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Career and Education Opportunities for Atmospheric Scientists in Elgin, Illinois

Atmospheric scientists can find both educational opportunities and jobs in the Elgin, Illinois area. There are currently 450 jobs for atmospheric scientists in Illinois and this is projected to grow by 16% to about 520 jobs by 2016. This is better than the national trend for atmospheric scientists, which sees this job pool growing by about 14.7% over the next eight years. Atmospheric scientists generally investigate atmospheric phenomena and interpret meteorological data gathered by surface and air stations, satellites, and radar to prepare reports and forecasts for public and other uses.

Atmospheric scientists earn approximately $20 hourly or $42,350 per year on average in Illinois. Nationally they average about $39 per hour or $81,290 per year. Incomes for atmospheric scientists are not quite as good as in the overall category of Physical Sciences in Illinois, and better than the overall Physical Sciences category nationally. People working as atmospheric scientists can fill a number of jobs, such as: warning coordination meteorologist, hydrometeorologist, and weatherman.

There are sixty-one schools of higher education in the Elgin area, including one within twenty-five miles of Elgin where you can get a degree to start your career as an atmospheric scientist. Atmospheric scientists usually hold a Bachelor's degree, so you can expect to spend about four years studying to be an atmospheric scientist if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Atmospheric Scientist

Atmospheric Scientist video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, atmospheric scientists investigate atmospheric phenomena and interpret meteorological data gathered by surface and air stations, satellites, and radar to prepare reports and forecasts for public and other uses.

Atmospheric scientists study and interpret data, reports and charts to predict long- and short-range weather conditions, using computer models and knowledge of climate theory and mathematics. They also ready forecasts and briefings to meet the needs of industry and other groups. Finally, atmospheric scientists gather data from sources such as surface and upper air stations and radar for use in meteorological reports and forecasts.

Every day, atmospheric scientists are expected to be able to articulate ideas and problems. They need to listen to and understand others in meetings. It is also important that they read and understand documents and reports.

It is important for atmospheric scientists to broadcast weather conditions and severe weather warnings to the public via television and the Internet, or furnish this data to the news media. They are often called upon to make scientific presentations and publish reports, articles, or texts. They also apply meteorological knowledge to problems in areas including agriculture and water management, and to issues such as global warming or ozone depletion. They are sometimes expected to conduct basic or applied meteorological research into the processes and determinants of atmospheric phenomena and climate. Somewhat less frequently, atmospheric scientists are also expected to confer with agencies or researchers regarding the use and interpretation of climatological data.

They also have to be able to design and use weather forecasting tools And finally, they sometimes have to research and analyze the impact of industrial projects and pollution on climate and weather phenomena.

Like many other jobs, atmospheric scientists must believe in cooperation and coordination and be thorough and dependable.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Elgin include:

  • Chemist. Conduct qualitative and quantitative chemical analyses or chemical experiments in laboratories for quality or process control or to develop new products or knowledge.
  • Environmental Health and Safety Specialist. Conduct research or perform investigation for the purpose of identifying, abating, or eliminating sources of pollutants or hazards that affect either the environment or the health of the population. Utilizing knowledge of various scientific disciplines may collect, synthesize, and take action based on data derived from measurements or observations of air, food, and other sources.
  • Geographic Information Systems Analyst. Study nature and use of areas of earth's surface, relating and interpreting interactions of physical and cultural phenomena. Conduct research on physical aspects of a region, including land forms, climates, soils, plants and animals, and conduct research on the spatial implications of human activities within a given area, including social characteristics, economic activities, and political organization, as well as researching interdependence between regions at scales ranging from local to global.
  • Geological Specialist. Study the composition, structure, and other physical aspects of the earth. May use geological, physics, and mathematics knowledge in exploration for oil, gas, or underground water; or in waste disposal, land reclamation, or other environmental problems. May study the earth's internal composition, atmospheres, and its magnetic, electrical, and gravitational forces. Includes mineralogists, crystallographers, and seismologists.
  • Hydrologist. Research the distribution, circulation, and physical properties of underground and surface waters; study the form and intensity of precipitation, its rate of infiltration into the soil, movement through the earth, and its return to the ocean and atmosphere.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Atmospheric Scientist Training

Northern Illinois University - Dekalb, IL

Northern Illinois University, 1425 W. Lincoln Hwy., Dekalb, IL 60115-2825. Northern Illinois University is a large university located in Dekalb, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 24,397 students and an admission rate of 58%. Northern Illinois University has a bachelor's degree program in Atmospheric Sciences and Meteorology which graduated twenty-three students in 2008.


Elgin, Illinois
Elgin, Illinois photo by James Jordan

Elgin is located in Kane County, Illinois. It has a population of over 106,330, which has grown by 12.5% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Elgin, 104, is above the national average. New single-family homes in Elgin cost $156,500 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, three hundred thirty-two new homes were constructed in Elgin, down from seven hundred fifty-six the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Elgin are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, metal and metal products, and administrative and support and waste management services. The average travel time to work is about 26 minutes. More than 20.5% of Elgin residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 6.0%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Elgin is 12.4%, which is greater than Illinois's average of 10.5%.

The percentage of Elgin residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 56.0%, is more than both the national and state average. Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Seventh Day Adventist Church and Saint Thomas More Roman Catholic Church are some of the churches located in Elgin. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Lutheran Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Elgin is home to the Fox Bluff Corporate Center and the Elgin Fire Station Number 2 as well as Wing Park and College Park. Shopping malls in the area include Wing Park Manor Shopping Center, Tyler Creek Plaza Shopping Center and Town and Country Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Elgin can choose from Elgin-Days Inn, Colonial Lodge Motel and Crowne Plaza for temporary stays in the area.