What is a Meteorology Degree?

Meteorology BS

Meteorology is the study of the Earth’s atmosphere, a component of Earth system science; essentially, 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

A unique and memorable component of each student’s first-year experience in the meteorology degree program is the Whole Earth course. This class integrates biology, chemistry, physics, geology, and mathematics, leading 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 receive practical experience, an enhanced job search portfolio, and the perfect preparation for graduate and professional school.

Why Pursue a Meteorology Degree at Florida Tech?

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Get the facts about graduate studies at Florida Tech

You have two graduate study opportunities:

  1. On Campus
  2. Download the Grad Guide!

  3. At an Education Center near you
  4. Get the Education Center Brochure

You have three graduate study opportunities:

  1. On Campus
  2. Download the Grad Guide!

  3. At an Education Center near you
  4. Get the Education Center Brochure

  5. 100% Online
  6. Learn more about Florida Tech Online

You have two graduate study opportunities:

  1. On Campus
  2. Download the Grad Guide!

  3. 100% Online
  4. Learn more about Florida Tech Online

You have two graduate study opportunities:

  1. At an Education Center near you
  2. Get the Education Center Brochure

  3. 100% Online
  4. Learn more about Florida Tech Online

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 that a low student-to-teacher 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

Small classes taught by professors renowned in their field whose teaching is informed by their cutting-edge research makes for a supportive, engaging learning environment. All Department of Ocean Engineering and Sciences faculty hold doctoral degrees in their fields—a mix of environmental scientists, oceanographers, meteorologists, and ocean engineers—all of whom are active in research, which allows them (and you) to stay current in their field. As a meteorology student, you’ll benefit from the integrated nature of Florida Tech’s unique program.

State-of-the-Art Facilities

To be considered among top meteorology colleges, a school needs top-notch facilities. At Florida Tech, students have access to the National Weather Service site in Melbourne, Florida, as well as 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 70,000-square-foot facility furnished with twenty-first century technology, specialized research and teaching laboratories, and 145-seat auditorium. 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.

A Perfect Place to Study the Weather—Thunderstorms, Hurricanes, and More

Our location is one of the reasons we are considered one of the top meteorology colleges in the nation. 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.

Florida Tech’s 130-acre campus is located on the Space Coast (so named because of the presence of NASA and the Kennedy Space Center on Cape Canaveral just north of us), minutes away from the Indian River Lagoon, the most diverse estuary in North America.

The area has the fifth largest high-tech workforce in the country, with more than 5,000 high-tech corporations and government and military organizations located nearby. This workforce also provides an abundance of internship and employment opportunities.

Florida Tech is just over the causeway from the Atlantic Ocean with its 72 miles of beautiful beaches, and a short trip to the Florida Keys or the Orlando theme parks. We also have a rich campus life that includes a wide range of intramural and collegiate sports, clubs, and social activities.

Build Lasting Professional Relationships through Campus Organizations

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

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.

How Will a Meteorology Degree Prepare Me for the Future?

Peerless Study and Internship Opportunities

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, Florida Tech’s radio station and NPR affiliate.
  • 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 to Florida Tech students are:

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

Participate in Cutting-Edge 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. 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 in Melbourne, measuring marine meteorology on ships along the coast and monitoring air pollution with our campus-monitoring network.

What Can You Do With a Meteorology Degree?

Meteorology careers entail studying weather, and the effect of the Earth’s atmosphere on human life and the effect of human life on climate. 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.

Get Recruited Upon Graduation

Employers who have recruited Florida Tech students for careers include:

  • The Environmental Protection Agency
  • Rockwell Aviation
  • Northrop Grumman
  • The 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

Career Outlook

Most professionals with a meteorology degree work in weather stations, laboratories, weather broadcasting companies, and even fieldwork related to changing weather patterns. Students who graduate with a degree in meteorology are likely to find meteorology careers in weather forecasting.

The Occupational Outlook Handbook published by the US Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, provides detailed information about hundreds of occupations, including entry-level education, overall working environment and employment prospects.

The Bureau states that atmospheric scientist and related jobs are projected to grow by 11% 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.

Other Career Options

Career options include such jobs as weather forecaster, climate scientist, geoscientist, or astronomer. For Florida Tech graduates, the forecast calls for successful career options with jobs 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

Graduate and Doctoral Programs

Meteorology jobs often await Florida Tech graduates immediately after receiving their degree, while others enter a graduate studies program. In fact, 20% of meteorology degree graduates go directly to graduate school at Florida Tech or at other prestigious universities such as:

  • University of Alaska
  • Johns Hopkins
  • Virginia Tech
  • Cambridge University (UK)
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
  • University of Rhode Island
  • University of Northern Colorado
  • Louis University
  • San Jose State University
  • Plymouth State University