Aviation is a respected field of work

Where do meteorologists work?

Well first of all, anyone can call themselves a meteorologist. It is not a protected term. However, the profession of meteorologist is learned in an extensive course of study or in a technical college. Above all, mathematics and physics are a fundamental component of the course, because meteorology is nothing other than the physics of the atmosphere. From a university of applied sciences diploma to a doctorate or professor, the entire range of scientific knowledge acquisition can be used. By no means do students just sit there in lectures and watch the clouds and turn them into a weather forecast. This is certainly a sub-area of ​​meteorology, but the study or training is much more complex. As a result, there are quite a few dropouts after a short time. Due to the complex nature of the course, however, there are various employment opportunities after completing the degree.

One area is certainly what the public sees as the classic route. Namely the way in front of the camera. However, only a fraction of the graduates take this path and often the TV and radio presenters are not meteorologists with a major in meteorology. Some students stay at the university after completing their bachelor's or master's degree and are doing their doctorate, thus paving the way for a more academic career. In the scientific field, there is certainly a large proportion of meteorologists who work. Often they delve into project work in the field of climatology, modeling, hydrology, urban planning or in the agricultural sector. Another area of ​​work is located in wind and solar energy, for example to make calculations and forecasts where it could be worthwhile to create a wind farm or a solar system. Meteorologists can also be found in the insurance sector, both with reinsurers and with companies that prepare reports on precipitation, wind or hail, for example. Even with large energy companies there are meteorologists, because electricity is traded on the stock exchange and it is of course a great advantage to know how much electricity can be fed in from wind and solar energy. Meteorologists are also needed in the weather forecast for car races or other events.

And then of course there is the meteorologist who works for a private weather service or, like the author of this text, for the German weather service. The area of ​​responsibility here is also broad, but in the forecast and advisory center of the DWD it focuses on weather and warning management, some project work and teaching tasks. Flight meteorology is also an important topic. But more on that in another topic of the day.

Due to the aforementioned extensive mathematics and physics studies, there are many different fields of work for meteorologists. Therefore, when making small talk about the weather with unknown people, always remember that you may be facing a meteorologist with a scientific degree.

Dipl.-Met. Marcel Schmid

German Weather Service Forecast and Advice Center Offenbach, 08/20/2020

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