Meteorologist (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration)

Public Sector
Last Updated:
September 12, 2023

Job Description Overview

Meteorologists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) are professionals who study weather patterns and climate conditions using science and technology. These skilled individuals predict and forecast weather phenomena, such as temperature changes, precipitation, and severe storms, while analyzing data to understand weather patterns over time.

As part of the Public Sector industry, these meteorologists are responsible for providing vital weather information that impacts the safety and daily lives of citizens across the US. They work with other NOAA staff and collaborate with government agencies and private organizations to provide accurate weather forecasts, warnings, and analyses.

A Meteorologist (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) job description may include a range of duties, such as operating radar and weather satellites, interpreting data, preparing reports, and creating weather models to study and predict weather patterns. They must possess strong analytical skills, a thorough understanding of meteorology and atmospheric science, and the ability to communicate complex information in understandable terms to the public. Overall, meteorologists play a critical role in keeping us all safe and informed about weather conditions.

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Job Duties and Responsibilities

  • Meteorologists in NOAA monitor weather conditions and collect data from weather stations and satellites to track storms and predict weather patterns
  • They use computer models and analysis tools to create forecasts and issue warnings when severe weather is expected
  • During hurricanes, tornadoes, and other extreme weather events, they work closely with emergency management agencies to ensure public safety
  • Meteorologists also provide climate and oceanographic data to help scientists and policymakers understand long-term climate trends and impacts on marine ecosystems
  • They communicate weather forecasts and advice to the public through various channels, including social media, television, and radio broadcasts
  • Meteorologists often collaborate with other scientists, such as hydrologists, to provide integrated forecasts and warnings that account for potential flooding and other impacts of severe weather events
  • They conduct research to improve weather forecasting technology and methods, and publish scientific papers to share their findings with the broader scientific community
  • Meteorologists may also provide expert testimony in legal cases related to weather events, such as lawsuits related to property damage or environmental impacts from storms and floods.

Experience and Education Requirements

To become a Meteorologist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), you need a combination of education and experience. Most employers require you to have a bachelor's degree in meteorology or atmospheric science. Some may accept a degree in a related field like physics, math, or engineering. Additionally, you need to have a good understanding of computer programming, statistics, and data analysis.

To gain the required experience, you may need to intern or work as a research assistant during college. Alternatively, you can work for private weather forecasting companies or government agencies to gain experience in collecting and analyzing data, forecasting weather patterns, and using computer models for weather prediction.

Having strong communication skills, being able to work well in a team, and adapting to technological changes are also important qualities necessary to excel in this field.

Salary Range

Meteorologists in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration or NOAA can expect a salary range of $49,000 to $137,000 per year in the United States, according to PayScale. This figure is influenced by factors like experience, education, skills, and location. On average, NOAA meteorologists earn around $78,000 per year. 

In Canada, meteorologists in the public sector earn a salary range of CAD 55,000 to CAD 124,000 per year, based on data from neuvoo. Meanwhile, in the UK, the Met Office employs Meteorologists with a starting salary range of £20,000 to £23,000 and up to £37,000 for experienced meteorologists. 





Career Outlook

If you're considering a career as a Meteorologist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in the Public Sector industry, you'll be delighted to know that the job outlook for this field looks promising over the next 5 years. Though the data lists a slightly lower than average growth rate over the next ten years+-, the job market demands for Meteorologists remain high. The role requires a minimum of a bachelor's degree in Meteorology or a related field, making the path to the profession very specific with a good deal of job security. Also, since the work is related to weather forecasting essential for almost all businesses, it's unlikely to go out of demand. Source.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q: What does a Meteorologist at NOAA do?

A: A Meteorologist at NOAA collects and analyzes data from various sources to forecast weather patterns, natural disasters, and climatic changes.

Q: What kind of education and training is required for this job?

A: A Bachelor's degree in Meteorology, Atmospheric Science or a related field is the minimum requirement. A Master's degree or Ph.D. is preferred. Extensive on-the-job training is also necessary.

Q: What are the working conditions like for a NOAA Meteorologist?

A: Most NOAA Meteorologists work in a comfortable office environment or in a laboratory setting. Some may work in the field or on research vessels where they may encounter challenging environmental conditions.

Q: Do Meteorologists at NOAA work alone or in teams?

A: Both. Meteorologists work in teams, collaborating with other scientists, meteorologists, and support staff to analyze data and develop weather forecasts.

Q: How can I become a Meteorologist for NOAA?

A: You must have a solid educational background in Meteorology or Atmospheric Science, gain experience in forecasting and analyzing weather patterns, and pass a rigorous application process that includes a background check, physical fitness requirements, and security clearance.

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