Several career paths are open to someone who wants to become a navy meteorologist. These can include receiving training in the navy or pursuing a college degree to become eligible for a position as an officer. The best option can depend on what kind of career someone wants in the navy; people who plan to stay for a lifetime career may want to consider becoming officers, which will provide access to better pay and benefits over time.
One option is to enlist in the navy, take entrance examinations, and express an interest in meteorology. Eligible candidates can be sent to a special training school after boot camp, where they receive information on how to work with meteorologists in a support role. Over time, they acquire more training, which can include credits earned toward a degree. This route to become a navy meteorologist can involve work in a variety of environments and also potentially opens up the path to an officer’s position if a sailor wishes to pursue a degree.
People with college degrees in meteorology can join the navy with their previous education and experience, automatically entering as officers. They will receive military training to prepare them for duty and are eligible for periodic promotions like other naval officers and enlisted sailors. Another way to become a navy meteorologist is to pursue a college degree while in the navy or through a Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) program, where the navy will help cover the costs of college in exchange for service after graduation.
Someone considering this career should be aware that it can be very diverse. Someone who has become a navy meteorologist might be involved in forecasting, military planning, or research, often with access to cutting edge tools, facilities, and equipment. The military is heavily involved in climate and meteorology research because it can be critical to engagements, and numerous opportunities for scientific research and exploration may be available.
After a sailor has become a navy meteorologist, promotions are based on time in service, performance, and reviews from superiors. Career sailors can discuss their goals with supervisors to learn more about how to advance themselves for promotion, which makes them eligible for higher pay grades and other benefits. After naval service, people can also pursue civilian careers in meteorological research, reporting, and related fields with their military experience and training. Military contractors may also have an interest in job candidates with service experience.