Meteorology is a major branch of atmospheric sciences which studies the various aspects of the atmosphere, especially that of the weather and climate. A professional academically qualified in atmospheric sciences with specialization in meteorology, and climatology are called meteorologists or climatologists. Meteorology includes study and research of the atmosphere, prediction of the weather, identification and interpretation of climatic trends etc.
Major career positions available for atmospheric science professionals are as atmospheric scientists, meteorologists, climatologists etc. They are largely employed by weather broadcasting stations, environmental agencies, government agencies such as meteorology departments, industrial weather research facilities, radio and television stations and global weather centers.
Meteorologists are offered career positions based on their specialization. Major specialized career profiles available for them are as consulting meteorologists, broadcast meteorologists, military meteorologists, laboratory meteorologists, operational meteorologists, physical meteorologists, synoptic meteorologists, hydrometeorologists, environmental meteorologists and so on.
Operational meteorologists are highly specialized in weather forecasting while physical meteorologists are trained in the research of the atmosphere properties and its characteristics. Synoptic meteorologists are responsible for the development of new weather forecasting tools and technology whereas environmental meteorologists research the effect of specific atmospheric changes caused by human activities (such as pollution) on the atmosphere. Climatologists are responsible for the study and research of the climactic changes while hydrometeorologists study the effects of hydrologic cycles on the atmosphere.
Career aspirants in this field must have minimum a bachelor degree in meteorology or atmospheric sciences to begin a career as a meteorologist. Bachelor programmes normally take four years of education to complete. A master’s degree in meteorology with relevant specialization is essential for positions such as operational meteorologists, physical meteorologists, synoptic meteorologists, environmental meteorologists and hydrometeorologists. Master level programmes take about two years to complete. Candidates who are aspiring to become researchers and scientists must complete a PhD programme in Meteorology. Duration of a doctoral programme is normally over three years.