Preparing for a career in meteorology

If you watch or listen to the weather forecasts, you are familiar with meteorology, and there are career opportunities in this field.

For people who watch the news, they will watch the weather reports to prepare for the current or next day. Some people will follow the weather reports on the Internet or download an app on their smartphone. Each day, there are meteorologists studying and analyzing information related to the weather and other factors affecting the climate and atmosphere.

What is a meteorologist? According to the American Meteorological Society, a meteorologist is a person with specialized education “who uses scientific principles to explain, understand, observe, or forecast the earth’s atmospheric phenomena and/or how the atmosphere affects the earth and life on the planet.” The National Severe Storms Laboratory gives career options for meteorologists such as forecasting, research, the military and teaching. Many people are familiar with meteorologists through the radio and television stations when weather forecasts and reports are given.

There are some steps you can take to become a meteorologist. First, a bachelor’s degree is needed to enter this field. Students can major in atmospheric sciences and meteorology or other majors like physics, chemistry or geology. Michigan State University even teaches an introduction to meterology class through the Department of Geography. You can check out some of the related research at MSU by visiting the Boundary Layer and Mountain Meteorology website.

Big Future by The College Board gives some steps students can take to prepare for a meteorology career. These steps include being challenged in advanced math and science courses, taking computer courses, focusing on writing skills and exploring the American Meteorological Society website.

As a high school student, here are some other ways Michigan State University Extension suggests you can prepare for a career in meteorology:

  • Set up a meeting and let your high school counselor know about your possible interest in meteorology.
  • Research colleges and universities to see if they have the majors, minors or programs available to help prepare you to become a meteorologist.
  • Explore possible job shadowing opportunities through your high school or career counselor.
  • Volunteer and tutor youth in science and math to help you in these subjects.
  • Study current meteorologists as they give the weather forecasts and reports in the news.
  • Join a 4-H club with a focus on science, technology, engineer and math (STEM).

The opportunities are available for students to learn about meteorology as a career. If this field is a career interest of yours, take steps now to prepare.

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