Weather Observer

Industry:
Public Sector
Last Updated:
July 20, 2023

Job Description Overview

A Weather Observer job description entails observing and analyzing weather conditions to record accurate data that is used in weather forecasting. In the Public Sector industry, weather observers play a vital role in maintaining safety and public welfare by tracking natural phenomena such as hurricanes, storms, and tornadoes. As a Weather Observer, you will work on the field and use sophisticated equipment such as radar, satellites, and weather stations to collect and interpret atmospheric data. This information will then be communicated to weather forecasters who will then create weather forecasts and alerts to help people prepare for impending weather events. It is a job that requires attention to detail, strong analytical skills, and an ability to work under pressure. Whether you have a passion for meteorology or enjoy working on cutting-edge technology, being a Weather Observer in the Public Sector industry is a rewarding career choice.

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Job Duties and Responsibilities

  • A weather observer's main job is to observe and record weather conditions.
  • They use equipment like thermometers, barometers, and rain gauges to measure different weather elements.
  • They report their findings to meteorologists, who use that information to create weather forecasts.
  • Observers also monitor weather patterns and report any extreme conditions like thunderstorms, tornadoes, or hurricanes.
  • They help issue alerts and warnings to the public when severe weather is on the way.
  • Observers also keep track of aviation weather and air traffic control to ensure safe flying conditions.
  • They work closely with other professionals like emergency managers, first responders, and transportation officials.
  • Observers must be detail-oriented and able to work in all weather conditions.
  • They also need to have solid communication skills to accurately report their findings to others on the team.

Experience and Education Requirements

To get a job as a weather observer in the public sector, you need a high school diploma or equivalent qualification. But, it is also essential to have completed additional training in meteorology, which you can get at a community college or technical school. Some employers may ask for some experience in operating weather equipment and weather observation procedures.

You should be able to interpret weather conditions and communicate them clearly in writing and verbally. Since weather observation involves long hours of standing, you should be able to work for extended periods. You may also need to pass a physical exam, as the job can be physically demanding. In summary, the education and experience required to be a weather observer require a mix of basic education, dedicated training in meteorology, and physical fitness to perform the tasks involved.

Salary Range

A weather observer, working in the public sector industry, can expect a salary range from $29,000 to $62,000 annually in the United States. The median salary for this position is $44,760 per year. The salary may vary based on the level of experience, education, and region of employment. In some cases, weather observers may be paid hourly rates starting from $13.94 to $24.84 per hour. 

In the United Kingdom, a weather observer can expect a yearly salary of around £17,000 to £25,000, while in Australia, the average salary for a weather observer is AU$66,129 per year. 

Salary may also vary depending on the employer, with the National Weather Service and the military offering competitive salaries for weather observer positions. Benefits such as health insurance, paid vacation, and retirement plans are also provided by most employers.

Sources: 

  • Bureau of Labor Statistics
  • PayScale
  • Prospects UK

Career Outlook

A Weather Observer is responsible for collecting and analyzing weather data to help predict severe weather conditions. The career outlook for a Weather Observer in the Public Sector industry looks steady over the next 5 years. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment for Atmospheric Scientists, including Weather Observers, is projected to grow 6 percent from 2020 to 2030, which is as fast as the average for all occupations. The need for accurate weather information to support public safety and disaster prevention efforts is the primary reason for this growth. Therefore, the demand for qualified professionals in this field will continue to be high in the coming years.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q: What exactly does a Weather Observer in the Public Sector do?

A: A Weather Observer monitors weather conditions, records weather data, and communicates this information to the public, aviation, military, and other industries that require weather information.

Q: What education or training do I need to become a Weather Observer?

A: A high school diploma or equivalent is the minimum requirement, but some employers prefer candidates with an associate degree in meteorology or a related field. Employers also provide on-the-job training.

Q: Is there a lot of physical activity involved in being a Weather Observer?

A: The job requires standing, walking, and occasionally lifting heavy equipment. Weather Observers work in all weather conditions, from extreme heat to heavy snow, but safety is always a priority.

Q: Do Weather Observers work normal business hours?

A: Weather Observers work around the clock, 24/7, as weather can change rapidly and affect people's safety. Shift work is common, and the schedule may include weekends and holidays.

Q: Can I combine being a Weather Observer with other jobs or responsibilities?

A: Weather Observers must be fully focused on their job during their shift, as even a small mistake can have serious consequences. However, some employers may offer flexible schedules or part-time positions.


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