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How Do I Become an Aviation Meteorologist?

Becoming an aviation meteorologist requires a degree in meteorology or atmospheric sciences, along with specialized training in aviation weather forecasting. This exciting career combines a passion for weather patterns with the thrill of aviation. What steps are you willing to take to reach this unique career path?
Britt Archer
Britt Archer

A person who wants to become an aviation meteorologist needs to first obtain a college degree in atmospheric science or meteorology, which is the science of studying the weather and changes in the atmosphere. Work experience that will help land a job in aviation meteorology after your education is completed includes employment as a meteorologist or a technician who works alongside a meteorologist. Employers where you can gain this required experience include government agencies and the military.

A bachelor’s degree will open some doors in your quest to become an aviation meteorologist, but a student who wants to advance in his or her career and find more employment opportunities, including in the field of meteorology research, should consider obtaining either a master’s degree or a doctorate. In this case, the basics of physical sciences and meteorology would be supported by courses in ecology, geophysics, and oceanography.

Many people depend on meteorologists to predict dangerous weather.
Many people depend on meteorologists to predict dangerous weather.

Some attributes that will help you become an aviation meteorologist include curiosity, especially about the physical word and how it works; an interest in science, especially concerning how it can be applied in the workforce; a strength in mathematics; and an interest in using satellites and computers to help you perform your job duties. Meteorology and aviation meteorology today accept all kinds of people into their ranks, including minorities and women, although historically that was not always the case. Many fields of science were traditionally open to men only, but today applicants from diverse backgrounds are often sought by employers.

It is never too early to begin preparing for a future career if you have a strong desire to become an aviation meteorologist. Students who are still in high school will find courses in chemistry and physics helpful. A solid background in math will help with future college courses and on the job. Computer science courses also are recommended.

Professional meteorologists have a hand in many aspects of everyday life. An aviation meteorologist, for example, provides the forecast that helps ensure that an aircraft travels safely through the atmosphere, allowing people to arrive at their destinations without a weather-related incident, while other scientists work as weather forecasters or weather broadcasters in television and on radio. Some meteorologists become consultants and hire out their expertise to private companies. Some meteorologists even work as expert witnesses, providing testimony at trials where weather is a pertinent factor in a case.

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    • Many people depend on meteorologists to predict dangerous weather.
      By: Leonid
      Many people depend on meteorologists to predict dangerous weather.