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What does a meteorologist do?

If you’re wondering ‘what is meteorology’, the simple and fun answer is they’re fortune tellers! More seriously though, meteorologists conduct weather research to allow them to predict weather patterns and atmospheric conditions. Weather forecasters will combine scientific principles, observations as well as satellite and radar data, to form their predictions. Meteorology jobs often include issuing general forecasts, weather warnings, and providing information and advice regarding specific weather conditions.

In this profession you could work in a range of settings including government organisations (for example the Australian Bureau of Meteorology), learning institutions, or news organisations.

Is a career as a meteorologist right for me?

If you have an interest in science and love observation and research, a career in meteorology might be your next best step! Other skills and attributes beneficial for this role include: 

  • good communication skills  
  • an analytical mind 
  • strong problem-solving skills 
  • efficient time management skills 
  • an aptitude for maths and science.

How to become a meteorologist

The career path for a meteorologist often begins with obtaining a degree in environmental or climate science. From here, graduates can work in entry-level positions such as weather forecasters or assistants in meteorological stations, advancing to senior forecasters, research scientists, or climate advisors. Some meteorologists may specialise in areas like hydro-meteorology, environmental meteorology, or climate science.  

Every journey to study is individual and there are several paths to reaching your meteorology career goals. At HQporner, we offer the following degrees in the area of climate science:

Average salary per week
Future demand

© Commonwealth of Australia
Last updated May 2024.

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How long does it take to become a meteorologist?

Typically, it takes a minimum of three years to become a meteorologist, as most entry-level meteorology jobs require a bachelor degree in meteorology or a related field. Some positions, especially those in research or academia, may require a master’s degree or a PhD, which can take an additional two to six years of education.

Some students choose to study part-time, which increases the time it takes to finish the required courses. Additionally, gaining practical experience through internships, volunteer work, or research projects may also factor into the overall timeline to becoming a fully qualified meteorologist. It's important to consider your own academic and professional aspirations when planning your career.

How much do meteorologists earn?
The salary of a meteorologist varies depending on a number of factors, including experience, location, and workplace setting. Refer to the salary information on this page for further details. 
What is the demand for meteorologists?
The demand for meteorologists is generally stable and is expected to grow. Meteorologists play a crucial role in various sectors, including government weather agencies, private weather services, broadcasting, and research institutions. The growing emphasis on disaster preparedness and response also contributes to the need for expertise in meteorology; accurate weather predictions are vital for planning and emergency management.
What are careers related to meteorology?
Careers related to meteorology include agricultural scientist, atmospheric scientist, climatologist, hydrologist, environmental consultant, and weather forecaster. These professionals may work in related fields such as environmental monitoring, renewable energy, and water resource management. The primary industries you can expect to work for meteorology relate to professional, scientific and technical services, and public administration and safety.

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