Everyone depends on weather forecasts to not only decide what to wear on a given day, but to plan events and prepare for atmospheric conditions that could lead to a natural disaster. Due to an inrush of technological advancements, meteorologists today are able to customize their predictions to clear-cut purposes. In effect, the outlook for job opportunities in the field of meteorology remains partly sunny, especially in private industry.

(Photo Courtesy of Jason Finley)

(Photo Courtesy of Jason Finley)

In Los Angeles, leading specialists are earning annual salaries in excess of $150,000, according to current data. Because meteorology is a multi-disciplinary vocation that integrates life, physical and social sciences with computer know-how, endeavoring meteorologists are expected to broaden their levels of proficiency.

“Understanding technology, such as computer programming, web design, social media, geographic information systems, leads to a more diverse set of skills that professional meteorologists must have for the twenty-first century,” said Jason Finley, who teaches geography and meteorology at Pierce College.

How is your school preparing aspiring meteorologists?

“Our primary mission is to help students succeed in their first two years of college. For students who want to pursue meteorology as a career, we expect them to take meteorology, math, science and computer courses to help them transfer to top universities.”

What defines an accomplished meteorologist?

“A successful meteorologist should have a strong background in math, science and technology. Good writing and communication skills and attention to detail are also qualities of top-notch meteorologists.”

In what way will this field change by 2022?

“As meteorologists and climate scientists continue to understand climate change, I expect more meteorologists will need to keep abreast of the causes of climate change and the projected impacts of their effects.”

What is the best way to prepare for a career in this field?

“Meteorologists in a changing world will need to plan to be flexible in their career paths. As awareness of climate change and extreme weather grows, so will the diversity of the profession.”

What is your message to aspiring meteorologists?

“A serious person interested in meteorology will need to be ready for multiple avenues of applying meteorological skills in the workforce.”

Sharon Raiford Bush is an award-winning journalist who covers topics of social interest in greater Los Angeles. Some news articles she has authored have been archived by the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC. Sharon also contributes to Examiner.com.

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