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, Forecaster, Forensic Meteorologist, General Forecaster, Hydrometeorological Technician, Meteorologist, Research Meteorologist, Space Weather Forecaster, Warning Coordination Meteorologist, Weather Forecaster
Tasks | Technology Skills | Tools Used | 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.
- Gather data from sources such as surface or upper air stations, satellites, weather bureaus, or radar for use in meteorological reports or forecasts.
- Develop or use mathematical or computer models for weather forecasting.
- 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.
- Formulate predictions by interpreting environmental data, such as meteorological, atmospheric, oceanic, paleoclimate, climate, or related information.
- Prepare forecasts or briefings to meet the needs of industry, business, government, or other groups.
- 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.
- Conduct numerical simulations of climate conditions to understand and predict global or regional weather patterns.
- Conduct meteorological research into the processes or determinants of atmospheric phenomena, weather, or climate.
- Consult with other offices, agencies, professionals, or researchers regarding the use and interpretation of climatological information for weather predictions and warnings.
- Prepare scientific atmospheric or climate reports, articles, or texts.
- Speak to the public to discuss weather topics or answer questions.
- Develop computer programs to collect meteorological data or to present meteorological information.
- Develop and deliver training on weather topics.
- Apply meteorological knowledge to issues such as global warming, pollution control, or ozone depletion.
- Perform managerial duties, such as creating work schedules, creating or implementing staff training, matching staff expertise to situations, or analyzing performance of offices.
- Design or develop new equipment or methods for meteorological data collection, remote sensing, or related applications.
- Measure wind, temperature, and humidity in the upper atmosphere, using weather balloons.
- Direct forecasting services at weather stations or at radio or television broadcasting facilities.
- Research the impact of industrial projects or pollution on climate, air quality, or weather phenomena.
- Collect air samples from planes or ships over land or sea to study atmospheric composition.
- Analytical or scientific software — IBM SPSS Statistics ; PC Weather Products HURRTRAK; 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 ; 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.
- 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
- 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.
- English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- 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.
- Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
- Computers and Electronics — Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
- 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.
- Chemistry — Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods.
- 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.
- Engineering and Technology — Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Science — Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
- Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
- Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
- 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.
- 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.
- Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
- Instructing — Teaching others how to do something.
- Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
- Service Orientation — Actively looking for ways to help people.
- Time Management — Managing one's own time and the time of others.
- Mathematics — Using mathematics to solve problems.
- Negotiation — Bringing others together and trying to reconcile differences.
- Persuasion — Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.
- Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- 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.
- Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
- Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
- 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).
- Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
- 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.
- Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
- 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).
- Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
- 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.
- 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).
- Mathematical Reasoning — The ability to choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem.
- 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.
- Interacting With Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
- Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
- Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
- Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
- Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
- Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
- 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.
- 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.
- Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
- Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
- Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
- 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.
- Developing and Building Teams — Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.
- Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
- Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
- Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others — Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.
- Provide Consultation and Advice to Others — Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics.
- 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.
- Scheduling Work and Activities — Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
- Coaching and Developing Others — Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.
- Guiding, Directing, and Motivating Subordinates — Providing guidance and direction to subordinates, including setting performance standards and monitoring performance.
- Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
Detailed Work Activities
- Provide technical information or assistance to public.
- Collect environmental data or samples.
- Measure environmental characteristics.
- Develop theories or models of physical phenomena.
- Interpret research or operational data.
- Prepare scientific or technical reports or presentations.
- Direct technical activities or operations.
- Conduct climatological research.
- Develop mathematical models of environmental conditions.
- Collaborate on research activities with scientists or technical specialists.
- Research environmental impact of industrial or development activities.
- Prepare research or technical reports on environmental issues.
- Communicate with the public on environmental issues.
- Provide educational information to the public.
- Analyze design requirements for computer or electronics systems.
- Develop training materials.
- Present information to the public.
- Teach classes in area of specialization.
- Test computer system operations to ensure proper functioning.
- Write computer programming code.
- Apply knowledge or research findings to address environmental problems.
- Develop environmental research methods.
- Instruct college students in physical or life sciences.
- Create images or other visual displays.
- Electronic Mail — 100% responded “Every day.”
- Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 90% responded “Every day.”
- Face-to-Face Discussions — 70% responded “Every day.”
- Spend Time Sitting — 55% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Telephone — 55% responded “Every day.”
- Freedom to Make Decisions — 50% responded “A lot of freedom.”
- Time Pressure — 70% responded “Every day.”
- Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 50% responded “Extremely important.”
- Work With Work Group or Team — 50% responded “Very important.”
- Structured versus Unstructured Work — 63% responded “Some freedom.”
- Contact With Others — 55% responded “Contact with others most of the time.”
- Duration of Typical Work Week — 63% responded “40 hours.”
- Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 30% responded “Very important results.”
- Frequency of Decision Making — 35% responded “Every day.”
- Coordinate or Lead Others — 40% responded “Important.”
- Level of Competition — 50% responded “Highly competitive.”
- Letters and Memos — 40% responded “Once a year or more but not every month.”
- Deal With External Customers — 30% responded “Fairly important.”
|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 real estate brokers, sales managers, database administrators, graphic designers, chemists, art directors, and cost estimators.|
|SVP Range||(7.0 to < 8.0)|
Percentage of Respondents
|Education Level Required|
Interest code: IR Want to discover your interests? Take the O*NET Interest Profiler at My Next Move.
- 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.
- Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
- Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
- 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.
- Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
- Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
- Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
- Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
- Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
- Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
- 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.
- Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
- Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
- Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
- 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 (2018)||$45.25 hourly, $94,110 annual|
|Employment (2018)||10,000 employees|
|Projected growth (2018-2028)||Faster than average (7% to 10%)|
|Projected job openings (2018-2028)||1,100|
|Top industries (2018)|
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2018 wage data and 2018-2028 employment projections . "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2018-2028). "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.