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Climate scientist Green Job

Climate scientists study changes in the Earth's climate over time and how they might affect the planet in the future.

Annual Salary

£15,609 to £55,000

Average UK salary in 2022 was £33,200
(source Office for National Statistics)

Working hours

37 to 42 a week

You could work: between 8am and 6pm;

2.4%
Future employment

There will be 2.4% more Climate scientist jobs in 2027.

Day to day tasks

You could:

  • gather and analyse data from the atmosphere, oceans and land
  • create computer models to simulate the effects of climate change
  • design and build scientific instruments and sensors
  • study past climates to understand what might happen in the future
  • monitor ice, sea levels and temperatures
  • look at how global climate affects regional weather
  • attend conferences and publish research findings
  • investigate ways to tackle climate change
  • advise policy makers
  • teach or lecture in education

Working environment

You could work in a laboratory, at a university or visit sites.

Your working environment may be outdoors some of the time.

You can get into this job through a university course.

University

You could do a degree or postgraduate qualification in a relevant subject like:

  • environmental science or ecology
  • geography, earth sciences or geology
  • physics
  • maths and statistics
  • oceanography or marine science
  • meteorology and climate science
  • computer science

Work experience

You can get work experience through internships, placements or a year in industry during your course. This may help you to identify your area of interest for research.

For example, the Met Office runs both summer placement and year in industry schemes.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 2 or 3 A levels, or equivalent, including maths and a science for a degree
  • a degree in a relevant subject for postgraduate study
For more information

More information

Career tips

You can find information about global climate conditions through:NASA; Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

Further information

Discover more about working in climate science from:UK Research and Innovation; the Royal Meteorological Society; the Natural Environment Research Council

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You could specialise in an area of climate science, for example polar research, rainfall patterns or ocean changes. You might do this through research and teaching at a university or by working for a government department.

You could also work as a palaeoclimatologist, studying historic variations in climate and how the Earth adapted to these.

Other career options include working as a consultant for science publishers or broadcasters.

You may be able to apply for chartered environmentalist status. You can find out more about being a chartered environmentalist from the Society for the Environment.

Climate Scientists use earth observation data generated from satellites in space to understand more about the impacts of global warming, on weather patterns, to predict natural disasters. They might help satellite engineers and research scientists to design the satellites based on the data and information that they would find most useful.

Examples of post-16 courses you could study at a local school or college

A-level Geography, Biology or Environmental Science

Find a local provider

Examples of post-18 courses you could study at a local provider in the South West

BSc (Hons) Environmental Science or BSc (Hons) Environmental Geography at Plymouth University

Search for a degree course

Employers in the South West 

  • Environment Agency
  • University of Bath
  • University of Bristol
  • Ministry of Defence

Skills required and how your skills match up

What skills are required?

You'll need:

  • maths knowledge
  • knowledge of geography
  • knowledge of physics
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • science skills
  • knowledge of computer operating systems, hardware and software
  • the ability to work well with others
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • the ability to read English
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages confidently
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