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Atmospheric Scientists, Including Meteorologists Pay Salary

The median annual wage of atmospheric scientists was $87,780 in May 2010. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $45,050, and the top 10 percent earned more than $132,130.

Median annual wages in industries employing the largest numbers of atmospheric scientists in 2010 were:

Federal government, excluding postal service$95,460
Research and development in the physical,
engineering, and life sciences
Colleges, universities, and professional schools; state           81,010
Radio and television broadcasting           80,250
Other professional, scientific, and technical services           57,860

Most atmospheric scientists work full time. Weather conditions can change at a moment’s notice, so weather forecasters need to continuously monitor conditions. They work rotating shifts to cover all 24 hours in a day, and they work on nights, weekends, and holidays to provide the most current weather information. In addition, they work extended hours during severe weather, such as hurricanes. Other atmospheric scientists have a standard work week, although researchers may work nights and weekends on particular projects.

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