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2023 Atmospheric Sciences & Meteorology Degree Guide

Are you fascinated by storms and weather? Do you want to learn how to predict climate changes? Consider a degree in Atmospheric Sciences and Meteorology.

A degree in this field will allow you to study the climate, the gases that make up the atmosphere, and weather. You will take classes in physics, chemistry, meteorology, climatology, computer science, calculus, and other science courses to help you not only predict the weather, but also learn how to improve air quality, reduce pollution, and help find new sources of energy.

Along with the option to major in Atmospheric Sciences and Meteorology, students also have the choice to major in areas of specialization including Atmospheric Chemistry and Climatology, Atmospheric Physics and Dynamics, and Meteorology.

Atmospheric Sciences & Meteorology Degrees Decreasing

#227 Most Popular Major
1.1k Degrees Awarded
-2.4% Increase in Graduates

In 2020-2021, atmospheric sciences and meteorology was the 227th most popular major nationwide with 1,140 degrees awarded. This represents a 2.4% reduction in meteorology degrees awarded over the prior year's total of 1,167.

Our 2023 Best Atmospheric Sciences & Meteorology Schools ranking analyzes 49 of these schools to determine the best overall colleges for atmospheric sciences and meteorology students. Explore this or one of our many other custom meteorology rankings further below.

2023 Best Colleges for Atmospheric Sciences & Meteorology
2023 Overall Best Atmospheric Sciences & Meteorology Colleges >

Best Atmospheric Sciences & Meteorology Schools by Degree

Associate Degrees in Atmospheric Sciences & Meteorology
Bachelor's Degrees in Atmospheric Sciences & Meteorology
Master's Degrees in Atmospheric Sciences & Meteorology
Doctorate Degrees in Atmospheric Sciences & Meteorology

What Are The Requirements For a Degree in Atmospheric Sciences & Meteorology

Since you will be required to perform advanced calculations, a strong background in mathematics is necessary for this field. You should be prepared to employ formulas to collect data on the atmosphere, air pressure, and temperature. Critical thinking skills will help you analyze this data and make climate and weather predictions while strong communication skills will allow you to explain your findings and predictions.

Atmospheric Scientists and Meteorologists often work fulltime jobs. However, these jobs don't always have typical work hours. Scientists must be watching the weather 24 hours a day even on weekends and holidays. Professionals often work on a rotating schedule to ensure conditions are constantly monitored. Longer and more irregular hours may occur during times of severe weather.

While a bachelor's degree will allow students to work in the Atmospheric Sciences and Meteorology field, those who wish to perform research need a master's degree at minimum. An advanced degree will also allow student to find better employment opportunities with better pay and the potential for advancement.

Getting Accepted Into an Atmospheric Sciences & Meteorology Program

New students will need to have completed high school or a GED program and each school will have their own minimum GPA and SAT/ACT test requirements. In addition to these basic atmospheric sciences and meteorology program qualifications, to serve in some meteorology careers, special certification may be required outside of your degree.

Types of Atmospheric Sciences & Meteorology Degrees

Meteorology degree levels vary. You can get anything from a in atmospheric sciences and meteorology to the highest meteorology degree, a . Atmospheric Sciences & Meteorology programs can take anywhere between one to four or more years for a full-time student to complete.

Degree Credit Requirements Typical Program Length
Associate Degree 60-70 credits 2 years
Bachelor’s Degree 120 credits 4 years
Master’s Degree 50-70 credits 1-3 years
Doctorate Program required coursework including thesis or dissertation At least 4 years

A master's degree is the most common level of education achieved by those in careers related to meteorology, with approximately 31.2% of workers getting one. Find out other typical degree levels for meteorology workers below.

Level of Education Percentage of Workers
Master’s Degree 33.4%
Bachelor’s Degree 25.4%
Doctoral Degree 24.8%
Post-Doctoral Training 9.4%
Post-Baccalaureate Certificate 4.7%

63.3% of meteorology workers have at least a master's. View the chart below to get an idea of what degree level most of those in atmospheric sciences and meteorology careers have.


The education level required is different depending on the meteorology career you are seeking.

Meteorology Careers

Below Average Number of Jobs
$36.1k Average Starting Salary
10% Growth Job Outlook 2016-26

Most Atmospheric and Meteorology graduates work at the many weather stations throughout the country monitoring weather and predicting storms. Other graduates work for the government as part of the National Weather Service or the U.S. Department of Defense. Broadcast Meteorology is another career option. Atmospheric and Meteorology graduates not only predict weather, but are helping protect the environment by finding jobs in private industries interested in improving air quality, reducing pollution, or other environment protection services.

With the field growing at an average pace, graduates should be able to find jobs after graduation, specifically in private industry. Those willing to relocate may have a better chance of landing a well-paying job.

Solid Growth Projected for Meteorology Careers

Want a job when you graduate with your meteorology degree? Atmospheric Sciences & Meteorology careers are expected to grow 10.2% between 2016 and 2026.

The following options are some of the most in-demand careers related to atmospheric sciences and meteorology.

Occupation Name Projected Jobs Expected Growth
Natural Sciences Managers 62,300 9.9%
Atmospheric, Earth, Marine, and Space Sciences Professors 14,400 9.9%
Atmospheric and Space Scientists 11,700 12.5%

Meteorology Degree Salary Potential

Recently graduated atmospheric sciences and meteorology students earned an average of $36,115 in 2019-2020. Earnings can range from as low as $25,950 to as high as $44,810. As you might expect, salaries for meteorology graduates vary depending on the level of education that was acquired.


High Paying Careers for Meteorology Majors

Salaries for atmospheric sciences and meteorology graduates can vary widely by the occupation you choose as well. The following table shows the top highest paying careers meteorology grads often go into.

Occupation Name Median Average Salary
Natural Sciences Managers $139,680
Atmospheric, Earth, Marine, and Space Sciences Professors $101,890
Atmospheric and Space Scientists $95,580

Getting Your Atmospheric Sciences & Meteorology Degree

With over 212 different meteorology degree programs to choose from, finding the best fit for you can be a challenge. Fortunately you have come to the right place. We have analyzed all of these schools to come up with hundreds of unbiased meteorology school rankings to help you with this.

Study Areas in Atmospheric Sciences & Meteorology

One of 8 majors within the Physical Sciences area of study, Atmospheric Sciences & Meteorology has other similar majors worth exploring.

Meteorology Concentrations

Major Annual Graduates
General Atmospheric Sciences & Meteorology 804
Meteorology 283
Other Atmospheric Sciences & Meteorology 42
Atmospheric Chemistry & Climatology 9
Atmospheric Physics & Dynamics 2

View All Meteorology Concentrations >

Related Major Annual Graduates
Chemistry 21,239
Physics 13,674
Geological & Earth Sciences 7,821
General Physical Sciences 3,823
Astronomy & Astrophysics 1,375

View All Meteorology Related Majors >


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