Meteorology, B.S.

Meteorology, B.S.

What is a Meteorology Degree?

Meteorology BSMeteorology is the study of the Earth's atmosphere, a component of Earth system science; a meteorologist is someone who predicts the weather. 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.

Whether you want to become a broadcast meteorologist, storm tracker or world weather expert, a meteorology degree from Florida Tech develops a strong background in physics and chemistry with experience in environmental science and technology.

Gain Practical Experience

Small classes taught by professors whose teaching is informed by their cutting-edge research makes for a supportive, engaging learning environment. A unique and memorable component of each student's first-year experience in the meteorology degree program is the Whole Earth Course. This class, that integrates biology, chemistry, physics, geology and mathematics, leads students to experience and understand our planet as a system of interacting processes.

First-year meteorology degree students are also invited to work alongside faculty on weather research and often begin projects during their first few weeks on campus. Later as a senior, you'll refine your practical skills in technical electives and specialized labs, and complete an exciting research project in a topic of your choosing. As a result, you get practical experience, an enhanced job search portfolio and the perfect preparation for graduate and professional school, and employment.

Build Professional Relationships

Beyond the classroom, meteorology degree majors build leadership and professional experience through exciting internships and participation in academic organizations like the American Meteorological Society, Marine Technology Society, student government and over 100 other campus-wide student organizations.

Get Recruited Upon Graduation

Employers that have recruited Florida Tech students for internships and careers include the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Environmental Protection Agency, Epcot, National Science Foundation and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. Career options include such jobs as weather forecaster, climate scientist, geoscientist, or astronomer. Most professionals with a meteorology degree work in weather stations, laboratories, weather broadcasting companies and even fieldwork related to changing weather patterns.

Earn an Advanced Degree

After receiving their meteorology degree, many of our students go on to graduate school at universities such as Florida Tech, University of Alaska, MIT, Johns Hopkins, Virginia Tech and Cambridge University (UK).

Why Pursue a Meteorology Degree at Florida Tech?

The Florida Tech meteorology program boasts a close-knit educational community that offers students small classes, well-established professors and caring staff. As one of the top meteorology colleges, students benefit from the mentoring a more personalized learning environment provides, as well as the opportunity to work with faculty and local organizations on vital weather-related projects. Every year, professors assist high-achieving meteorology students in applying for scholarships from the American Meteorological Society.

Active Research Faculty Bring Their Knowledge into the Classroom

An experienced faculty is another reason why Florida Tech is considered one of the top meteorology colleges. As a meteorology student, you'll benefit from the integrated nature of Florida Tech's unique program. The Department of Ocean Engineering and Sciences faculty hold doctoral degrees in their fields. The faculty is a mix of environmental scientists, oceanographers, meteorologists and ocean engineers; they are all active in research, which allows them to stay current in their field and then bring that knowledge back to the classroom, and you.

Top-Notch Facilities for Top-Quality Students

To be considered among top meteorology colleges, a school needs top-notch facilities. Florida Tech delivers. Students have access to the National Weather Service site in Melbourne, Fla., and the USAF Launch support teams at Patrick Air Force Base and Cape Canaveral Air Force station.

All College of Engineering students study and conduct research in the F.W. Olin Engineering Complex, a 68,500-square-foot facility furnished with 21st Century technology, specialized research and teaching laboratories and 145-seat auditorium. The four-acre oceanfront Vero Beach marine laboratory, the Ralph S. Evinrude Marine Operations Center and the Marine Geology and Geophysics Laboratory are more of what top meteorology colleges like Florida Tech provide.

Perfect Place to Study Weather ... thunderstorms, hurricanes and more

Our location is one of the reasons we are considered one of the top meteorology colleges. Florida has the perfect weather system for dynamic study. Florida is the lightning capital of the world, and the area experiences sub-tropical thunderstorms each year -- occurring 47% of the time there's precipitation. There is a probability of rain through the year with the most rain between late April and Early October. Students might also get a chance to study hurricanes as the region has often been in the path of a storm or its associated weather. (weatherspark.com).

Great Lifestyle

Located on the Space Coast, the Florida Tech campus is just minutes away from the Atlantic Ocean and Indian River Lagoon, and just a short drive away from NASA Kennedy Space Center and Central Florida attractions, such as Sea World, Universal Orlando Resort and Walt Disney World Resort. Students enjoy a wealth of local entertainment options as well as student clubs, intramural sports and social activities.

When it comes to top meteorology colleges, Florida Tech is an obvious choice.

How Will a Meteorology Degree Prepare Me for the Future?

Students at Florida Tech are introduced to the tools used by professionals to access satellite data from around the world and taught how to view and interpret it. Florida Tech students looking for meteorology internships have access to the local National Weather Service site, the 45th Weather Squadron and the Kennedy Space Center for direct industry experience.

In addition, meteorology students can get a wealth of opportunity and meteorology internships with:

  • "Green screen" broadcast experience in a professional environment from a wide variety of stations in the Melbourne market.
  • Opportunities from The National Weather Service for students, alongside WFIT, our official Florida Tech radio station.

High-tech ocean engineering and sciences laboratories provide facilities and instrumentation for beach surveying, the measurement and analysis of water waves and more. A dedicated meteorology lab gives students access to a professional-caliber meteorological data stream.

Some companies providing meteorology internships are:

  • Dynamac
  • Boeing
  • Epcot Center
  • Disney World's The Living Seas
  • Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute at Florida Atlantic University
  • Army Corp of Engineers

Student Field Projects

Our subtropical locale and proximity to the coast make Florida Tech the perfect place to study tropical storm development and offshore wave development. The capstone experience and hallmark of the Florida Tech meteorology program is the Student Field Project, a hands-on research experience to prepare students for meteorology internships and careers.

Some topics covered by past student projects are:

  • Thunderstorm development along sea breeze fronts
  • Effects of coastal buildings on wind behavior
  • Summer air pollution
  • Effects of offshore water circulation on the atmosphere

Students carry out their research on field trips to the National Weather Service, measuring marine meteorology on ships along the coast and monitoring air pollution with our campus- monitoring network.

Field Trips to the National Weather Service

The Florida Tech Student Chapter of the American Meteorological Society is a highly active and tight-knit student organization that regularly plans trips to the National Weather Service in Melbourne as well as the National Hurricane Center in Miami. These and other meteorology internships and research projects expand students learning outside of the classroom.

What Can You Do With a Meteorology Degree?

Studying weather, and the effects of the Earth's atmosphere on human life and effect of human life on climate, is what meteorology careers entail. Florida Tech offers a Bachelor's of Science Degree in Meteorology to prepare graduates for meteorology careers such as broadcast meteorologist, storm tracker or world weather expert, to name a few.

Career Outlook

Those who study atmospheric science and meteorology study weather, climate and other aspects of the atmosphere, developing reports and forecasts from their analysis of weather and climate data. Students who graduate with a degree in meteorology are likely to find meteorology careers in weather forecasting. Most professionals in this field work in weather stations, laboratories, weather broadcasting companies and conduct research related to changing weather patterns.

The Occupational Outlook Handbook published by the United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, provides detailed information about hundreds of occupations, including entry-level education, overall working environment and employment prospects. Check the handbook for information and the outlook for meteorology careers.

The bureau states that atmospheric scientist and related jobs are projected to grow by 11 percent over the next decade. New computer models have improved forecast accuracy and the ability of scientists to provide information to private industry that demand weather information such as shipping, airline travel, etc. Meteorology careers include forensic meteorologists who use weather to reconstruct conditions, and research meteorologists who develop new methods of data collection and observation; climate scientists study historical patterns to interpret weather and forecast long-term weather patterns or shifts in climate.

Meteorology careers are truly global. The World Meteorological Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations, has 183 member states, each of which has national meteorological or hydrometeorological services. And, of course, each of these involves meteorology careers.

Career Options

For Florida Tech graduates, the forecast calls for successful career options such as:

  • Meteorologist (Forensic, research)
  • Weather Forecaster
  • Climate Scientist
  • Broadcast Meteorologist
  • Environmental Engineer
  • Environmental Scientist
  • Geoscientist
  • Hydrologist
  • Physicist
  • Astronomer
  • Research Scientist
  • Oceanographic Engineer
  • Postsecondary Teacher

Entry-Level Salary Expectations

Payscale.com, an online salary information company, helps people obtain accurate real-time information on job market compensation. While entry-level meteorology careers are not specifically shown, similar careers reported can provide insight into the potential salaries you might experience in meteorology careers.

Environmental Science: $39,800 -- $73,600
Environmental Engineering: $63,400 -- $106,000

Check PayScale.com for the most recent information on these and environmental science careers.

Potential Employers

Employers and organizations interested in Florida Tech graduates include:

  • Rockwell Aviation
  • Northrop Grumman
  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory
  • National Science Foundation
  • Florida Department of Environmental Protection
  • Caribbean Marine Research Center
  • Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute at Florida Atlantic University
  • National Weather Service

Graduate Degree Programs

Meteorology jobs await Florida Tech graduates immediately after receiving their degree, or for those so inclined, entrance into a graduate studies program. In fact, 20 percent of meteorology degree graduates go directly to graduate school at Florida Tech or other schools such as:

  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
  • University of Alaska
  • University of Rhode Island
  • University of Northern Colorado
  • St. Louis University
  • San Jose State University
  • Plymouth State University
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