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Meteorologist

Meteorologists study the physics, chemistry and dynamics of the atmosphere and its interaction with land and water surfaces, weather, climate and climate change. They study the effect of these factors on people’s health and safety, the economy and the earth’s ecosystems.

  • Avg. Salary $89,701.00
  • Avg. Wage $46.84
  • Minimum Education 4 years post-secondary
  • Outlook N/A
  • Employed < 1500
  • In Demand Medium
Also Known As

Climatologist, Instrumentation Specialist, Physical Scientist, Research Scientist, Weather Broadcaster / Forecaster

NOC Codes

In Canada, the federal government groups and organizes occupations based on a National Occupational Classification (NOC) system. This alis occupation may not reflect the entire NOC group it is part of. Data for the NOC group can apply across multiple occupations.

The NOC system is updated every 5 years to reflect changes in the labour market. Government forms and labour market data may group and refer to an occupation differently, depending on the system used. Here is how this occupation has been classified over time:

  • 2006 NOC: Meteorologists (2114) 
  • 2006 NOC-S: Meteorologists (C014) 
  • 2011 NOC: Meteorologists and climatologists (2114) 
  • 2016 NOC: Meteorologists and climatologists (2114) 
Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

N/A
Average Wage
Starting
Overall
Top
  • Certification Not Regulated
  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg
Interest Codes
The Meteorologist is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).
Meteorologists
INNOVATIVE

Interest in co-ordinating research on atmospheric phenomena, weather and climate; and in conducting research into the atmospheric dispersion and physical and chemical transformation of pollutants; may engage in the design and development of new equipment and procedures for meteorological data collection, remote sensing and related applications

OBJECTIVE

Interest in precision working with equipment and instruments to analyze the impact of industrial projects and human activity on the climate and quality of the air

DIRECTIVE

Interest in consulting to provide advice to outside agencies, professionals and researchers regarding the use and interpretation of climatological information; in providing consulting services for industries such as aviation, marine, agriculture and tourism, and to the general public; and to work with the social science, engineering and economic communities to develop appropriate mitigation strategies for the impacts from industrial and human activity

Reading Interest Codes
A Quick Guide

The interest code helps you figure out if you’d like to work in a particular occupation. 
It’s based on the Canadian Work Preference Inventory (CWPI), which measures 5 occupational interests: Directive, Innovative, Methodical, Objective and Social.

Each set of 3 interest codes is listed in order of importance.

A code in capital letters means it’s a strong fit for the occupation.

A code in all lowercase letters means the fit is weaker.

Learn More

Duties
Updated Mar 31, 2017

In general, meteorologists may:

  • forecast the weather
  • consult on the weather and climate, air quality, sea and lake ice, or hydrology (for more information, see the Hydrologist occupational profile)
  • conduct research and develop models
  • apply meteorological knowledge to problems in agriculture, forestry, air pollution, water management, energy, hydrometeorology (water in the atmosphere), transportation, national defense or the Arctic environment
  • plan and carry out investigations, develop and test numerical models, and prepare reports
  • support management activities through business planning, policy development and performance measurement.

Meteorologists may work as applied meteorologists, climatologists, research meteorologists, instrumentation specialists or weather broadcasters.

  • Applied meteorologists provide analyses, forecasts, warnings and advice tailored to the requirements of a business, a governmental organization, or an industry (for example, transportation, energy, agriculture, forestry, recreation).
  • Climatologists study weather records gathered over long periods of time. They then conduct numerical simulations of climate conditions to understand and predict global changes and long-term or seasonal weather patterns for specific regions. This helps them to anticipate the impact of climate change and consider adaptation strategies.
  • Research meteorologists study the dynamic, physical or chemical processes of the atmosphere and its interaction with land and ocean surfaces. They may study small-scale phenomena, such as clouds, or the electrical and chemical properties of the atmosphere. They may study large-scale phenomena, such as the transport of air pollutants or the movements of hurricanes. Or they may be involved in developing mathematical simulation models for weather and climate prediction.
  • Instrumentation specialists develop instruments and systems to measure and record weather variables.
  • Weather broadcasters provide weather forecasts and other weather information to the public via television, radio and the Internet.
Working Conditions
Updated Mar 31, 2017

Most meteorologists are stationed in urban centres and work in an office setting.

Applied meteorologists at weather centres often work rotating shifts that include nights. They sometimes work alone.

Weather broadcasters often work evening shifts and may work long hours during weather-related emergencies.

  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg
Skills & Abilities
Updated Mar 31, 2017

Meteorologists need:

  • communication skills in person and in writing
  • decision-making skills, especially under the pressure of fixed deadlines and a varying workload
  • the ability to think conceptually in multiple dimensions
  • the ability to apply theoretical concepts and analyze large volumes of information
  • the ability to work alone or in a team.

They should enjoy co-ordinating and conducting research, using instruments and equipment to perform tasks requiring precision, and working with people.

Educational Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2017

The minimum educational requirement is a bachelor of science (B.Sc.) degree in atmospheric sciences, or a B.Sc. in a related discipline with 9 or more courses in atmospheric sciences. With increasing automation of routine weather forecast production work, it is definite asset for meteorologists to have master’s or doctoral degrees as well as marketing skills.

In general, the entrance requirement for a master’s degree program in meteorology or atmospheric sciences is a B.Sc. in math, physics, chemistry, meteorology or atmospheric science with a minimum specified average in the last 2 years of study.


Related Education

The following schools offer programs or courses that are related to this occupation but are not required to enter the field.

Grande Prairie Regional College

Grant MacEwan University

For a broad list of programs and courses that may be related to this occupation try searching using keywords.

Elsewhere in Canada, the following schools offer programs in meteorology or atmospheric science:

Certification Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2017

The Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society (CMOS) offers accreditation for consulting meteorologists who meet the qualifying criteria.

The Canadian Environmental Certification Approvals Board (CECAB) oversees the administration, evaluation and approval of ECO Canada’s Environmental Professional (EP) certification. For more information about becoming a certified environmental professional, visit the ECO Canada website.

Employment & Advancement
Updated Mar 31, 2017

The Meteorological Service of Canada, part of Environment and Climate Change Canada, has been and still is the largest employer of meteorologists in Canada. However, a growing number of meteorologists are employed in the private sector, providing value added and specialist meteorological products and services. For example, they may provide information related to road conditions, offshore oil and gas operations, forest fire services or wind and solar energy.

The number of meteorologists employed by the Government of Canada is expected to remain constant. Normal employee turnover will probably create 30 to 35 job openings each year. Meteorologists also are employed by:

  • private meteorology firms
  • environmental consulting firms
  • companies in the transportation and energy sectors.

There are a few broadcast meteorologists in Alberta. For related information, see the Announcer and Reporter occupational profiles.

Meteorologists who have doctoral degrees may be employed as instructors and researchers at universities.

In Alberta, 87% of people employed as meteorologists work in the following industries:

Wage & Salary
Updated Mar 31, 2017

Incomes vary depending on meteorologists’ responsibilities and where they are employed.

Meteorologists and climatologists

Survey Methodology

Survey Analysis

Overall Wage Details
Average Wage
Average Salary
Hours Per Week

Hourly Wage
For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median
Starting
Overall
Top
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $16.58 $46.95 $39.57 $41.20
Overall $23.81 $57.82 $46.84 $48.48
Top $23.89 $60.93 $50.72 $53.26

Swipe left and right to view all data. Scroll left and right to view all data.

* All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production) and other forms of compensation.

A: High Reliability
Data Reliability Code Definition

High Reliability, represents a CV of less than or equal to 6.00% and 30 survey observations and/or represents 50% or more of all estimated employment for the occupation.


Industry Information
Public Administration
ALL INDUSTRIES

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

N/A

Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties

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Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months

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Vacancy Rate

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Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Sciences
Other Sources of Information
Updated Mar 31, 2017

Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society (CMOS) website: www.cmos.ca

ECO Canada website: www.eco.ca

Environment and Climate Change Canada, weather and meteorology website: www.ec.gc.ca/meteo-weather

Get information and referrals about career, education, and employment options from Alberta Supports.

Updated Mar 31, 2017. The information contained in this profile is current as of the dates shown. Salary, employment outlook, and educational program information may change without notice. It is advised that you confirm this information before making any career decisions.

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