- Letters and Memos — 50% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
- Physical Proximity — 64% responded “Slightly close (e.g., shared office).”
|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)|
Percentage of Respondents
|Education Level Required|
This occupation may require a background in the following science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) educational disciplines:
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.
- 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.
- Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
- Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
- Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
- Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
- Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
- Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
- Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
- Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
- Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
- Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
- Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
- 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.
- Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
- Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
- Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
- 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.
- Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
- 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.
Wages & Employment Trends
|Median wages (2015)||$43.18 hourly, $89,820 annual|
|Employment (2014)||12,000 employees|
|Projected growth (2014-2024)||Faster than average (9% to 13%)|
|Projected job openings (2014-2024)||3,300|
|Top industries (2014)|
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 wage data and 2014-2024 employment projections . "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2014-2024). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.
Job Openings on the Web
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.
- Atmospheric scientists, including meteorologists . Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor. Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition.
- American Meteorological Society , 45 Beacon St., Boston, MA 02108. Phone: (617) 227-2425. Fax: (617) 742-8718.
- National Weather Association , 3100 Monitor Ave., Suite 123, Norman, OK 73072. Phone: (405) 701-5167. Fax: (405) 701-5227.