Where can I get an education in meteorology?

There are numerous colleges and universities throughout the United States and the world where you can earn a degree in meteorology. The American Meteorological Society publishes information on this in its "Curricula in the Atmospheric, Oceanic, Hydrological and Related Sciences," which can be accessed online at ametsoc.org. The U.S. military also provides training to interested recruits. Online and correspondence courses may be found, too, but these should be viewed more for informational purposes and not for a formal education, unless the online courses are provided by a degree-conferring, accredited university.

What kinds of courses should I take at the university level?

For a more generalized career in meteorology, such as weather forecaster, a broad course in meteorology at the undergraduate level will prepare you well to continue on to graduate school. If you are particularly interested in detailed work in atmosphere science, you would be wise to earn an undergraduate degree in chemistry, physics, mathematics, or engineering. The growing field of environmental and climate research offers opportunities to meteorologists who also have an educational background in fields such as biology, ecology, oceanography, and geophysics. To increase your chances of finding a job at a professional level in meteorology, you will need at least a master's degree, and a doctorate is often preferred.

What was the first university to offer a degree in meteorology in the United States?

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology was the first institute of higher education to offer a meteorology degree. Swedish meteorologist Carl Gustaf Rossby (1898-1957) founded the program there in 1928. Rossby would go on to found programs at the University of California at Los Angeles and the University of Chicago, as well.

What is a Certified Consulting Meteorologist (CCM)?

The American Meteorological Society (AMS) grants the title of CCM to professional meteorologists who have both broad experience in meteorology and a highly specialized knowledge of particular fields on which they intend to consult. In addition to education and experience, a meteorologist has to demonstrate professional conduct and service to be named a CCM. They are sought out by law firms, governments, law enforcement agencies, insurance companies, and other private businesses for their expertise and for the assurance that all CCMs will provide reliable and authoritative information. Only about five percent of AMS members are CCMs. The AMS provides a listing of CCMs by specialty on its website at ametsoc.org.

What is a state climatologist?

A state climatologist is a professional in the field who has been designated by a state government or agency of the state as the state's official climatologist. They must also be recognized by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and by the director of the National Climatic Data Center. Currently, 48 states have a state climatologist, the exceptions being Tennessee, Rhode Island, as well as Washington, D.C.; also climatologists have been designated for Puerto Rico, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. State climatologists are supported by the American Association of State Climatologists, which was founded in 1976. State climatologists receive their salaries either from the state or from a university, and they also work closely with the National Weather Service.

How do I find financial aid to study meteorology?

Other than contacting your university's meteorology department and its financial aid office, a good place to look for scholarships, fellowships, and internships is the American Meteorological Society. The National Council of Industrial Meteorologists also provides stipends to undergraduates. Finally, the U.S. Navy and Air Force both offer programs in meteorology for those who attend the Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) in college, and then go to Officer Training School. Your education is then paid for by the military.

Careers in meteorology can involve a wide range of disciplines and interests, ranging from chemistry to computer science to on-air broadcasting.

Careers in meteorology can involve a wide range of disciplines and interests, ranging from chemistry to computer science to on-air broadcasting.

 
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