Atmospheric and Space Scientists: Salary, Job Description, How To Become One, and Quiz

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Job description

Atmospheric and Space Scientists investigate atmospheric phenomena and interpret meteorological data, gathered by surface and air stations, satellites, and radar to prepare reports and forecasts for public and other uses. Includes weather analysts and forecasters whose functions require the detailed knowledge of meteorology.

  • Broadcast weather conditions, forecasts, or severe weather warnings to the public via television, radio, or the Internet or provide this information to the news media.
  • Gather data from sources such as surface or upper air stations, satellites, weather bureaus, or radar for use in meteorological reports or forecasts.
  • Measure wind, temperature, and humidity in the upper atmosphere, using weather balloons.
  • Develop or use mathematical or computer models for weather forecasting.
Read more about what does an Atmospheric and Space Scientist really do at work and what is it like being and working as one.

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Average salary
$95580 per year

Average hourly wage
$46 per hour

Atmospheric and Space Scientists with little to no experience tend to make between $50040 and $69380 while the more experienced ones can earn over $116090 per year.

Top 5 paying states Hourly Annual
DC $66 $138,020
NM $53 $111,090
MD $53 $110,150
VA $52 $108,330
KY $51 $106,450

One of the easiest ways to increase your salary as an Atmospheric and Space Scientist is to move to a higher paying state like DC. Right now, the highest paying states for Atmospheric and Space Scientists are DC, NM, MD, VA and KY.

However, a higher pay at DC doesn’t guarantee that you will make more because the living expenses at DC might be twice as high than where you are currently at now.

Three other factors that can increase your salary as an Atmospheric and Space Scientist is the degree you hold, the industry you work in, and lastly the company you work for.


Recommended degree level
Bachelor’s degree

We asked other Atmospheric and Space Scientists what degree they had when they got the job and most of them said they had a Bachelor’s Degree followed by a Master’s Degree.

Other than that, we also asked them what did they major in and here are the most popular majors that came up.

Atmospheric Sciences and Meteorology, General
Atmospheric Chemistry and Climatology
Atmospheric Physics and Dynamics
Atmospheric Sciences and Meteorology, Other
Read more about how to become an Atmospheric and Space Scientist and the degree, training and education you need.

Pros and Cons

Here are some of the pros and cons of being an Atmospheric and Space Scientist.

Suitable for people who likes to solve problems mentally
Suitable for people who values achievements and are results-oriented
This career is perfect for people who love to work indoors.
Very high salary (top 25% highest paid careers)
Not suitable for people who likes to work with designs
It is hard to get into this career. A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for this career.

What is the job like

Job satisfaction

Is this job meaningful

56% of Atmospheric and Space Scientists said they were satisfied with their job and 63% said they feel like their job is making other people’s lives better.

Is this right for me

Best personality for this career
The Thinkers and The Builders

You can read more about these career personality types here.

People who are suitable for this job tends to like working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. They like searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally..

They also like work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They like working with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery.

Learn more about Atmospheric and Space Scientists

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