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Atmospheric and Space Scientist

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Life As an Atmospheric and Space Scientist

Job Description & Duties 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.

What Do Atmospheric and Space Scientists Do On a Daily Basis?

  • Prepare scientific atmospheric or climate reports, articles, or texts.
  • Conduct wind assessment, integration, or validation studies.
  • Formulate predictions by interpreting environmental data, such as meteorological, atmospheric, oceanic, paleoclimate, climate, or related information.
  • Apply meteorological knowledge to issues such as global warming, pollution control, or ozone depletion.
  • Prepare weather reports or maps for analysis, distribution, or use in weather broadcasts, using computer graphics.
  • Develop or use mathematical or computer models for weather forecasting.

Atmospheric & Space Scientist Required Skills

These are the skills Atmospheric and Space Scientists say are the most useful in their careers:

Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Writing: Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Science: Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.

Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

  • Hurricane Tracker
  • Marine Meteorologist
  • Warning Coordination Meteorologist
  • Weather Reporter
  • Climate Change Risk Assessor

Job Opportunities for Atmospheric and Space Scientists

In the United States, there were 10,400 jobs for Atmospheric and Space Scientist in 2016. New jobs are being produced at a rate of 12.5% which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 1,300 new jobs for Atmospheric and Space Scientist by 2026. There will be an estimated 900 positions for Atmospheric & Space Scientist per year.

Forecasted Number of Jobs for Atmospheric and Space Scientists in U.S.

The states with the most job growth for Atmospheric & Space Scientist are Colorado, Utah, and New Hampshire. Watch out if you plan on working in Rhode Island, Missouri, or Kansas. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

What is the Average Salary of an Atmospheric & Space Scientist

The average yearly salary of an Atmospheric & Space Scientist ranges between $50,040 and $142,500.

Salary Ranges for Atmospheric and Space Scientists

Atmospheric and Space Scientists who work in District of Columbia, Maryland, or New Mexico, make the highest salaries.

How much do Atmospheric and Space Scientists make in different U.S. states?

State Annual Mean Salary
Alabama $104,130
Alaska $85,980
Arizona $93,870
California $102,020
Colorado $96,890
Connecticut $58,980
District of Columbia $138,020
Florida $95,110
Georgia $99,890
Hawaii $103,960
Idaho $97,900
Illinois $71,400
Indiana $97,520
Iowa $89,230
Kansas $85,740
Kentucky $106,450
Louisiana $84,150
Maryland $110,150
Michigan $89,840
Minnesota $102,520
Mississippi $73,270
Missouri $95,500
Montana $85,770
Nebraska $89,990
Nevada $93,770
New Hampshire $80,880
New Jersey $95,560
New Mexico $111,090
New York $89,840
North Carolina $77,830
North Dakota $74,050
Ohio $91,370
Oklahoma $81,970
Oregon $90,390
Pennsylvania $104,380
South Carolina $96,170
South Dakota $82,600
Tennessee $95,740
Texas $93,810
Utah $87,130
Virginia $108,330
Washington $92,700
Wisconsin $93,100
Wyoming $87,910

What Tools & Technology do Atmospheric and Space Scientists Use?

Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Atmospheric and Space Scientists:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Office
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Microsoft Outlook
  • Python
  • Microsoft Access
  • Word processing software
  • Microsoft Windows
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Photoshop
  • Structured query language SQL
  • The MathWorks MATLAB
  • SAS
  • Linux
  • Facebook
  • IBM SPSS Statistics
  • UNIX
  • R
  • Practical extraction and reporting language Perl
  • Apple Final Cut Pro

Becoming an Atmospheric & Space Scientist

Are there Atmospheric and Space Scientists education requirements?

Atmospheric & Space Scientist Degree Level

What work experience do I need to become an Atmospheric & Space Scientist?

Atmospheric & Space Scientist Work Experience

Atmospheric and Space Scientists Sector

Atmospheric & Space Scientist Sectors

Below are examples of industries where Atmospheric and Space Scientists work:

Atmospheric & Space Scientist Industries

You May Also Be Interested In…

Those thinking about becoming an Atmospheric and Space Scientist might also be interested in the following careers:

Are you already one of the many Atmospheric and Space Scientist in the United States? If you’re thinking about changing careers, these fields are worth exploring:


Image Credit: Liam Gumley via NASA, public domain

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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