Why Earn a Degree or Certificate in Meteorology?
The profession of meteorology is a fast-paced environment with constantly changing conditions. Those who pursue careers in meteorology or atmospheric science enjoy a flexible work schedule, opportunities all over the country, and, in the case of broadcast weather forecasters, public notoriety.
A degree or professional certificate in meteorology can have practical applications as well as professional ones. For example, boat and aviation enthusiasts can utilize a meteorology certificate to further their passion and assist them in predicting weather patterns during travel. Those who pursue a professional certificate in meteorology can also apply those credits to a degree program or go on to achieve advancement in their careers. A bachelor's or upper-level degree in meteorology can prepare graduates for jobs in broadcasting, education, engineering, science, and research.
What Skills Will I Learn While Studying for a Meteorology Degree or Graduate Certificate?
While studying for a degree or graduate certificate in meteorology, students will be exposed to and prepared for important field-related competencies, including:
- Utilizing forecasting equipment and tools to predict weather
- Analyzing and interpreting data and radar imagery
- Executing quick thinking to solve real-world, ever-changing patterns and problems
- Communicating and presenting information and findings in person, as well as in front of a camera
- Working both independently and as part of a team
How are Meteorology Courses Taught?
Most meteorology programs feature lectures, labs, and hands-on experience. At the undergraduate or certificate level, students participate in lectures, as well as work collaboratively with peers and faculty to make weather predictions based on data analysis, field work, and weather models. Many meteorology degree programs require the completion of a research project based on a specific area of interest relating to meteorology or atmospheric science. Then, at the graduate degree level, students pursue a refined course of study, again, participating in labs, research, and field work. A thesis or dissertation is often required in order to graduate. Almost all degree programs in meteorology require course completion in physics and upper-level mathematics.
How Long Does It Take to Earn a Degree or Certificate in Meteorology?
An undergraduate degree in meteorology can be completed in four years while an advanced meteorology degree can be completed in two. A professional certificate in the subject generally requires the completion of ten to twelve credits that can be completed in one to two years.
How do Online Master's Degrees or Certificates in Meteorology Work?
An online degree in meteorology is designed for those who work full-time and for those who do not have easy access to a physical academic location. Courses taught in the online format function similarly to those taught in the traditional classroom. Lectures, labs, research and field work are still a requirement. Labs are either conducted virtually or via a lab kit mailed to students. Once complete, students either return the kit to the teacher for a grade or simply write a report based on their findings.
What if I Have Questions about the Online Meteorology Degree Format and Process?
Here is a list of things to consider when exploring an online meteorology program of interest:
- Is the school accredited?
- What are the faculty's credentials, experience, and area of expertise?
- Does the school offer grants, loans, work study, and/or financial aid?
- How do students and faculty collaborate with one another?
- Is field work, student teaching, or an internship a requirement in order to graduate?
- How is lab work conducted?
- Does the school assist with job placement?
- What type of academic and career counseling is available?
What Will I Need to be Successful Studying Meteorology Online?
Many online degree and certificate programs do not operate on a set classroom schedule and it is up to the individual to conduct research, and complete course, lab, and field work. Therefore, obtaining an online degree requires a high level of time management and self-discipline. Students must be dedicated, organized, and structured in order to be successful.
Meteorology Online Degree or Certificate Course Examples
Courses taught online at the graduate level toward a degree or certificate in meteorology include:
- Understanding Weather Forecasting
- Fundamentals of Mesoscale Weather Forecasting
- Modern Physics
- Aviation Meteorology
- Synoptic Meteorology
- Data Analysis in Meteorology
- Climate Dynamics
- Geophysical Fluid Dynamics
- Dynamic Oceanography
- Map Analysis
- Air Quality Forecasting
- Atmospheric Environments
Tuition and Costs for an Online Master's Degree or Graduate Certificate in Meteorology
Tuition to obtain an online degree or certificate in meteorology ranges from $7,152 to $61,244 per year. Some schools require one-time application and transcript fees, as well as lab fees.
What Kinds of Jobs Can I Do with a Meteorology Degree or Certificate?
Those with a degree in meteorology have a number of job options, including:
- Meteorologist, $53,531
- Atmospheric scientist, $92,070
- Physicist, $88,375
- College professor, $87,537
- Weather forecaster ,$46,197
- Climatologist, $89,260
- Research scientist, $77,237
- Environmental engineer, $86,800
- Hydrologist, $79,990
- Geoscientist, $89,850
What are the Benefits of Having a Degree or Certificate in Meteorology?
An undergraduate degree in meteorology can afford graduates with many job opportunities at the entry level, including jobs in broadcasting. Should graduates which to pursue a career in research or postsecondary teaching, an upper-level degree such as a master's degree or PhD is usually required. A professional certificate in meteorology can prepare graduates for an undergraduate degree program or can serve simply to deepen one's knowledge in the field.
How Can I Get More Information on Meteorology?
More information on degree programs, scholarships, and the field of meteorology can be found at: