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Atmospheric Science Overview - Preparation - Day In The Life - Earnings - Employment - Career Path Forecast - Professional Organizations -
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Career Path Forecast
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of atmospheric scientists is projected to grow 15 percent over the 2008-18 decade, faster than the average for all occupations. Most new jobs are expected to arise in private industry. As research leads to continuing improvements in weather forecasting, demand should grow for private weather consulting firms to provide more detailed information than has formerly been available, especially to climate-sensitive industries.

Farmers, commodity investors, insurance companies, utilities, and transportation and construction firms can greatly benefit from additional weather information more closely targeted to their needs than the general information provided by the National Weather Service. Additionally, research on seasonal and other long-range forecasting is yielding positive results, which should spur demand for more atmospheric scientists to interpret these forecasts and advise climate-sensitive industries. However, because many customers for private weather services are in industries sensitive to fluctuations in the economy, the sales and growth of private weather services depend on the health of the economy.

There will continue to be demand for atmospheric scientists to analyze and monitor the dispersion of pollutants into the air to ensure compliance with Federal environmental regulations, but related employment increases are expected to be small. Efforts toward making and improving global weather observations also could have a positive impact on employment.

Atmospheric scientists will face keen competition, as the number of graduates from college and university atmospheric sciences programs is expected to exceed the number of openings in the field. Although overall opportunities will be limited, the best prospects will be in private industry. Few opportunities are expected in government as atmospheric scientists will only need to be hired to replace workers who retire or leave the field. Openings for academic researchers will be limited due to the small number of positions. Workers with graduate degrees should enjoy better prospects than those with only a bachelorís degree.

Note: Some resources in this section are provided by the the US Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics.
 


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