How To Become A Meteorologist In Australia: A Complete Guide

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Students want to know how to become meteorologists in Australia.


Do you have a solid academic background in science and maths and are driven to work in a community? Then, consider pursuing a career as a meteorologist.


Meteorologists study the dynamics and physics of the atmosphere to forecast weather changes and long-term climatic trends.


To become a meteorologist, you need a bachelor's degree in atmospheric sciences or a related field to pursue this profession in Australia. Completing a relevant postgraduate course may be helpful.


This blog will help you understand the role, qualification requirements, courses, degrees, career prospects, salary, and steps to becoming a meteorologist in Australia.



1. What Is A Meteorologist?


Meteorologists are scientists with specialised knowledge of weather patterns. They use scientific principles to understand the climate better and forecast future weather patterns.


They research weather events and offer expert guidance during natural calamities. Their findings are useful for urban planning, agriculture, water drainage solutions, severe weather warnings, and travel.



2. Types Of Meteorologists


There are different types of Meteorologists:



  • Operational Meteorologists forecast the weather and study the atmosphere to understand the climate better.


  • Research MeteorologistsThey work in labs researching to understand weather patterns to enhance forecasts and weather warnings. They benefit local governments for their ability to warn citizens of natural disasters and severe storms.


  • Meteorological Consultant: It is a hands-on role where a meteorologist investigates the meteorology effects in different sectors, including agriculture, tourism, aviation, urban planning, health, and engineering.


  • Climatologists study and monitor the climate, seasonal weather patterns, and climate changes. This finding can be used further in national and global climate reports.


  • Hydrometeorologist: This meteorologist studies rainfall patterns in varied ecosystems and terrains. They also analyse atmospheric pressure and energy. Their research is valuable to the planning of water resources for agriculture and urban planning.



  • Forensic Meteorologists: Examine claims for insurers based on past weather conditions


  • Incident Meteorologist: Work with emergency management personnel and firefighters by providing onsite weather assistance during various natural disasters


  • Tropical Meteorologists: This type of meteorologist focuses solely on hurricanes and tropical storms 



3. Duties of Meteorologists


The most common duties that form a part of a meteorology job include the following:


  • Observe the weather in real-time

  • Study climate and recognise fluctuations in climatic conditions

  • Identify weather data sources, gather data, combine, and clean data. 

  • Develop and use scientific forecasting techniques and algorithms to predict and understand atmospheric conditions

  • Analyse the land, sea, and upper atmosphere using the information received from satellite images, radar, weather stations, and remote sensors. 

  • Look over historical and numerical data to make forecasts.

  • Employs rockets, artificial earth satellites, balloons and techniques such as hygrometry, daylight, spectroscopy, infrared photography, radio, and radar to analyse atmospheric conditions. 

  • Prepare weather predictions for the public and specific sectors such as aviation, defence, marine, and emergency services.

  • Implement computer models to create short-range and long-range weather forecasts

  • Issue warning alerts for natural disasters such as cyclones, gales, floods, storms, fire danger, and frosts

  • Collaborate with engineers and physicists to develop observation equipment and share information on air pollution

  • Monitor the work of technical officers, meteorological observers, and other meteorologists 

  • Conduct weather studies for specific clients

  • Advise government and non-profit agencies, individuals, and private businesses on safety during natural disasters

  • Describe and forecast weather patterns for clients

  • Research the composition, dynamics, and structure of the atmosphere by investigating the speed and direction of air movements, temperature, air pressure, and humidity

  • Examine the nature of infrared and solar radiations and their effect on the atmosphere.

  • Study properties of solid and liquid particles in the atmosphere and examine them

  • Use atmospheric data to prepare weather maps and predictions for shipping, agriculture, and aviation sectors.



4. Meteorologist Skills For Success


Here are the most desirable skills needed to become a good meteorologist:


  • An interest in science (especially physics), mathematics, climate, and the environment

  • Flexible 

  • Resourceful

  • Accuracy

  • Excellent computing and mathematical skills

  • Able to analyse and present complex data

  • Curiosity

  • Good problem-solving skills

  • Good interpersonal skills

  • Able to communicate and express clearly to the media

  • Self-motivated

  • Proactive

  • Strong public speaking and presentation skills



5. Meteorologist Qualifications In Australia


Do you wonder what a Meteorologist studies to work in this role? Here is how to qualify to pursue this profession.


  1. Gain your Senior Secondary Certificate of Education in one or more subjects such as earth and environmental science, physics, mathematics, English, chemistry, and biology 

  2. Complete a meteorology degree in Australia, such as a Bachelor's degree in Meteorology or a Bachelor's degree in Atmospheric Sciences. Alternatively, you can study a degree with Maths and Physics content, such as a Bachelor of Science degree majoring in Mathematical Physics, Physics, or Climate and Weather.

  3. Complete graduate studies accredited by the World Meteorological Organisation, such as a Graduate Diploma in Meteorology or equivalent qualification. 



6. Steps To Become A Meteorologist In Australia


Do you want to pursue a Meteorology job in Australia? Here is how you can meet the general requirements to work as a meteorologist:



Step 1: Study Meteorology In Australia


To become a Meteorologist, you must study atmospheric science, computer sciences, mathematics, statistics, physics, or ocean and climate sciences at university.


A Bachelor of Science (Atmospheric Science) (Meteorologist ATAR: 78) is a three years, full-time or part-time equivalent degree. It equips students with the skills to operate tools to forecast and monitor the environment.


During the course, students study basic subjects like physics, chemistry, earth and environmental science, mathematics, statistics, and specialist subjects like the physics of atmospheric processes and remote sensing. 


This meteorology degree involves a practical component to ensure students gain hands-on skills to prepare for real-world activities.


A few other options to study a Bachelor of Meteorology in Australia include:


  • Bachelor of Science (Climate and Weather)

  • Bachelor of Climate Science and Adaptation



Step 2: Advance Your Learning


Over half of the meteorologists who work in Australia have a postgraduate degree. Though it isn't necessary, it will help increase your employment chances.


Consider completing a master's degree specialising in Meteorology, like a Master of Science in Atmospheric Science.


Earning a relevant postgraduate degree enables you to work in news stations, science research centres, broadcasting firms, and other private or government firms related to climatology.



Step 3: Develop Your Skill Set


Meteorology requires a wide range of skills that are not just limited to math and science knowledge.


You must be proficient in working with computers and technologies like broadcasting equipment.



Step 4: Obtain Meteorology Experience


Most employers prefer candidates with real-world experience on top of the above credentials. The following ways can help you gain work experience:


  • Look for internship opportunities in scientific labs or on news networks
  • Apply for a graduate program at the bureau of meteorology for paid training and full-time employment



Industry bodies:




7. What Is A Graduate Meteorology Program, And How To Apply For It?


The Bureau of Meteorology is the employer of meteorologists. It offers a "Graduate Meteorology Program" each year to allow candidates to earn while they learn. 


This meteorology course in Australia meets the World Meteorological Organisation qualification standards.


You can find vacancies on their website and online job portals. The competition is there as many candidates compete for only a few positions. Having a higher degree qualification can give you an advantage.


It is vital to have Australian citizenship and an undergraduate degree from a reputed tertiary institution with physical science and maths to be eligible for this Graduate Program. 


Successful applicants with the Bureau of Meteorology complete a 10-month specialised training program as full-time permanent Bureau employees at the BOM Training Centre in Melbourne.


During the program, a student develops a good understanding of the following areas:


  • Basics of meteorology

  • Mesoscale meteorology and forecasting

  • Synoptic-scale meteorology

  • Weather services and procedures


Through this program, students gain adequate professional knowledge to work as independent operational Meteorologists. After completing the BOM's training, graduates qualify as Meteorologists and receive a globally recognised Graduate Diploma in Meteorology.


Subsequent promotion depends on the ability of a candidate and the available job positions. Graduates will continue receiving opportunities to build and gain experience across various sites and operations of the bureau.



8. Working Conditions For A Meteorologist


Meteorologists in Australia usually work in office-based settings operating computers and technical instruments. They may work irregular hours or rotational shifts to provide 24-hour weather coverage.


Those employed in Research departments work standard hours. However, the unpredictable weather conditions will have meteorologists working outside a 9 to 5 work schedule.


They may require travelling to national and international locations experiencing extreme weather to present better observations.



9. Where Do Meteorologists Do Their Work?


By becoming a meteorologist, you can work for various businesses performing weather research, administration, policy administration, and training. Some of the most common workplace settings where they are employed are:


  • State or territory Government offices

  • Scientific labs

  • Major airports in capital cities and Royal Australian Air Force bases outside capital cities

  • Broadcasting networks, podcasts, or local radio stations

  • Government departments

  • Private sector companies related to mining or legal office

  • Universities as a lecturer or research scientist

  • Environmental agencies


The top employers for Meteorologists include:


  • Bureau of Meteorology
  • Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation 

  • Australian Antarctic Division

  • EPA Victoria


Operational meteorologists may work in field stations to monitor weather patterns across Australia. Some meteorological consultants and practitioners work in far-off places like the tropics and Antarctica to conduct weather research.



10. What Jobs Involve Meteorologists?


With a degree in meteorology, you can work in the following jobs:




11. What Are The Areas Of Specialisation For Metrologists?


As a Graduate Meteorologist, you generally begin your career as a weather forecaster. While working in this role, you receive extensive hands-on practical training. After gaining experience, you can specialise in areas that include:


  • Tropical Meteorology

  • Hydrometeorology

  • Services to the defence forces

  • Thunderstorms

  • Oceanographic and Meteorological analysis

  • Services to the aviation industry

  • Climatology

  • Meteorology Research

  • Meteorology Consultation


Some Senior Meteorologists even become media personalities in some areas of the country.



12. Job Prospects For Meteorologist In Australia?


Meteorologists play crucial in our life. The weather influences nearly all human activities. They contribute to understanding the climate and atmosphere to help people forecast and plan for varying situations.


The information that they provide is valuable to many industries, including:


  • Sailing organisations

  • Shipping 

  • Sea fishing

  • Armed forces

  • Government services, for example, advice on climate change policy

  • Insurance companies

  • Farmers

  • Retail businesses

  • Media

  • Public services

  • Health services


Due to this, meteorology professionals are in demand and have a robust job outlook in Australia. The employment of meteorologists will likely grow as fast as the average for all professions in the country.


Work opportunities for meteorologists mainly depend on the number of available jobs within the Bureau of Meteorology. Few openings for meteorologists are also available in university research or private industry.



13. How Much Does A Meteorologist Earn In Australia?


Earnings of a meteorologist vary based on qualification, experience, work location, and job position. The average meteorologist's salary in Australia is AU$86,278 per year.


According to PayScale, Junior level Meteorologists with 1 to 4 years of experience draw an average compensation of AU$77,157. Gaining an experience of 10 to 19 years, they can earn up to AU$95,200 per year.


Meteorologists earn high salaries in the following Australian cities:


  • Townsville, Queensland: $104,550 per year

  • Bungendore, New South Wales: $104,495 per year

  • Canberra Australian Capital Territory: $103,015 per year

  • Perth, Western Australia: $101,274 per year

  • Sydney, New South Wales: $101,002 per year

  • Brisbane Queensland: $91,805 per year

  • Melbourne, Victoria: $88,977 per year

  • Oakey Queensland: $86,013 per year



14. Conclusion


When working as a Meteorologist, you become a leading voice on climate. At the core of this profession lies a spirit of public service that enables you to protect the lives of loved ones and property from severe weather conditions.


The profession assures career longevity and allows you to contribute to weather advancements. If you like this job and find the fit to pursue it, follow the above steps to kickstart your meteorology career.


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