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Atmospheric and Space Scientist

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Life As an Atmospheric and Space Scientist

Occupation Description 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.

A Day in the Life of an Atmospheric & Space Scientist

  • Conduct meteorological research into the processes or determinants of atmospheric phenomena, weather, or climate.
  • Direct forecasting services at weather stations or at radio or television broadcasting facilities.
  • Consult with other offices, agencies, professionals, or researchers regarding the use and interpretation of climatological information for weather predictions and warnings.
  • Create visualizations to illustrate historical or future changes in the Earth’s climate, using paleoclimate or climate geographic information systems (GIS) databases.
  • Formulate predictions by interpreting environmental data, such as meteorological, atmospheric, oceanic, paleoclimate, climate, or related information.
  • Design or develop new equipment or methods for meteorological data collection, remote sensing, or related applications.

Atmospheric & Space Scientist Skills

Atmospheric and Space Scientists state the following job skills are important in their day-to-day work.

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.

  • Climate Change Risk Assessor
  • Tracker
  • Oceanographic Meteorologist
  • Space Operations Officer
  • Weather Analyst

Job Demand for Atmospheric and Space Scientists

In 2016, there was an estimated number of 10,400 jobs in the United States for Atmospheric and Space Scientist. 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.

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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.

Atmospheric & Space Scientist Salary

The salary for Atmospheric and Space Scientists ranges between about $50,040 and $142,500 a year.

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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

Tools & Technologies Used by Atmospheric and Space Scientists

Below is a list of the types of tools and technologies that Atmospheric and Space Scientists may use on a daily basis:

  • 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

What education is needed to be an Atmospheric and Space Scientist?

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How many years of work experience do I need?

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Atmospheric and Space Scientists Sector

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

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You May Also Be Interested In…

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

Those who work as an Atmospheric and Space Scientist sometimes switch careers to one of these choices:

References:

Image Credit: Liam Gumley via NASA, public domain

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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