Meteorology master's degree programs teach students to understand and interpret the complex relationships between weather, climate, and atmosphere. Master's degree programs in meteorology can prepare students for careers in the field of broadcast meteorology, forensic meteorology, research meteorology, or weather forecasting. Many fields of meteorology require a graduate degree.
Meteorology graduate students should ideally possess the following qualities:
- Background in mathematics/science/physics
- Good verbal communication skills
- Interest in research Strong computer/technological skills
Meteorology Master's Degree Program Curriculum
Masters programs in meteorology typically take 2-3 years to complete, Ph.D. programs typically take 5-7 years. Many masters programs offer a thesis or non-thesis course of study. Students can expect to spend a significant amount of time in a laboratory/research setting. Many programs offer graduate assistantships to help offset the cost of tuition.
Curriculum offerings vary between schools, check with your school of choice for details.Meteorology graduate students might study the following course topics:
- Atmospheric physics
- Climate change
- Dynamic meteorology
- Transportation meteorology
- Numerical weather prediction
- Computer applications in meteorology
- Elements of linear algebra
- Numerical analysis using the computer
Meteorologist Career Paths
Meteorologists may pursue careers in a variety of settings; industries of employment might include:
- Federal government
- Research and development
Meteorologist could also work to develop different fields of expertise. They may specialize in the following fields:
- Broadcast meteorology
- Climate science
- Forensic meteorology
- Research meteorology
According to The Bureau of Labor Statistics the 2012 median salary for atmospheric scientists and meteorologists was $89,260. Meteorologists working for the federal government earned a median salary of $97,710, those working at colleges or universities earned a median salary of $86,090. Radio and television broadcasters earned a median salary of $82,360, and individuals working in other professional and scientific services earned a median salary of $82,310.
The top 10% of earners in this field made more than $134,730 a year, the bottom 10% or earners made less than $49,120. Salaries vary according to experience, education, location, industry and company. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts jobs for meteorologists are expected to grow by 10% between 2012 and 2022.
The chart below illustrates 2012 median salary information for meteorologists working in select industries.