Pay for Meteorologists in the United States sits in the ballpark of $51K per year. With some bonuses approaching $10K and certain profit sharing proceeds approaching $20K, overall incomes of Meteorologists spread between $31K and $99K depending on individual performance. Compensation for this group is mainly affected by location, but experience level and the specific company are influential factors as well. Male Meteorologists are far more common among survey respondents than their female counterparts, who typically comprise less than one-third of the field. Most Meteorologists like their work and job satisfaction is high. Medical benefits are awarded to a large number, and a fair number earn dental coverage. The information for this rundown comes from respondents who completed PayScale's salary questionnaire.
Job Description for Meteorologist
A meteorologist makes observations and predictions about the weather. These predictions may be passed on to the general public or to clients in fields such as agriculture. The meteorologist will look over numerical and historical data, in order to make predictions. Observing the weather in real time is also often a part of the job.Read More...
The meteorologist will often have to present findings to an audience that is not familiar with technical terms, so it is important to be able to break down summaries into easily understood wording. Since many weather tools involve observing color modules, it is usually essential to be able to view a full spectrum of colors. In some positions, the forecaster may have to help develop forecasting techniques and algorithms, in order to continue to improve forecasting methods. Though it is not possible to be correct 100% of the time, accuracy and the best predictions from the data available is important. It may be necessary for the meteorologist to provide training to other employees. Some positions will involve working odd hours, and others require a rotating shift. Working weekends is often a requirement.
A bachelor’s degree in atmospheric sciences or something similar is usually needed. Some meteorologists will also make presentations for news programs, so strong presentation and public speaking skills will come in handy. In some positions, the meteorologist will have to travel to different areas that are experiencing extreme weather, in order to be able to better present observations.
- Create graphics and visualizations to explain weather patterns.
- Analyze weather data and produce reports and interpretations.
- Describe, explain, and predict weather patterns to a variety of public audiences.
- Identify weather data sources, collect data, merge, and clean data.
Meteorologist Job Listings
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Popular Employer Salaries for Meteorologist
Pay for Meteorologists is the lowest at Rockwell Collins, Inc., which has a median salary of $43K. In addition, there's little room to grow there, with salaries maxing out at $64K.
Pay by Experience Level for Meteorologist
Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
Meteorologists who reported more years of relevant experience also reported higher earnings. Relatively untried employees who have fewer than five years of experience earn around $47K on average. People who have worked for five to 10 years can expect a higher median salary of $58K. Meteorologists claiming one to two decades of experience make an estimated median of $70K. Survey participants who have worked for more than two decades report bringing in $89K on average.
Pay Difference by Location
With a pay rate for Meteorologists that is 138 percent greater than the national average, Philadelphia offers a comfortable salary for those in this profession. Meteorologists will also find cushy salaries in Denver (+45 percent), Atlanta (+39 percent), Seattle (+21 percent), and Kansas City (+17 percent). Trailing the national average by 16 percent, Minneapolis is the market with the smallest paychecks. Employers in Houston and Dallas also lean toward paying below-median salaries (12 percent lower and 9 percent lower, respectively).