Not all TV weather forecasters are meteorologists.
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Television weather reporters don't have to be trained meteorologists. However, in larger broadcast markets, having training or credentials as an atmospheric scientist will give you an edge over competition. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 7 percent of meteorologists are employed as broadcasters, while the majority work in government positions. The salaries of TV weather forecasters vary; they're affected by the size of the market and the training and experience of the forecaster, among other factors.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2010 the median salary for a TV weatherman who has training as a meteorologist was $80, 250. Meteorologists who work in government stand to make a bit more – their median salary was approximately $95, 000. Television personalities who report the weather and have no specific training in atmospheric science, are likely to earn significantly less – a part-time TV weathercaster just starting in the field can make as little as $15 an hour.
A TV weatherperson is likely to make significantly more money in a city like Boston, not only because it’s a major market with a higher cost of living, but, according to Slate’s “The Explainer, ” because it’s a city with “exciting and variable weather.” An experienced TV forecaster in this market can make over $100, 000 annually. Weathermen who work in markets with extreme weather might also have to work longer hours because weather tracking and special reports will be required during severe conditions.
Related Reading: The Salaries of Radio Presenters
Because of intense competition for jobs, managers at TV stations in larger markets can afford to demand higher standards of their broadcasters. These stations often require that their weathercasters have a degree in meteorology, or other official certification proving expertise in the science of forecasting. For example, the American Meteorological Society offers a Certified Broadcast Meteorology program that is designed to “raise the professional standard in broadcast meteorology and encourage a broader range of scientific understanding.”