Meteorology as a career

started by ncory101, July 3, 2017
15 replies to this discussion
    • Member

      My name is Noah and I am in high school right now. I have been looking at possibly going into a meteorology major in college and pursuing that as a career. I was wondering if anyone had any thoughts on that and could share some tips on the process! I have loved weather ever since I was a little kid and experienced my first hurricane. I always have the weather channel on and can’t wait to hear from more weather geeks.


      Thank you!



    • Expert Member

      Hey there, Noah! I was in your same exaction spot in high school almost fifteen years ago. I grew up in the northeast and got to experience some of the best weather from blizzards to tornadoes and even a tropical cyclone or two. It always blew my mind that I could go to bed one night and wake up the next morning to feet of snow on the ground. I had to know how and why it happened.

      First off, you’ll need a strong foundation in math and science. You will see a lot of physics and calculus throughout college. The earlier you can familiarize yourself with them, the better! However, don’t take this to mean you need to be some kind of physics or math genius. Plenty of great meteorologists struggle with the math or the physics at some point in their academic career. Your persistence will pay off! Take any class your high school offers in physics or similar sciences. I was lucky enough to have a meteorology course my senior year of high school.

      When it comes time to applying to college, keep in mind that all schools that offer a bachelors degree in meteorology follow the same course load as dictated by the National Weather Service. What varies from school to school are the elective courses – and you’ll want to find a school that offers courses in the field which interests you the most. Love tropical weather? Check out the University of Miami or Florida State. Love severe weather? Look no further than the University of Oklahoma. Want to give broadcasting a shot? Penn State and Mississippi State both have great programs. And I have to give a shout out to my alma mater, Millersville University, which is a terrific school to master the skill of forecasting.

      But the real secret ingredient to success is passion. If you truly love weather and are a real weather geek, you’ll do great.

      Keep looking up!

      • Member

        Thank you so much Shane!,

        A little bit of an update: I am getting ready to do some college tours of Penn State, Valpo, and Millersville! I will be taking physics, pre-calc, stats, and AP Bio during my senior year of high school in the fall. I have been doing a lot of reading on meteorology and know for sure now that this is definitely what I want to do. All of the information was really helpful and I can’t thank you enough! I hope to see you in the field one day and I will let you know how Millersville goes!



    • If you love weather study hard so you can have a job that you love doing.

    • Hi!  I’m in the same boat as you, Noah. A great resource I found was “Meteorology Manual” by Stormy Dunlop. It’s a nice book that’s clearly written and really helped me get a better grasp on basic meteorological occurrences. Hope you can use it, too! In the meantime, we’ll keep on studying and hopefully get into a good meteorology program. Good luck!

      • Member


        I am just getting ready to order that book! Thank you so much for all that information. I hope the best for you and I hope to see you in the field someday!



    • Expert Member

      It’s amazing how many of my colleagues (and myself included) knew they wanted to get into this field from a very young age.  Don’t quit dreaming… and focus your schooling on getting into the field.  Work on your math and physics because there is a lot of it needed to get a degree, and research schools that have Meteorology programs.  Shane mentioned several of them, but there are many more!  I got my undergrad degrees at Rutgers University and my masters at Georgia Tech.  You can find a large list of accredited weather programs here:

      • Member

        Hi Mark!

        Thank you so much for all of that information. I am getting ready to go on a lot of colleges visits to look at different meteorology departments. I will be taking physics, pre-calc, and stats in the Fall for my Senior year of high school. I will definitely look at Rutgers and keep you updated!



    • I let life stress me out too much, got into the nine to five grind, and dropped the ball for years. I started becoming more active in the spotter community, you work with a lot of meteorologists; it may be voluntary, but sometimes people will pay you a little bit here and there for a photo, I think that’d be a good place to start. I’m not sure about where you live, but I can get my bachelor’s in state at MSU, and I would think a nearby community college would have transferable credits towards a degree…

    • I hope I get this job I have a book about weather and  I’m going to a weather camp next summer! And I’m studying for it too.

    • Member

      Definitely make sure that you have a solid foundation in your algebra, geometry, and trigonometry. A lot of people take calculus only to fail trig or algebra. Do what you can to get involved with the weather, talk to local meteorologists, forums like this, and any other way you think would help yourself grow as a student and meteorologist. Also don’t forget your science classes! have a decent foundation in chemistry, physics, and Earth sciences. For a school to attend, I might be a smidge biased, but try Penn State! 🙂  We Are…..

      Best of luck!

    • Member

      Hi! I am currently in school at Texas Tech University to study meteorology! I’m doing it in a roundabout fashion though, I’m a journalism major and an atmospheric science minor, so I’m really pursuing the broadcast side of things, which I know the most about.

      My first suggestion is to pick a school that fits YOU but also has a meteorology degree. For instance schools like Texas A&M, Penn State, Mississippi State and Oklahoma and a many more have degrees in meteorology or atmospheric sciences. Do your research on what university would best suit you.

      Keep in mind that meteorology fields are heavy in the maths and sciences. This is what surprised me most when starting in my minor. But you don’t have to be an absolute genius in math to pursue this field either! You just have to have it under your belt so you’re able to get through the physics and calculuses you’ll need to take.

      Also think about which way you want to go about it. Do you want to go for broadcasting weather? If so, networking is a real key. Get an internship at a local news station and request to do some green screen work because the more on-air time you have, and the better your reel looks, the better you will look in post-college careers in weather broadcasting. Or you could go the scientific route and work for the National Weather Service. I know a few of my friends have or are internterning currently at the NWS office in Lubbock, Texas, so they probably do that sort of thing at your closest NWS office too! In that internship they learn how NWS runs and how to forecast a bit! Another career idea in the media aspect is to do weather graphics! These are the people that create the graphics that then go on-screen during a broadcast to help the audience better understand the weather being talked about. In this field, being creative and being able to design on softwares is a must, and you can always get an internship to learn more about that as well.

      There are so many paths that you could go down for a meteorology career, and if you truly love it, no matter what, you’ll find your place in the world of meteorology! 🙂

    • I am in a similar situation. However, I am going to college in about a month to major in meteorology. I am looking forward to it as I have loved weather for many years. 🙂


    • Member

      I just graduated high school. I was lucky enough to get rid of a lot of my stage fright in my Gold Seal Program of Choice in Broadcast Journalism and Media Technology (we called it “Media Tech”) there. When I had to pick my top 3 High Schools in 8th grade, I didn’t yet know if I wanted to be a regular News Anchor or a Meteorologist. Southwest High School (the high school I went to) was actually my 3rd choice (my top 2 were pretty much college in high school programs). I am so glad I got into Southwest! My Media Tech teacher Sophomore, Junior, and Senior years actually goes to the same church that I do and I grew closer to her because of that. Anyway, I wasn’t really the one to choose Meteorologist over News Anchor. The chooser is the Chief Meteorologist of WFAA-TV (my local ABC News affiliate), Pete Delkus. Being the weird kid that I am, I asked him what he thought I should be and, after asking a couple of questions, he said Meteorologist. I have him to partially thank for my career choice.

      I do love being behind the camera (such as Floor Directing, Prompting, and running audio; directing is pretty hard for me), but, despite my stage fright and abilities in those positions, I really want to be in front of the camera and green screen on the news. I plan to become a certified weather spotter/chaser with the NWC’s program for citizens of all ages as soon as the next class is available, I think in January or something.

      Education wise, I plan to go Tarrant County College [(TCC)(my local junior college)] first, and then, hopefully OU, for a Major (probably Masters Degree) in Meteorology, Minor in Broadcast Meteorology (which is an option of OU’s Meteorology Major Program), and a Minor in Education. If I can’t get into OU, my second choice is Texas A&M. Before I learned about OU’s Minor in Broadcast Meteorology, I was planning to Major in Meteorology, Minor in Education, and either Major or Minor in Broadcast Journalism.

      Career wise, I hope to one day work for WFAA-TV or ABC News, but TWC would be nice too.

      Good luck to all who are going on the journey of becoming a Meteorologist! I hope we all succeed!

    • Member

      Well, if I can add my 2 cents, my son and I have always been interested in the world of weather. After H.S., he joined the Air Force. He wanted to be a fire fighter for them as he has been a volunteer since he was 14. The Air Force told him that he was’nt able to be a fire fighter (color blind) but if there was any other occupation he was interested in. Sooo, he decided to be a “forecaster”. He does the whole East coast. They pay for his schooling and he gets paid for doing so. He enjoys it .

      • Member

        I was looking into that but due to my medical past they won’t let me in. It was definitely something I was looking into though. Thank you for responding and all the best to your son!!

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