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Atmospheric and Space Scientist

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What is an Atmospheric and Space Scientist?

Job Description & Duties Investigate atmospheric phenomena and interpret meteorological data, gathered by surface and air stations, satellites, and radar to prepare reports and forecasts for public and other uses. Includes weather analysts and forecasters whose functions require the detailed knowledge of meteorology.

Daily Life Of an Atmospheric & Space Scientist

  • Teach college-level courses on topics such as atmospheric and space science, meteorology, or global climate change.
  • Direct forecasting services at weather stations or at radio or television broadcasting facilities.
  • Gather data from sources such as surface or upper air stations, satellites, weather bureaus, or radar for use in meteorological reports or forecasts.
  • Collect air samples from planes or ships over land or sea to study atmospheric composition.
  • Conduct numerical simulations of climate conditions to understand and predict global or regional weather patterns.
  • Create visualizations to illustrate historical or future changes in the Earth’s climate, using paleoclimate or climate geographic information systems (GIS) databases.

Atmospheric & Space Scientist Skills

Below is a list of the skills most Atmospheric and Space Scientists say are important on the job.

Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Writing: Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Science: Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.

Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

  • Weatherman
  • Computer Meteorologist
  • Broadcast Meteorologist
  • Space Operations Officer
  • Climate Change Risk Assessor

Atmospheric & Space Scientist Job Outlook

In 2016, there was an estimated number of 10,400 jobs in the United States for Atmospheric and Space Scientist. New jobs are being produced at a rate of 12.5% which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 1,300 new jobs for Atmospheric and Space Scientist by 2026. Due to new job openings and attrition, there will be an average of 900 job openings in this field each year.

Forecasted Number of Jobs for Atmospheric and Space Scientists in U.S.

The states with the most job growth for Atmospheric & Space Scientist are Colorado, Utah, and New Hampshire. Watch out if you plan on working in Rhode Island, Missouri, or Kansas. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

Atmospheric & Space Scientist Salary

Atmospheric and Space Scientists make between $50,040 and $142,500 a year.

Salary Ranges for Atmospheric and Space Scientists

Atmospheric and Space Scientists who work in District of Columbia, Maryland, or New Mexico, make the highest salaries.

How much do Atmospheric and Space Scientists make in each U.S. state?

State Annual Mean Salary
Alabama $104,130
Alaska $85,980
Arizona $93,870
California $102,020
Colorado $96,890
Connecticut $58,980
District of Columbia $138,020
Florida $95,110
Georgia $99,890
Hawaii $103,960
Idaho $97,900
Illinois $71,400
Indiana $97,520
Iowa $89,230
Kansas $85,740
Kentucky $106,450
Louisiana $84,150
Maryland $110,150
Michigan $89,840
Minnesota $102,520
Mississippi $73,270
Missouri $95,500
Montana $85,770
Nebraska $89,990
Nevada $93,770
New Hampshire $80,880
New Jersey $95,560
New Mexico $111,090
New York $89,840
North Carolina $77,830
North Dakota $74,050
Ohio $91,370
Oklahoma $81,970
Oregon $90,390
Pennsylvania $104,380
South Carolina $96,170
South Dakota $82,600
Tennessee $95,740
Texas $93,810
Utah $87,130
Virginia $108,330
Washington $92,700
Wisconsin $93,100
Wyoming $87,910

Tools & Technologies Used by Atmospheric and Space Scientists

Below is a list of the types of tools and technologies that Atmospheric and Space Scientists may use on a daily basis:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Office
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Microsoft Outlook
  • Python
  • Microsoft Access
  • Word processing software
  • Microsoft Windows
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Photoshop
  • Structured query language SQL
  • The MathWorks MATLAB
  • SAS
  • Linux
  • Facebook
  • IBM SPSS Statistics
  • UNIX
  • R
  • Practical extraction and reporting language Perl
  • Apple Final Cut Pro

How do I Become an Atmospheric & Space Scientist?

Education needed to be an Atmospheric and Space Scientist:

Atmospheric & Space Scientist Degree Level

How many years of work experience do I need?

Atmospheric & Space Scientist Work Experience

Who Employs Atmospheric and Space Scientists?

Atmospheric & Space Scientist Sectors

The table below shows the approximate number of Atmospheric and Space Scientists employed by various industries.

Atmospheric & Space Scientist Industries

Other Jobs You May be Interested In

Those thinking about becoming an Atmospheric and Space Scientist might also be interested in the following careers:

Career changers with experience as an Atmospheric and Space Scientist sometimes find work in one of the following fields:


Image Credit: Liam Gumley via NASA, public domain

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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