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Career Opportunities

Meteorologists are employed in the following contexts:


Graduate School 

  • Many of the opportunities below require students first attend graduate school
  • The BS in meteorology qualifies students to attend graduate school in a variety of disciplines, including Geography, Environmental Science, Earth System Science, Climatology, and even Law School
  • Typically, graduate students have their tuition paid for and receive a stipend for living expenses through employment as a teaching or research assistant


National Weather Service (federal government)

  • 125 local offices in the U.S. and its territories
  • 9 national support centers
  • Many other scientific support and bureaucratic agencies


Broadcast and Cable Television

  • 210 local television markets, the Weather Channel, CNN, etc.
  • Mostly on-air talent, limited opportunities for 'behind the scenes' work


Other federal government agencies, and state government agencies

  • For example, the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Transportation Safety Board, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources


Contractors which support the federal government

  • In taking surface observations at major airports and military installations, e.g., Interim Solutions for Government, Control Systems Research, Inc.
  • Support of scientific research or technical operations, e.g., MDA Federal, I.M. Systems Group, Science Applications International Corporation, Noblis


Military (primarily Air Force)

  • Numerous military installations around the world
  • Reserve Officer Training Corps opportunity is available through Michigan State, while the student attends classes at CMU (see http://www.msu.edu/~airforce)

Meteorological Private Industry

  • These companies offer forecasts better tailored to the needs of specific customers, rather than the more general forecasts issued by the federal government. The companies also provide forecasts and graphics systems for media outlets. Many of the meteorologists who work for these companies also have substantial computer skills used to facilitate product generation and presentation.
  • Accuweather, WeatherData, WeatherCentral, MyWeather, Baron Meteorological Services, DTN/Meteorologix, Fleetweather, WSI, many other smaller companies


Independent Consulting

  • Some meteorologists provide similar services as the private meteorological companies listed above on an independent contractor basis. Services include forensic meteorology in the form of court testimony and contract research studies on various topics. The certification of 'Certified Consulting Meteorologist' is available from the American Meteorological Society in support of such activities.

 

Energy, Insurance, Transportation, and Financial Industries

  • These industries are all economically sensitive to weather and climate. Meteorologists are employed in a variety of contexts to leverage knowledge of future weather and climate conditions to increase profit margins.
    • Energy: Pacific Gas and Electric, Direct Energy, Chesapeake Energy
    • Renewable Energy: 3TIER, Precision Wind, WindLogics
    • Insurance: AIR Worldwide, Willis Re, Inc., Risk Management Solutions 
    • Transportation: Jeppesen, UPS, Airline Industry
    • Finance: Citigroup/Smith-Barney


Research

  • Scientists and support scientists conduct research at facilities such as: National Center for Atmospheric Research, NASA, Department of Energy, other national laboratories affiliated with government agencies
  • Requires Masters and often PhD degree


Higher Education

  • Professors and researchers in meteorology at the 4 year college level, and instructors of 'Earth Science' at 2 year colleges
  • Requires Masters and often PhD degree​