Dreaming of becoming a meteorologist? Here’s how…
Are you interested in weather patterns? Then becoming a meteorologist might be the right choice for you. You’ll have the satisfaction of providing the public with useful information on the weather if you decide to pursue this career. Find vacancies on Job Mail and launch your career today.
Meteorologists are responsible for predicting weather patterns daily and they typically make forecasts up to a week in advance. You can expect to predict temperatures as well as rainfall. Gathering information about wind is also important. This position plays a role in keeping people safe as you’ll be able to alert the public if extreme weather conditions are on the way. If you pursue a career as a meteorologist, you can expect to perform the following duties:
- Observing weather patterns
- Gathering and analysing information related to the weather
- Predicting weather
- Issuing weather warnings
- Sharing information on weather conditions with organisations and businesses
As a forecaster, you’ll be required to analyse weather-related data from around the world. You’ll use the information to predict the weather for the area you’re working in.
If you pursue a career as a broadcaster, you’ll be working in the media. In this position, you’ll be sharing information about the weather with a wider audience. Broadcasters can work on television or radio.
Researchers collect and analyse information about the weather for the government as well as for weather bureaus. They can also find employment with environmental organisations.
- Forensic meteorologist
You can get hired by an insurance company and investigate claims by assessing past weather patterns.
As a meteorologist, you can find employment at the weather bureau and at weather stations across South Africa. Positions at government agencies are available, including the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism and the Department of Agriculture. Suitable positions can be found working for the media and universities. Meteorologists are hired to fill vacancies in forecast stations that are in airports.
Meteorologists typically enjoy a pleasant work environment in an office and can also be based at a weather station. With the rapid advancement in technology, there is plenty of equipment involved in this role. You can expect to work with maps, computers, and weather recording equipment. Analytical equipment is also used to carry out the responsibilities that are associated with this position.
Pros and cons
With the challenging nature of this position and the variety of responsibilities, it is an interesting career that will keep you engaged. You’ll also have the satisfaction of knowing that you’re providing a public service by keeping people informed about the weather. Both individuals and businesses rely on weather forecasts to make decisions.
The downside of this career is that you’re likely to work outside of business hours, depending on the institute you work for.
To work as a meteorologist, you’ll need a BSc degree with related subjects. Once you’ve qualified, you’ll have to complete practical training at the Weather Bureau. While each educational institute is different, it’s likely that you’ll need a senior certificate with matric exemption. If you want to pursue this career, it’s advisable to take higher grade mathematics and physical science as subjects at school. Geography and life sciences are recommended school subjects for learners who want to become meteorologists.
What to study:
- Bachelor of Science (BSc) with related subjects – You can study at most universities and tertiary education institutes.
- Postgrad qualification in Meteorology – different courses are offered at certain universities.
- National Internship: Weather Observations – available at the South African Weather Service.
- Forecasting Internship – available at the South African Weather Service.
- Aeronautical Meteorology Forecasting short course – available at selected universities.
To succeed as a meteorologist, you’ll need to have an interest in the weather and science. Here are some of the skills that meteorologists need:
- Data collection capabilities
- Logical thinking
- Excellent decision-making capabilities
- Trustworthiness and reliability
- Communication skills
- Ability to cope under pressure
- Ability to work as part of a team
- Good levels of focus and concentration
- Mathematical capabilities
Becoming a meteorologist is an exciting and engaging career choice. With the right qualifications and skills, you can enjoy a successful career. Looking for a job? Find interesting employment opportunities on Job Mail today.