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Atmospheric Scientists, Including Meteorologists Job Outlook

Employment of atmospheric scientists is projected to grow by 11 percent from 2010 to 2020, about as fast as the average for all occupations. New computer models have vastly improved the accuracy of forecasts and allow atmospheric scientists to tailor forecasts to specific purposes. This should increase the need for atmospheric scientists working in private industry as businesses demand more specialized weather information.

Job Prospects

Prospective atmospheric scientists should expect competition because the number of graduates from meteorology programs is expected to exceed the number of job openings. Workers with a graduate degree should enjoy better prospects than those whose highest level of education is a bachelor’s degree.

Competition may be strong for research positions at colleges and universities because of the limited number of positions available. Few opportunities are expected in federal government because atmospheric scientists will be hired only to replace workers who retire or leave for other reasons. Budget constraints are also expected to limit hiring by federal agencies such as the National Weather Service. The best job prospects for meteorologists will be in private industry.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition