Atmospheric and Space Scientists

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About the Job

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.

It is also Called

  • Aerologist
  • Air Analyst
  • Astrochemist
  • Atmospheric Chemist
  • Atmospheric Scientist
  • Broadcast Meteorologist
  • Chief Meteorologist
  • Climate Change Risk Assessor
  • Climatologist
  • Computer Meteorologist

What They Do

  • Estimate or predict the effects of global warming over time for specific geographic regions.
  • Collect air samples from planes or ships over land or sea to study atmospheric composition.
  • Conduct wind assessment, integration, or validation studies.
  • Create visualizations to illustrate historical or future changes in the Earth's climate, using paleoclimate or climate geographic information systems (GIS) databases.
  • Teach college-level courses on topics such as atmospheric and space science, meteorology, or global climate change.
  • Research the impact of industrial projects or pollution on climate, air quality, or weather phenomena.
  • Apply meteorological knowledge to issues such as global warming, pollution control, or ozone depletion.
  • Design or develop new equipment or methods for meteorological data collection, remote sensing, or related applications.
  • Analyze climate data sets, using techniques such as geophysical fluid dynamics, data assimilation, or numerical modeling.
  • Analyze historical climate information, such as precipitation or temperature records, to help predict future weather or climate trends.

Interests

People who work in this occupation generally have the interest code: IR.

This means people who work in this occupation generally have Investigative interests, but also prefer Realistic environments.

Work Values

People who work in this occupation generally prize Achievement, but also value Working Conditions and Relationships in their jobs.

Things They Need to Know

  • Physics - Knowledge and prediction of physical principles, laws, their interrelationships, and applications to understanding fluid, material, and atmospheric dynamics, and mechanical, electrical, atomic and sub- atomic structures and processes.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • Geography - Knowledge of principles and methods for describing the features of land, sea, and air masses, including their physical characteristics, locations, interrelationships, and distribution of plant, animal, and human life.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.

Things They Need to Be Able to Do

  • Science - Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
  • 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.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Active Learning - Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

Education Required

Most of these occupations require a four-year bachelor's degree, but some do not.

LMI Region

Wages

In 2013, the average annual wage in New Jersey was $103,580 with most people making between $63,120 and $143,590

Outlook

During 2008, this occupation employed approximately 50 people in New Jersey. It is projected that there will be 50 employed in 2018.

This occupation will have approximately - job openings annually.