Aviation Meteorology, B.S.

Aviation Meteorology, B.S.

What is an aviation meteorology degree?

Aviation Meteorology DegreeMeteorology is the study of the Earth's atmosphere, a component of Earth system science, and a meteorologist is someone who predicts the weather based on the systems of the Earth's atmosphere. Meteorology students become experts in math and physics, build a comprehensive knowledge of meteorology and gain in-depth exposure to fields like oceanography, geology, space science, environmental science, climate science and atmospheric chemistry.

You can also choose to be in the aviation meteorology degree program with flight option, which allows you a specialization in air traffic control. The air traffic control program meets the requirements of the Federal Aviation Administration's air traffic-collegiate training initiative program and is FAA-approved. Click here to learn more about this degree option.

Whether you want to be a professional atmospheric scientist, aviation meteorologist or weather specialist, an aviation meteorology degree from Florida Tech develops a strong background in aviation with experience in modern meteorology technology and industry best practices.

Your First-Year Experience

A unique and memorable component of each student's first-year experience in the aviation meteorology degree program at Florida Tech is the Whole Earth Course. This class, which integrates biology, chemistry, physics, geology and mathematics leads students to experience and understand our planet as a system of interacting processes. Students may also enroll in Weather Briefing, a course that covers the key aspects of forecasting.

Another signature of the aviation meteorology degree program at Florida Tech is that first-year students are invited to work alongside faculty on weather research and often begin working on projects during their first few weeks on campus.

Gain Practical Experience

Senior coursework towards your aviation meteorology degree includes advanced aircraft operations and atmospheric dynamics. You'll also have an opportunity to meet recruiters from airlines and private industry at university career fairs. Students have access to the local National Weather Service site in Melbourne, Florida, 45th Weather Squadron and Kennedy Space Center for direct industry experience. As a result, you get practical experience, an expanded professional network and, perhaps, a pre-graduation job offer.

Build Professional Relationships

Beyond the classroom, aviation meteorology degree students build leadership and professional experience through exciting internships and participation in academic organizations like Collegiate Aviation Business Executives, a student chapter of American Association of Airport Executives, the Falcons Intercollegiate Flight Team, Women in Aviation, Student Government and over 100 other campus-wide student organizations.

Get Recruited Upon Graduation

Meteorologists do more than TV weather reports. They play a vital role in government and private sector aviation, communications, and environmental, marine and space enterprises. Employers that have recruited our students for internships and careers include top airlines and employers such as National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP), U.S. Air Force, Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), the Department of Homeland Security and private weather forecasting services.

Earn an Advanced Degree

After receiving their aviation meteorology degree, many of our students go to graduate school (often at Florida Tech) for advanced degrees in meteorology, aviation human factors, atmospheric science and related fields.

Why pursue an aviation meteorology degree at Florida Tech?

The major benefits of Florida Tech over any other national aviation university are our small class sizes and the close personal contact students enjoy with their professors and administrators. Whether for student advising, academic assistance, or internship and research mentorship, our faculty is available to mentor students.

Learn from Aviation Experts

The aviation management faculty at Florida Tech is a mixture of experienced pilots, airport design and management experts and a professional meteorologist who stays updated on the latest developments in meteorology training. As a top national aviation university, our faculty members are also experts in at least one other aviation-related field including aviation law, aviation business management, and safety. The meteorology professor also serves as the advisor for all meteorology majors.

Our students are up for a challenge and are encouraged by our professors to join in an annual national forecasting contest where they compete with other national aviation university students from all over the country. Florida Tech claims several winners over the years.

In addition, each year professors assist high-achieving meteorology students in applying for scholarships from the American Meteorological Society.

Comprehensive High-Tech Facilities

Florida Tech boasts facilities and resources that can measure up to nearly any other national aviation university in the country. Among these are the training facilities housed in the 12,000 square-foot Emil Buehler Center for Aviation Training and Research located near the Melbourne International Airport. The center's many features include a weather/flight planning room, refurbished aircraft and simulator room.

Skurla Hall includes computer labs for airport design and planning, and the Basic Aviation Training Device (BATD) Lab, where aviation students can fly desktop simulators under the supervision of a flight instructor. Skurla Hall is also where aviation majors find the Air Traffic Control Lab.

Great Florida Location

Florida Tech has ideal weather conditions for all flight-based operations, something that is vital to any national aviation university. Its prime location on Florida's Space Coast puts students amidst a wealth of high-tech companies for internships and research. The campus is near 72 miles of beautiful beaches, NASA Kennedy Space Center, Brevard Zoo, Port Canaveral and Orlando theme parks. Campus life includes many student organizations, Student Government, competitive and intramural sports.

Only at a national aviation university such as Florida Tech can you study a short drive away from a Na-tional Weather Service site, the U.S. Air Force launch support team at Patrick Air Force Base, Kennedy Space Center and the Atlantic coast.

How will an aviation meteorology degree prepare me for the future?

Aviation meteorology students have the opportunity to intern at several companies in both the aviation and meteorology fields. An aviation meteorology internship provides valuable experience at many organizations, including:

  • The National Weather Service

  • JetBlue Airlines

  • Southwest Airlines

Students explore career options in an aviation meteorology internship while also making the connections that later helps them find a job after college.

Research Opportunities

In addition to an aviation meteorology internship, students can participate in research opportunities in meteorology. The department of ocean engineering and sciences is an integrated group of environmental scientists, oceanographers, ocean engineers and meteorologists who share a keen interest in preserving, protecting and enhancing natural resources. Their research interests are broad and often interrelated. Current research focuses on, for example:

  • Tropical cyclone and hurricane wind speed probability

  • Freshwater-saltwater hydrology

  • Atmospheric radiative transfer

  • Climate change

After completing an aviation meteorology internship, meteorology students carry out a capstone research project in the summer of their junior and senior year, choosing from a wide variety of topics. They range from thunderstorm development along sea breeze fronts to the effects of coastal buildings and landforms on wind behavior.

Aviation meteorology students are encouraged to take part in an annual national forecasting competition where they can compete with other meteorology students from around the country.

Some meteorology students also choose a specialization in the Air Traffic Control (ATC) program to gain hands-on training with industry-standard air traffic control programs. Upon completing the course, participants are able to bypass certain ATC training courses after graduation.

Join Clubs and Organizations to Enhance Your Degree

The Falcons Precision Flight Team is a group of students dedicated to soaring above the competition in both flight and ground exercises. The team regularly takes part in regional and national competitions around the country. The Falcons also hold informative aviation safety events for students and faculty of all disciplines including field trips to places like the National Hurricane Center in Miami.

Women in Aviation is a student organizations made up of both women and men working together to advance women in all areas of aeronautics. They frequently network with other chapters to help members find an aviation meteorology internship or research opportunity.

What can you do with an aviation meteorology degree?

"Aviation" conjures up images for all of us. Whether it be a rendering of the Wright Brothers' first flight, visions of Stealth fighters doing a flyover before a New Year's Day bowl game or simply a line of commercial jets side by side at gates at our local airport, our mind's eye jumps into action when someone mentions aviation. If aviation is your passion, then Florida Tech's world-class aviation education is the perfect preparation for rewarding careers in aviation.

One such career is aviation meteorology. Safe air travel depends not only on safe equipment but on safe weather as well. Florida Tech prepares you for a career in corporate aviation, commercial aviation, and with the Federal Aviation Administration as well as other organizations such as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Career Outlook

The Florida Tech CoA program provides a background in meteorology, aeronautical science and the physical sciences necessary to expertly address the challenges of this career. A graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Aviation Meteorology meets the requisite standards established by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management for employment by the federal government as a meteorologist.

The Occupational Outlook Handbook, published by the United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), provides information about specific jobs including median annual pay, working conditions and job outlook, among other things. The handbook includes aviation meteorology careers such as geoscientists, hydrologists, air traffic controllers, airport managers and coordinators, and more.

The primary focus for a professional with a degree in aviation meteorology is not limited. The program prepares the graduate for work involving subjects from weather and climate around the world to flight and research. Employment of atmospheric scientists and meteorologists is projected to grow by 11 percent through 2020. New technology and computer models have vastly improved the accuracy of forecasts, giving meteorologists new opportunity in private industry.

Check the handbook on the outlook for a career in the aviation meteorology.

Career Options

College of Aeronautics graduates find careers such as:

  • Airline manager

  • Airport manager

  • Meteorologist in the private sector

  • Meteorologist in the public sector working for local, state, national or global organizations, including the military

  • Public policy specialist on climate change, deforestation, water resources

  • Atmospheric scientist

  • Geoscientist

  • Statistician

  • Environmental scientist

Potential Employers

Graduates of Florida Tech's meteorology program have been recruited by organizations such as:

  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

  • National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP)

  • U.S. Air Force

  • Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC)

  • Private Weather Forecasting Services

Graduate & Doctoral Programs

Graduates of the meteorology program at Florida Tech are prepared to pursue advanced degrees in atmospheric science or aviation meteorology, attending graduate schools such as:

  • Florida State University

  • Texas Institute of Technology

  • North Carolina State University

  • UCLA

  • University of Florida

  • University of Utah

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