Careers in Meteorology


Graduate School and Career Opportunities for Meteorology Majors

Career opportunities in Meteorology are found in both the public and private sector. The National Weather Service, long a traditional career path for our graduates has, in recent years, hired fewer people overall. Some Oneonta graduates continue to find employment as forecasters at NWS stations but competition is stronger than ever. Good grades and perseverance are now required to obtain entry-level NWS jobs. Internships at forecast offices can be an important advantage and many of our students are taking part in our internship program.

To fill the growing need for forecasts to supplement those issued by the NWS, the private sector has grown increasingly important. Forecast firms are usually small offices and often specialize in particular types of forecasts. For example, you may find yourself forecasting weather along flight routes or railroad lines. Some of these companies offer tailored radio forecasts, so experience in public speaking may be a plus. There again, our TV forecasting program helps our students become familiar with broadcast techniques. On-air TV jobs are rare and often start in low-budget, smaller markets, but can be found.

The military continues to have a need for trained meteorologists. The Air Force is the primary employer of military forecasters, though other branches of the Armed Forces have a need for meteorologists. A number of our graduates have become Air Force Weather Officers and have reported very positively on their experience.

Employment opportunities in air pollution and environmental meteorology have increased markedly since the passage of the federal Clean Air Act of 1990. Graduates with strong computer skills are in high demand as scientific programmers. A few of our students with a strong interest in teaching have become certified to teach Earth Science at the secondary school level. As with any profession, getting a good job in meteorology usually requires flexibility and a willingness to relocate to any part of the country.

With many of the careers mentioned here, a Master's degree is a valuable asset. Increasingly, M.S. recipients are competing directly with graduates having the Batchelor's degree and landing those jobs since their credentials are that much better. Our program at SUNY-Oneonta prepares students for entry to M.S. programs. We have had a significant percentage of graduates go on to advanced study at major research institutions such as the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the Pennsylvania State University, North Carolina State University, and Florida State University.

For a listing of links to meteorology jobs and other job list sites, please visit