There is a wide variety of careers in atmospheric science. We are all familiar with the broadcast meteorologists who work for the National Weather Service or radio or TV stations. But these “weather people” represent only a small fraction of a much broader range of government, academic, and private sector careers in atmospheric science.
Government positions include research and technical positions at leading national laboratories and agencies such as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the Department of Energy, the Department of Defense, and the Department of Agriculture. University positions include positions such as professor, research scientist, or program manager.
The number of atmospheric science careers in the private sector has been growing steadily. Examples include weather analysts for industry, commerce, airlines, alternative energy companies, renewable energy siting and forecasting, insurance underwriting and risk analysis firms, private weather prediction firms, oil rigs, aviation meteorologists, and environmental consultants.
In addition to these weather-related careers, students with solid crossover skills relevant to other industries are also recruited by large informatics and technology sectors, working in programming, high-performance computing, and big data science.
Most operational and government positions require students to demonstrate competence through completion of a standard set of courses determined by the American Meteorological Society (AMS) and offered by the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at Indiana University Bloomington.