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Introduction to Satellite Meteorology

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Careers in Satellite Meteorology

The career possibilities in satellite meteorology are diverse and challenging. You could work in weather forecasting, air quality management, energy conservation, aviation safety, space exploration, education, or oceanography. Satellites are the most comprehensive and cost-effective way to monitor these systems remotely. Scientists skilled in satellite interpretation have the tremendous advantage of being able to make a positive contribution to the future of our planet.

Most satellite meteorologists work for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), or the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Other Federal agencies that employ satellite meteorologists include the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Forest Service, the Department of Defense, and the Department of Energy. In the private sector, satellite meteorologists work for colleges and universities, private weather companies, television and radio stations, commercial airlines, state governments, public utilities, and consulting firms.

Satellite meteorologists often work in groups or teams with people in related careers such as engineers, computer and communications technicians, science writers, data systems analysts, astronauts, pilots, astronomers, physicists, geologists, oceanographers, and biologists.

How should I prepare myself for careers in Satellite Meteorology?

Most careers in satellite meteorology start with a bachelor’s degree in meteorology or some related field such as physics, chemistry, geography, mathematics, computer science, astronomy, oceanography, geophysics, or engineering. Most go on to graduate school to earn masters degree in meteorology or satellite meteorology, some people go on to earn a doctorate degree.

It all starts in high school however where you lay the foundation for all further learning. Take all the science and math you can if you want to work with satellite technology one day. Be earnest in your language arts classes as well, you'll need good communication skills (oral and written) to be a satellite meteorologist. All scientists attend conferences and workshops to share results with other researchers. Along with acquiring critical information about our environment via satellites, you will need to write papers and technical reports detailing the results of your research and be able to effectively disseminate information to the public.