Most of us are acquainted with the part of a meteorologist’s job that entails the weather forecast during the evening news. But this is only part of their job – in fact, meteorologists also predict weather conditions for marine and aeronautical use, which is crucial in keeping people safe.
Previously, weather predictions were made based on past weather patterns until it was discovered that it was possible to make more accurate predictions by applying physics and using special instruments such as hygrometers and barometers. Computers are also used to make complex calculations which model the weather to help meteorologists with forecasting.
However, some meteorologists choose to go into research and development, with their work involving climate modelling or other atmospheric data instead.
Training is provided on-the-job for operational meteorologists, although a bachelor’s degree in a field such as physics, mathematics, meteorology or geosciences is a requirement.
Being good with computer software is highly advantageous as well, as meteorologists work with supercomputers and sophisticated software. Additionally, as the job requires a lot of report-writing, being good at written communication is beneficial.
Graduates can find employment with the National Environment Agency (NEA), the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS), and a few other research institutions in the country. Networking and speculative applications are also recommended as vacancies may not always be advertised.
Trends and developments
Although meteorology is a relatively small industry, employment in this sector has been growing at a faster rate on the global scale as compared to other industries. This international trend is rooted in a budding demand for meteorological services in the private sector as logistics firms and businesses sometimes rely on specialised weather information to plan inventory shipments.
Demand for meteorologists is also expected to grow alongside the green energy sector as forecasting weather conditions is beneficial to solar and wind power farms for power management.
A unique career
This interesting sector not only offers on-the-job training, but other unique opportunities as well, much like interaction with members of the public – who may call to ask about the weather – and the occasional collaboration with engineers and other meteorologists, to work on instruments and exchange data respectively.
Skills required in meteorology
- Analytical skills
- Passion for the job
- Collaborative skills
- Solid written communication skills
- Strong interpersonal skills
- Good at mathematics
- Adept with computers