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Meteorologist

Meteorologists collect and study data to make weather forecasts.

Salary, a pound sign Salary: £20,000 to £60,000 average per year
Hours, a clock face Hours: 30 to 40 per week

1. Entry requirements

You'll usually need a degree in a related subject like:

  • physics
  • maths
  • environmental studies
  • geography
  • computer science

You might also need a postgraduate qualification. 

Some Met Office support roles may not need a degree, but you must have:

  • 2 A levels at grade C or above in maths or physics
  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) including English
The Met Office offers some summer placements, work experience positions, and has more information about becoming a meteorologist.

The Royal Meteorological Society also lists degree courses and postgraduate courses that can help you get into this career.

2. Skills required

You’ll need:

  • the ability to analyse and present complex data
  • excellent mathematical and computing skills
  • excellent written and verbal communication skills

3. What you'll do

You’ll specialise in forecasting or research.

As a forecaster you’ll:

  • collect data from satellite images, radar, remote sensors and weather stations
  • measure air pressure, wind, temperature and humidity
  • predict the weather by analysing information and using computer programmes
  • give weather information and reports to customers

As a researcher you’ll:

  • study weather patterns and climate change
  • improve computer predictions
  • use research to predict floods
  • study how the weather affects the spread of pollution or disease

4. Salary

Starter: £20,000

Experienced: £25,00 to £35,000

Highly Experienced: £60,000 and over (manager)

These figures are a guide.

5. Working hours, patterns and environment

As a forecaster or observer you’ll work 30 to 40 hours a week, including shifts and at weekends.

As a researcher you’ll work 30 to 40 hours a week, Monday to Friday.

You’ll work in an office, but may sometimes have to travel to remote places, or to attend conferences in the UK and overseas.

6. Career path and progression

With experience you could manage a team of weather forecasters. You could also move into teaching and train future forecasters and scientists.

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Last updated: 18 August 2017