An atmospheric scientist, also known as a meteorologist, collects and analyzes information about the atmospheric conditions, using it to predict the upcoming shifts in the weather. Atmospheric scientists nowadays work with materials collected not only on Earth, but also from satellites in space. The atmospheric scientist would collect the data from their various sources, then analyze and present it in a manner comprehensible by whatever group it’s aimed at – general public, a specific company, the military, etc. Additionally, some atmospheric scientists concentrate primarily on developing new methods for data collection and analysis, reaching more into the research and development side of things.
Deep knowledge in several major disciplines is required for an atmospheric scientist – understanding of basic physics, great geographic knowledge, strong mathematics skills as well as analytic ones. A modern day atmospheric scientist also needs to be able to work with the latest technology utilized in the science, such as advanced computers and pieces of machinery. The ability to properly judge and predict events based on previous ones is also a great benefit to atmospheric scientists.
Atmospheric scientists are traditionally paid highly, with the median salary for 2009 being around $81,000, and the lowest ones being above $50,000. Some more experienced atmospheric scientists with long years of service can easily earn more than $125,000 annually. The demand for the job hasn’t seen much change over the past few years, and thus salaries have remained mostly consistent as well.