Wednesday, 13 August 2008

How do I follow a career in Meteorology and do I need a degree in Meteorology to become a Meteorologist

Download Paul's BBC Radio interview on careers in meteorology

With exam results out and lots of young people thinking what they might do next, we thought it would be a good idea to say a bit about how to become a meteorologist. You can’t do a GCSE or A-level in meteorology so what should you be thinking about choosing to study?

Well, many people who end up in Meteorology come from a science background and in particular have studied subjects such as Maths, Physics and Chemistry at GCSE, A-level, and for a degree. Increasingly there are organisations that are employing people from backgrounds in environmental science and geography, but often there will be a requirement to undertake further studies to give people the scientific background needed, whether working as a meteorological researcher or an operational forecaster. Check out our ‘Spotlight on Careers’ page to see how just a small cross-section of our community ended up in meteorology ‘’.

Very few Universities offer Meteorology degrees, but there lots of related courses that will equip you well – and a number of MSc courses that give an opportunity to convert over to meteorology if you feel you would like to understand more about the science. The Society accredits Undergraduate degree and MSc courses and you can find a list on our website at ‘’.

I’m conscious that I am biased, but meteorology offers some great career opportunities, often involving travel within the UK and internationally – meteorology is a very international community. You can work as:
• an operational weather forecaster – and there are many facets to a role like that, including TV and radio presenters if that’s something that interests you.
• a weather observer - either taking observations or working in the development of instrumentation from simple rain gauges right through to aircraft equipment, weather radar and the development of new satellite technologies.
• consulting services - which is an increasing area of growth within the community that brings in business skills to provide advice to companies whose bottom line is affected by the weather.
• research scientist – either working in a university group or at one of the UK’s meteorological research institutes and centres, working at the forefront of weather and climate science.

You can find out more about the range of employers across both the public and the private sector in our section about ‘Who Employs Meteorologists’ (

For those working in meteorology already we also offer Vocational Qualifications and you can find out about the NVQs/SVQs in weather forecasting and weather observing, and how to become a Chartered Meteorologist at ‘’.

1 comment:

Matthew Gendle said...

Great read Paul. A career in Meteorology is one that I really recommend. I had an interest in Science and just loved snow when I was younger, this fueled my weather passion and now Im a weather forecaster myself!

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