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Oswego Career Ladders - Meteorologist

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Industry: Energy
Area: Wind Power

People have been using energy from the wind for hundreds of years. Windmills have been used for pumping water or grinding grain. And today, the windmill's modern equivalent--a wind turbine--can use the wind's energy to generate electricity. Meteorologists help engineers identify appropriate sites with suitable wind conditions.

Work Settings

Meteorologists who are not involved in forecasting tasks work regular hours, usually in offices. Those who work for private consulting firms usually work with other scientists or engineers; fieldwork and travel may be common for these workers.


A bachelor's degree in meteorology or atmospheric science, or in a closely related field with courses in meteorology, usually is the minimum educational requirement for an entry-level position as an atmospheric scientist.

Job Outlook

Job opportunities for atmospheric scientists are expected to be better in private industry than in the Federal Government which traditionally is where most were employed. As research leads to continuing improvements in weather forecasting, demand should grow for private weather consulting firms to provide more detailed information than has formerly been available, especially to climate-sensitive industries.


Median annual earnings of atmospheric scientists in May 2004 were $70,100. The middle 50 percent earned between $48,880 and $86,610. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $34,590, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $106,020.

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