Atmospheric Scientist Job Outlook

There are currently an estimated 10,400 Atmospheric Scientists in the United States. The Atmospheric Scientist job market is expected to grow by 12.5% between 2016 and 2026.

Atmospheric Scientist Employability Rating

D Sokanu rates Atmospheric Scientists with a D employability rating, meaning this career should provide weak employment opportunities for the foreseeable future. Over the next 10 years, it is expected the US will need 5,900 Atmospheric Scientists. That number is based on 1,300 additional Atmospheric Scientists, and the retirement of 4,600 existing Atmospheric Scientists.

Demand for Atmospheric Scientists

New computer models and overall increased technology have greatly improved the accuracy of forecasts, allowing atmospheric scientists to provide valuable data to climate-sensitive businesses that require specialized weather information. Research on seasonal and other long-range forecasting is yielding positive results for farmers, commodity investors; and utilities, transportation, construction, and instrument manufacturing companies. The best job prospects will continue to occur in private industry. Hiring by federal agencies, such as NASA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and National Weather Service (NWS), is expected to be limited by budget constraints and result largely from the need to replace retirees. Although demand levels in the various sub-disciplines of this occupation tend to fluctuate, competition for all openings will be strong, as the number of graduates continues to exceed the overall number of available positions. While a Bachelor’s Degree is usually the minimum educational requirement for atmospheric scientists seeking an entry-level position, those with a Master’s Degree or Ph.D. will be able to compete for coveted research and university teaching positions. Obtaining professional certification from the American Meteorological Society (AMS) can further enhance a job applicant’s prospects. Job seekers may also find opportunities by becoming members of the International Association of Meteorology and Atmospheric Sciences (IAMAS), which provides a global discussion platform for atmospheric scientists throughout the world. Most jobs in this field focus on the atmosphere of the Earth, but a small number of scientists find employment studying the atmospheres of the planets and moons of the solar system.

Supply of Atmospheric Scientists

The Atmospheric Scientist industry is not particularly concentrated in any state.

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