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STEM Series Pt. 5: Atmospheric Scientist

Ever wonder how humans can predict the weather? How do we know when major storms are going to arrive, and when the days are going to be filled with rain? This is a job for atmospheric scientists or “storm trackers”. They monitor the weather, collect data, and can work in many subfields relating to the atmosphere.

An atmospheric scientist work with gathering and interpreting data from weather and meteorological stations. Their typical job responsibilities include measuring properties of the atmosphere, reporting weather conditions, preparing weather forecasts, and issuing warnings of severe weather. Atmospheric scientists use highly developed technology and computer programs in order for them to be able to conduct their job. The data they collect and study is crucial to understanding the different patterns and problems of air pollution, drought, loss of the ozone layer and many more.

Atmospheric scientists spend most of their time in laboratories and offices, to write reports, conduct research, collect and analyze data. However, they do get a good deal of chances to travel. They may travel to collect data in the field and to observe weather events, such as tornadoes. These scientists get to watch these weather phenomenons up close, either from the ground or up in an aircraft. They may even be required to travel to meet different clients when working for private industries.

To become an atmospheric scientist, it is recommended that you attain a bachelor’s degree in Atmospheric Science, or something related to it, such as mathematics, or engineering. Many also go on to receive a master's degree, and many even go on to study for a Ph.D., or doctorate, in atmospheric sciences. In addition to just the field of atmospheric sciences, students also take courses in geophysics and oceanography to broaden their knowledge of the field.

The average annual salary for an atmospheric scientist typically starts around $49,700 as you enter the field, and has the potential to grow up to $147,160. The median average for this occupation is around $95,380. While atmospheric scientists aren’t extremely in demand, it is expected that the job market is expected to grow by 12.5% between 2016 and 2026. Atmospheric scientists and meteorologists with advanced knowledge of mathematical skills are more likely to be given the job of their choice.

Atmospheric scientists have extremely interesting jobs, learning about the planet we live on. By going to their field, you could be a scientist studying stunning weather phenomena!


“Atmospheric Scientist - Career, Role, Education, Jobs & Salary.” Careers360,

“The Job Market for Atmospheric Scientists in the United States.” CareerExplorer, CareerExplorer, 30 Mar. 2020,

“What Is an Atmospheric Scientist?”,

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