Meteorologists help people prepare for changes in the weather.
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Meteorologists, also known as atmospheric scientists, generally become aware of storms and other weather changes before the general public. They study the weather, climate and atmosphere, which allows them to create weather maps, issue severe weather warnings and project climate changes over several months and years. Their pay varies according to factors such as work experience, job performance and the employer they work for.
There were 9, 640 atmospheric and space scientists employed in the United States as of May 2011, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The average salary paid to the workers was $90, 860 a year. To get hired as a meteorologist or atmospheric scientist, you need to have at least a bachelor’s degree in meteorology. However, some employees prefer that you have a master’s degree in atmospheric science, meteorology or a related subject.
Employers in some industries pay atmospheric and space scientists more than employers in other industries. For example, the statistics bureau reports that Employers in the navigational, measuring, electro-medical and control instruments manufacturing industry paid atmospheric and space scientists the highest wages among all industries, according to the bureau. Meteorologists in this industry earned an average salary of $134, 670 a year, as of May 2011. The second highest-paying industry was management, scientific and technical consulting services, where atmospheric and space scientists received an average annual salary of $115, 550. Employers in the scientific research and development services industry paid atmospheric and space scientists annual wages that averaged $96, 900.
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Maryland, New Jersey and Illinois were the top-paying states for atmospheric and space scientists. The average annual salary Maryland employers paid to atmospheric and space scientists, as of May 2011, was $112, 470, according to the statistics bureau. New Jersey employers paid the workers an average annual wage of $110, 360. Atmospheric and space scientists working in Illinois were paid an average annual salary of $103, 680.