Inside Meteorologist Careers

Things you need to know, but nobody tells you

Biggest Surprises

"People Skills Are Crucial For Success In Science...
I was surprised to find that interpersonal communication, people skills, and understanding of human psychology, are the most important ingredient in being successful. In order to get research grants, which you absolutely need for funding, you typically have to organize and manage a team composed of independent scientists with an array of personalities and a range of ethics. You have to make them trust your leadership, you have to manage their egos, keep them on track and on time, and make sure nobody is taking advantage of anybody else." (Scientist; 2014)

Career: 12 years of experience, currently based in Florida, female
School: Studied Meteorology at The Florida State University in Florida; completed Doctorate degree in 1991

Best & Worst Things About This Career

Meteorologist: "Job security at the National Weather Service is very good. I know that if I continue to do good work that my job will be safe. My job is very interesting because no two days are every the same, since the weather is always changing. Working nights can be difficult as well as the 12 hour shifts. During severe weather outbreaks my job can be very stressful since I have to monitor several storms at one time. There is a lot of pressure on me knowing that people's lives could be at risk and that I am the one in charge of alerting them to dangerous weather. This does make my job very thrilling and exciting, though. Some days there isn't any bad weather going on and it can be a very easy, but sometimes boring, day. When bad weather is near, those are always the most interesting and fun days to work." (2011)

Career Background


  Job Tasks
  Work Environment
  How to Prepare for the Job
  Job Outlook

Career Tips

"Do Your Post-Doc At A Different Institution...
Don't do a post-doc at the same institution as the one you did your PhD in. You need to get exposed to different research styles, topics, and environments. That will enrich you, and also make you more marketable." (Scientist; 2014)

"Deal With The Pressure...
Take as many computer programming classes as you can while you are in high school or college. This is very important and cannot be stressed enough. Also, take plenty of math, physics, and science courses to give yourself a good base to work off of. You have to be able to work well under pressure. This job can be very stressful sometimes and you have to know how to deal with it." (Meteorologist; 2011)