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Job Outlook

Two female AOSC graduates showing off decorated caps.

The job outlook for students graduating with an undergraduate degree in atmospheric and oceanic science is quite good. One myth should be dispelled first: most of our graduates are not TV weather forecasters! Graduates from our department go on to hold positions in private industry; with state agencies and the Federal government (e.g., at NASA, NOAA, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and other agencies); in academia; at reinsurance companies; in video, audio and print media; and yes, as on-air meteorologists. Some jobs require only a bachelor's degree, while others require some graduate education.

Our program is designed to serve students interested in obtaining a strong background in physical science with real-world application to the atmosphere and oceans. One possible career direction is to fulfill the Federal GSA requirements for the positions of meteorologist or oceanographer and work as a science professional in this area. Another career is teaching earth science at the high-school level, for which there is strong demand. Students also combine a major in atmospheric and oceanic science with other training in a complementary field such as engineering, business, law, or health science. Many more possibilities exist, and students are encouraged to think creatively to find their own career path. 

National Job Placement Statistics for Atmospheric Scientists (including Meteorologists), 2018 (from the Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics) 

Number of Jobs = 10,000
Job Growth = Above-average job growth of 8% projected over the next decade
Average Salary in the Federal government = $104,440