If you are good at maths and computing, and are interested in weather systems and the environment, this job could suit you well.
Meteorologists study the earth's atmosphere, climate and weather. They collect and interpret data to make weather forecasts, not only for the general public but also for use in agriculture, aviation and the armed forces.
In this job you would need to be methodical. You would need to have an enquiring mind and be good at solving problems. You would deal with a lot of data in this job, so you would have to be good at analysing it.
To get into this job, you will a first or upper second class degree in a subject such as meteorology, maths, a science or computer science. For many meteorology research jobs, you may also need a postgraduate qualification in a subject such as meteorology or climatology.
As a meteorologist you could specialise in one of two main areas – forecasting or research.
In forecasting, you might:
• collect data from satellite images, radar, remote sensors and weather stations all over the world
• measure air pressure, wind, temperature and humidity
• apply computer models and scientific principles to make short-range and long-range weather forecasts
• supply weather data, bulletins and reports to customers.
In research, you might:
• investigate weather patterns and climate change
• develop and improve computer forecasting models
• apply research to practical problems, such as predicting floods or how the weather affects the spread of pollution or disease.
Meteorology is a lucrative career option for all those who have always been keen to learn more about science and weather forecasts. Nowadays, with climate change and various environmental issues rocking the world, the role and scope of meteorologists has increased manifold. There are jobs within the government service, private companies, colleges and universities. Main jobs for meteorologists are that of research and teaching.
Meteorologists are generally employed by weather broadcasting stations, environmental agencies, government agencies such as meteorology departments, industrial weather research facilities, military department, satellite space research centers, radio and television stations and global weather centers. Space application centers also recruit meteorologists as the launching of satellite also depends on weather conditions.
The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), National Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting, Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology etc. recruits candidates through Union Public Service Commission (UPSC). Those with Masters degree can apply for the posts. Besides government entities, Private enterprises like consulting firms, gas and oil exploration companies and hydroelectric plants hire meteorologists. They can also join universities as researchers. There is great scope for research, as several institutes like Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science, Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology recruit people for various research works. Aviation is another choice in the field. Airline companies hire their own meteorologists. Another career opportunity for meteorologists is lecturing at a university or college.
Major specialized career profiles available for Meteorologists are as consulting meteorologists, broadcast meteorologists, aviation meteorologists, operational meteorologists, physical meteorologists, synoptic meteorologists, hydrometeorologists, environmental meteorologists and so on. Weather Forecasting is the heart of meteorology. Atmospheric scientists who forecast the weather are known as operational meteorologists; they are the largest group of specialists. Physical meteorologists study the atmosphere's chemical and physical properties, the transmission of light, sound, and radio waves, and the transfer of energy in the atmosphere. Synoptic meteorologists are responsible for the development of new weather forecasting tools and technology. Hydrometeorologists study the effects of hydrologic cycles on the atmosphere. Environmental meteorologists research the effect of specific atmospheric changes caused on the atmosphere due to problems such as pollution, and shortage of food, fuel, and water.
Few institutes/organizations in India where meteorologists can find jobs are Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, India Meteorology Department, Indian Air Force, Space Application Center, National Remote Sensing, Agency, Defense Research and Development Organization, Indian Space Research Organization etc.
Career aspirants in this field must be good at mathematics and science. To begin a career as a meteorologist one must have at least a bachelor degree in meteorology or atmospheric science. Bachelor degree is of four year duration. A master degree in meteorology with relevant specialization is essential for positions such as operational meteorologists, physical meteorologists, synoptic meteorologists, environmental meteorologists and hydrometeorologists. Master level programmes are of two year duration. Candidates who are aspiring to become researchers and scientists must complete a PhD programme in Meteorology. Duration of a doctoral programme is normally over three years.
A course in meteorology will help in the development of various skills like data collection, data analysis, forecasting and computer modeling. Subjects covered by a course in meteorology include Fundamentals of Meteorology, Global Atmosphere, Weather Measurement & Analysis, Atmospheric Thermodynamics, Atmospheric Physics, Weather Analysis and Forecasting, Marine Meteorology etc.
Salaries of Meteorologists vary depending on education, experience, and place of employment. Initial salary one earn is about Rs. 10,000 per month. When they are experienced meteorologists can earn around Rs. 25,000 per month. In government service Meteorologists belonging to Grade II get Rs. 15,000 to Rs. 26,000 per month. One having outstanding knowledge and experience can also find job in abroad. There the salary is not an issue at all.