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Occupational Profile

Meteorologist

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

Related Video(s)
Broadcast Meteorologist (7:59)

  • Avg. Salary $82,614.00
  • Avg. Wage $43.08
  • Minimum Education 4 years post-secondary
  • Outlook N/A
  • In Demand Lower
Also Known As

Climatologist, Physical Scientist, Weather Forecaster, Research Scientist

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

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  • Certification Not Regulated
  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg
NOC & Interest Codes
The Meteorologist is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).
Meteorologists
NOC code: 2114
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 Oct 12, 2016

In general, meteorologists may be involved in:

  • weather forecasting
  • providing consulting services regarding weather and climate, air quality, sea and lake ice, or hydrology (for more information, see the Hydrologist occupational profile)
  • conducting research and developing models
  • applying meteorological knowledge to problems in agriculture, forestry, air pollution, water management, energy, hydrometeorology (water in the atmosphere), transportation, national defense or the arctic environment
  • supporting 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 and conduct numerical simulations of climate conditions to understand and predict global changes and long term or seasonal weather patterns for specific regions, and anticipate the impact of climate change and 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 (for example, clouds, the electrical and chemical properties of the atmosphere), large-scale phenomena (for example, transport of air pollutants, hurricanes) or 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 Oct 12, 2016

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

Applied meteorologists at weather centres often work rotating shifts that include night shifts and 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 Oct 12, 2016

Meteorologists need the ability to:

  • communicate effectively in person and in writing
  • think conceptually in multiple dimensions
  • apply theoretical concepts and analyze large volumes of information
  • make decisions under the pressure of fixed deadlines and varying workload
  • work alone or as part of 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 Oct 12, 2016

The minimum educational requirement is a Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) degree in atmospheric sciences (or a related discipline with nine or more courses in atmospheric sciences). With increasing automation of routine weather forecast production work, it is advantageous for employment prospects to have master's or doctoral degrees as well as marketing skills. Many meteorologists have to plan and carry out investigations, develop and test numerical models, and prepare reports.

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 two years of study. Universities and university colleges located throughout Alberta offer B.Sc. degree programs in math, physics and chemistry. 


Required Education

The following schools offer programs and courses that meet this occupation’s educational requirements. Other eligible programs and courses may be available.


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

University of Calgary

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

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

 

 

Certification Requirements
Updated Oct 12, 2016

The Environmental Careers Organization Canada (ECO Canada) offers certification as a Professional Meteorologist (P.Met.) for qualified applicants.

The Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society offers certification to qualified applicants who wish to become consulting meteorologists.

Employment & Advancement
Updated Oct 12, 2016

The Meteorological Service of Canada, part of Environment 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 (related to road conditions, offshore oil and gas operations, forest fire services or wind and solar energy, for example).

The number of meteorologists employed by Environment 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 Oct 12, 2016

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

Meteorologists and climatologists
NOC code: 2114

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
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Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $15.78 $43.41 $35.86 $39.93
Overall $22.73 $54.66 $43.08 $44.96
Top $22.73 $54.66 $46.07 $50.17

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
ALBERTA, ALL INDUSTRIES
Public Administration

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

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2015 Vacancy Rate

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Related High School Subjects
  • English Language Arts
  • Mathematics
  • Science
    • Chemistry
    • Physics
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Sciences
Other Sources of Information
Updated Oct 12, 2016

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

ECO Canada (Environmental Careers Organization) website: www.eco.ca  

Environment Canada - Weather and Meteorology website: www.ec.gc.ca/meteo-weather

For more information on career planning, education and jobs, visit the Alberta Learning Information Service (ALIS) website, call the Alberta Career Information Hotline toll-free at 1-800-661-3753 or 780-422-4266 in Edmonton, or visit an Alberta Works Centre near you.

Updated Feb 01, 2012. 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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