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Atmospheric Scientist

An Atmospheric Scientist is someone who predicts and studies weather patterns, atmospheric conditions and events to better understand patterns in the climates and the environmental impacts of air pollution.

An atmospheric scientist checks the gauges on her equipment.

There are many different tasks an atmospheric scientist may do. They may be in the field collecting data, developing forecasts, or working as an advisor to clients on risks associated with climate change and weather patterns.

Most days, an atmospheric scientist will prepare weather forecasts or maps that will be analyzed, distributed or used on local news channels. They will measure the wind, temperature, and humidity levels in the upper atmosphere with the assistance of weather balloons. They may also broadcast weather conditions or severe weather warnings to the public and create computer or mathematical models for weather forecasting.

For an individual to be successful, they will need to be able to communicate clearly with a variety of people, reason and problem solve when issues arise, and have a good understanding of math and science.

To have success at being an atmospheric scientist an individual will need to get a bachelor’s degree in atmospheric science or a closely related field. Most jobs that involve research will require a master’s degree or Ph.D. Many individuals will take coursework in physics, chemistry, geology, and meteorology. Many individuals can gain experience by doing internships or volunteer work during their undergraduate degree.

The job growth for an atmospheric scientist is expected to increase by 9 percent between 2014 to 2024, which is higher than other professions across all industries. The salary for an atmospheric scientist varies based on location. The median annual salary is $89,820 or $43.18 per hour.