What Do Atmospheric and Space Scientist Do?
An atmospheric and space scientist investigates atmospheric occurrences. This type of position may include a weather analyst and forecaster who have to interpret meteorological data that has been gathered by surface and air stations, satellites and radar. They then may have to prepare reports and make forecasts for public use.According to national trends, this type of position is supposed to see an annual increase of about 10%. This will translate into about 380 atmospheric and space scientist openings per year.
Atmospheric and Space Scientists Skills and Abilities
There are certain knowledges, skills and abilities that you have to have in order to be a successful atmospheric and space scientist. For example, you have to know about physics, mathematics, geography, computers and meteorology. You also have to be able to communicate well, think critically and use scientific rules and methods in order to solve problems. It is important for any atmospheric and space scientist to be able to communicate clearly in both written and verbal ways.
Atmospheric and Space Scientists Duties
The work of an atmospheric and space scientist will vary depending on the type of institution, but commonly you will be expected to:
- Apply knowledge and research findings to environmental issues.
- Collaborate on research activities with fellow scientists and technical specialists.
- Collect both environmental data and samples from a variety of sources in a myriad of ways.
- Create images and other visual displays to help communicate findings to public and peers.
- Develop new methods to better research the environment, climate and the like.
- Develop mathematical models as well as theories and models of environmental and physical conditions.
- Interpret research and operational data.
- Measure environmental characteristics.
- Prepare research, scientific and technical reports or presentations on environmental issues.
- Instruct college students in physical or life sciences.
- Provide the public with technical information and assistance.
- Research environmental impact of industrial and development undertakings.
- Use computers and software to program, set up functions, enter data and process information.
- Keep up-to-date technically and apply new knowledge to research, reports and presentations.
These are a few duties that you would have as an atmospheric and space scientist.
Atmospheric and Space Scientists Tools and Technology
Because an average atmospheric and space scientist is expected to use a lot of computer software to do their job, there are a lot of tools and technologies that you should know how to use:
- Radar-Based Surveillance Systems
- Rainfall Recorders
- Temperature and Humidity Gauges
- Analytic Software
- Microsoft Access
- Graphics Imaging Software
- Map Creation Software
These are just a few of the tools and technologies that you would learn to use as you become an atmospheric and space scientist.
Education and Training for Atmospheric and Space Scientists
Because of the technical aspect, it is no surprise that an atmospheric and space scientist has to at least have a Bachelor’s degree. Someone looking to get into this field should take courses like:
- Atmospheric Chemistry and Climatology
- Atmospheric Sciences and Meteorology
- Atmospheric Physics and Dynamics
These sciences will help you gain the technical knowhow to conduct research and make reports.
Atmospheric and Space Scientists Salary
In the United States, the average atmospheric and space scientist makes an annual income of about $88,000. The lowest 10% make about $50,000 annually while the highest 10% make about $128,700. Of course, your income will depend greatly on the institution your work for, the location you live in and the experience that you bring to the table.
Atmospheric and Space Scientist Jobs by Geography
By population, Colorado, California and Maryland have the highest percentage of atmospheric and space scientists. However, Virginia, Connecticut and Utah are expected to see the highest growth in the field. On average, atmospheric and space scientists in New Jersey, Missouri and Virginia make more money than in the other states. As you start to consider the field of atmospheric and space scientist, you have to consider where you are going to live, what the cost of living is like in that area and what kind of schooling you want to do.