Science, Technology & Environment
Meteorologists forecast the weather and study the causes of particular weather conditions.
What does a Meteorologist do?
Meteorologists forecast the weather and study the causes of particular weather conditions, using information obtained from the land, sea and upper atmosphere, to improve the understanding of climate.
As a meteorologist, you would usually work in either weather forecasting or research.
Depending on your specialisation, you might:
- collect and analyse data and measurements from satellite images, radar, weather stations and remote sensors
- interpret data to forecast atmospheric conditions
- prepare weather forecasts for the public as well as specific users such as aviation, marine, defence and emergency services
- issue warnings for storms, cyclones, floods and frosts
- apply computer models to make short and long-range weather forecasts
- monitor climate variability and identify climatic change
- supervise and coordinate the work of technical officers and meteorological observers
- attend conferences and present research papers or findings
- carry out weather studies for particular clients.
Key skills and interests
To become a meteorologist, you would need:
- to have an aptitude for science
- be interested in climate and the enviroment
- excellent mathematical and computing skills
- the ability to analyse and present complex data
- an enquiring mind
- good problem-solving skills.
Working hours and conditions
As a forecaster or observer, you might need to work shifts to provide 24-hour cover. In research, you would normally work standard office hours, Monday to Friday.
The work is mainly office-based and involves using technical instruments and computers.
How to become an Meteorologist?
Entry Level Education
Applicants for graduate meteorologist roles at the Bureau of Meteorology need an undergraduate or postgraduate degree, with a major in a physical science or mathematics. To get into undergraduate courses you usually need to gain your senior secondary school certificate or equivalent. English, mathematics, chemistry, biology, earth and environmental science, and physics are appropriate subjects to study prior to university.
You must also be an Australian citizen, or permanent resident who is applying for citizenship.
Successful applicants attend a 9-month training course at the Bureau of Meteorology Training Centre in Melbourne, and upon successful completion, are awarded the nationally accredited Graduate Diploma in Meteorology. You would then be posted to one of the Bureau's offices across Australia.
Employment of meteorologists is projected to grow about as fast as the average for all occupations.
Opportunities for meteorologists are based mostly on the number of available jobs within the Bureau of Meteorology. A small number of roles for meteorologists or atmospheric scientists are available in private industry or in university research.