Atmospheric and Space Scientists
SOC: 19-2021.00


Investigate atmospheric phenomena and interpret meteorological data, gathered by surface and air stations, satellites, and radar to prepare reports and forecasts for public and other uses. Includes weather analysts and forecasters whose functions require the detailed knowledge of meteorology.

National Salary Information:

Hourly Statistics:

Annual Statistics:

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 wage data.

Employment Projections:

Employment (2014):
11,800 employed

Projected (2024):
12,900 employed

Projected growth (2014-2024)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 2014-2024 employment projections external site. "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2014-2024). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.

Alternate Titles:

  • Aerologist
  • Air Analyst
  • Astrochemist
  • Atmospheric Chemist
  • Atmospheric Scientist
  • Broadcast Meteorologist
  • Chief Meteorologist
  • Climate Change Risk Assessor
  • Climatologist
  • Computer Meteorologist
  • Forecaster
  • General Forecaster
  • Hurricane Tracker
  • Hydrometeorological Technician
  • Hydrometeorologist
  • Marine Meteorologist
  • Meteorological Engineer
  • Meteorologist
  • Meteorologist-in-Charge
  • Oceanographic Meteorologist
  • Operational Meteorologist
  • Physical Meteorologist
  • Radiosonde Specialist
  • Science and Operations Officer (SOO)
  • Space Operations Officer
  • Storm Chaser
  • Synoptic Meteorologist
  • Tornado Chaser
  • Tracker
  • Warning Coordination Meteorologist
  • Weather Analyst
  • Weather Forecaster
  • Weather Reporter
  • Weatherman

  • Job Zone Four: Considerable Preparation Needed


    A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations. For example, an accountant must complete four years of college and work for several years in accounting to be considered qualified.


    Most of these occupations require a four-year bachelor's degree, but some do not.

    Job Training:

    Employees in these occupations usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.

    Required Skills:

  • Reading Comprehension
  • Active Listening
  • Writing
  • Speaking
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Critical Thinking
  • Active Learning
  • Learning Strategies
  • Monitoring
  • Social Perceptiveness
  • Coordination
  • Persuasion
  • Negotiation
  • Instructing
  • Service Orientation
  • Complex Problem Solving
  • Operations Analysis
  • Technology Design
  • Programming
  • Operation Monitoring
  • Judgment and Decision Making
  • Systems Analysis
  • Systems Evaluation
  • Time Management
  • Management of Financial Resources
  • Management of Material Resources
  • Management of Personnel Resources

  • Knowledge Used:

  • Administration and Management
  • Clerical
  • Economics and Accounting
  • Sales and Marketing
  • Customer and Personal Service
  • Personnel and Human Resources
  • Computers and Electronics
  • Engineering and Technology
  • Design
  • Mechanical
  • Mathematics
  • Physics
  • Chemistry
  • Biology
  • Psychology
  • Sociology and Anthropology
  • Geography
  • Education and Training
  • English Language
  • Foreign Language
  • History and Archeology
  • Public Safety and Security
  • Law and Government
  • Telecommunications
  • Communications and Media
  • Transportation

  • Tasks:

  • Broadcast weather conditions, forecasts, or severe weather warnings to the public via television, radio, or the Internet or provide this information to the news media.
  • Gather data from sources such as surface or upper air stations, satellites, weather bureaus, or radar for use in meteorological reports or forecasts.
  • Prepare forecasts or briefings to meet the needs of industry, business, government, or other groups.
  • Measure wind, temperature, and humidity in the upper atmosphere, using weather balloons.
  • Direct forecasting services at weather stations or at radio or television broadcasting facilities.
  • Collect air samples from planes or ships over land or sea to study atmospheric composition.
  • Conduct numerical simulations of climate conditions to understand and predict global or regional weather patterns.
  • Design or develop new equipment or methods for meteorological data collection, remote sensing, or related applications.
  • Analyze climate data sets, using techniques such as geophysical fluid dynamics, data assimilation, or numerical modeling.
  • Conduct wind assessment, integration, or validation studies.
  • Create visualizations to illustrate historical or future changes in the Earth's climate, using paleoclimate or climate geographic information systems (GIS) databases.
  • Estimate or predict the effects of global warming over time for specific geographic regions.
  • Formulate predictions by interpreting environmental data, such as meteorological, atmospheric, oceanic, paleoclimate, climate, or related information.
  • Perform managerial duties, such as creating work schedules, creating or implementing staff training, matching staff expertise to situations, or analyzing performance of offices.
  • Consult with other offices, agencies, professionals, or researchers regarding the use and interpretation of climatological information for weather predictions and warnings.
  • Teach college-level courses on topics such as atmospheric and space science, meteorology, or global climate change.
  • Analyze historical climate information, such as precipitation or temperature records, to help predict future weather or climate trends.
  • Prepare weather reports or maps for analysis, distribution, or use in weather broadcasts, using computer graphics.
  • Apply meteorological knowledge to issues such as global warming, pollution control, or ozone depletion.
  • Develop or use mathematical or computer models for weather forecasting.
  • Interpret data, reports, maps, photographs, or charts to predict long- or short-range weather conditions, using computer models and knowledge of climate theory, physics, and mathematics.
  • Conduct meteorological research into the processes or determinants of atmospheric phenomena, weather, or climate.
  • Prepare scientific atmospheric or climate reports, articles, or texts.
  • Research the impact of industrial projects or pollution on climate, air quality, or weather phenomena.

  • Tools & Technology:

  • Air quality samplers
  • Air temperature thermometers
  • Analog anemometers
  • Desktop computers
  • Digital anemometers
  • Doppler radar equipment
  • Graphic tablets
  • Hygrometers
  • Laptop computers
  • Light meters
  • Mercury barometers
  • Next Generation Weather Radar NEXRAD
  • Personal computers
  • Psychrometers
  • Radiosonde launchers
  • Rain gauges
  • Relative humidity gauges
  • Soil temperature probes
  • Solarimeters
  • Storm chase vehicles
  • Surface temperature probes
  • Temperature and humidity data loggers
  • Tipping bucket rain gauges
  • Two way radios
  • Weather balloons
  • Weather observation stations
  • Whirling hygrometers
  • AccuWeather Galileo
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Photoshop software
  • Advanced Visual Systems AVS/Express
  • Air quality modeling software
  • Aninoquisi MesoTRAC
  • Baron Services FasTrac
  • Baron Volumetric Imaging and Processing of Integrated Radar VIPIR
  • C++
  • Cave5D
  • Cisco IOS
  • Environmental Research Services RAOB
  • ESRI ArcInfo
  • ESRI ArcView
  • Ferret
  • Flow Analysis Software Toolkit FAST
  • Formula translation/translator FORTRAN
  • Grid analysis and display system GrADS
  • Image editing software
  • Interactive radar analysis software IRAS
  • ITT Visual Information Solutions ENVI
  • Lakes Environmental Software WRPLOT View
  • Linux
  • Maplesoft Maple
  • Mesoscale modeling software
  • Microsoft Access
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Outlook
  • Microsoft Paint
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Microsoft Word
  • PC Weather Products HURRTRAK
  • Practical extraction and reporting language Perl
  • Python
  • QuarkXPress
  • R
  • SAS software
  • SatView
  • SPSS software
  • StatSoft STATISTICA software
  • Systat Software SigmaPlot
  • Systat Software SigmaStat
  • The MathWorks MATLAB
  • Unidata GEMPAK
  • Unidata Gempak Analysis and Rendering Program GARP
  • Unidata Integrated Data Viewer IDV
  • Unidata McIDAS-X
  • Vis5d+
  • VorTek Site Assessment of Tornado Threat SATT
  • Windflow modeling software
  • Wolfram Research Mathematica
  • Word processing software
  • WSI Titan
  • WSI TrueView Professional

  • life physical and social science

    industry stats

    SOC: 19-0000

    Total Employed: 1,146,110

    Average Annual Salary: $71,220