Science

Meteorologist

Meteorologists collect and study data to make weather forecasts.

Annual Salary

£20,000 to £60,000

Average UK salary in 2018 was £29,588 (source Office for Statistics)

Working hours

30 to 40

3%
Future employment

There will be 3% more Meteorologist jobs in 2024.
In your local area

What's it all about?

You’ll specialise in forecasting or research.

As a forecaster you’ll:

  • collect data from satellite images, radar, remote sensors and weather stations
  • measure air pressure, wind, temperature and humidity
  • predict the weather by analysing information and using computer programmes
  • give weather information and reports to customers

As a researcher you’ll:

  • study weather patterns and climate change
  • improve computer predictions
  • use research to predict floods
  • study how the weather affects the spread of pollution or disease

University

You'll usually need a degree in meteorology or a related subject like:

  • physics
  • maths
  • environmental studies
  • geography
  • computer science

You might need a postgraduate qualification in meteorology or climatology if you want to do research.

You'll usually need:

  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), including a science subject
  • 2 or 3 A levels, including a science, for a degree
  • a degree in a relevant subject for postgraduate study

The Met Office offers some summer placements, work experience positions, and has more information about becoming a meteorologist.

The Royal Meteorological Society also lists degree courses and postgraduate courses that can help you get into this career.

Other Routes

You can apply to the Met Office for a place as a trainee on their forecasting and observations course.

You'll need a degree or equivalent qualification in science, maths or a related subject like geography. Other subjects may be accepted if you have the right qualities.

You can do a short work placement to find out more about meteorology as a career, if you're aged between 14 and 17.

£20,000 to £60,000

Starter salary: £20,000

Experienced salary: £25,00 to £35,000

These figures are a guide.

30 to 40

As a forecaster or observer you’ll work 30 to 40 hours a week, including shifts and at weekends.

As a researcher you’ll work 30 to 40 hours a week, Monday to Friday.

You’ll work in an office, but may sometimes have to travel to remote places, or to attend conferences in the UK and overseas.

With experience you could manage a team of weather forecasters. You could also move into teaching and train future forecasters and scientists.

You can learn more about becoming a meteorologist from the Met Office and the Royal Meteorological Society.

Skills required and how your skills match up

What skills are required?

You’ll need:

  • maths knowledge
  • knowledge of geography
  • knowledge of physics
  • analytical thinking skills
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • the ability to work well with others
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • excellent written communication skills
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently
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