Career and Education Opportunities for Atmospheric Scientists in Columbia, Maryland
Atmospheric scientists can find both educational opportunities and jobs in the Columbia, Maryland area. Currently, 480 people work as atmospheric scientists in Maryland. This is expected to grow 3% to about 500 people by 2016. This is not quite as good as the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for atmospheric scientists are expected to grow by about 14.7%. 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.
The income of an atmospheric scientist is about $46 hourly or $96,840 per year on average in Maryland. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $39 hourly or $81,290 per year on average. Earnings for atmospheric scientists are better than earnings in the general category of Physical Sciences in Maryland and better than general Physical Sciences category earnings nationally. People working as atmospheric scientists can fill a number of jobs, such as: storm chaser, radiosonde specialist, and climate change risk assessor.
The Columbia area is home to 109 schools of higher education, including three within twenty-five miles of Columbia where you can get a degree as an atmospheric scientist. The most common level of education for atmospheric scientists is a Bachelor's degree. You can expect to spend about four years training to become an atmospheric scientist if you already have a high school diploma.
CAREER DESCRIPTION: Atmospheric Scientist
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 Columbia include:
- Astronomer. Observe, research, and interpret celestial and astronomical phenomena to increase basic knowledge and apply such information to practical problems.
- 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
Howard University - Washington, DC
Howard University, 2400 Sixth St NW, Washington, DC 20059-0001. Howard University is a large university located in Washington, District of Columbia. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 10,696 students and an admission rate of 49%. Howard University has a master's degree and a doctor's degree program in Atmospheric Sciences and Meteorology which graduated one and zero students respectively in 2008.
George Mason University - Fairfax, VA
George Mason University, 4400 University Dr, Fairfax, VA 22030-4444. George Mason University is a large university located in Fairfax, Virginia. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 30,800 students and an admission rate of 63%. George Mason University has a doctor's degree program in Atmospheric Sciences and Meteorology which graduated one student in 2008.
University of Maryland-College Park - College Park, MD
University of Maryland-College Park, , College Park, MD 20742. University of Maryland-College Park is a large university located in College Park, Maryland. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 37,000 students and an admission rate of 39%. University of Maryland-College Park has a master's degree and a doctor's degree program in Atmospheric Sciences and Meteorology which graduated eight and nine students respectively in 2008.
LOCATION INFORMATION: Columbia, Maryland
Columbia is located in Howard County, Maryland. It has a population of over 96,421. The cost of living index in Columbia, 100, is near the national average.
The three most popular industries for women in Columbia are educational services, health care, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, public administration, and educational services. The average travel time to work is about 30 minutes. More than 59.0% of Columbia residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 28.7%, is higher than the state average.
The percentage of Columbia residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 49.3%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. Abiding Savior Lutheran Church, Atholton Seventh Day Adventist Church and Long Reach Interfaith Center are all churches located in Columbia. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Methodist Church and the Southern Baptist Convention.
Columbia is home to the Symphony Woods Office Center and the Rivers Corporate Park as well as Middle Patuxent Environmental Area and Clarksville Environmental Area. Shopping centers in the area include Governor Century Plaza Shopping Center, Atholton Shopping Center and Owen Brown Village Shopping Center. Visitors to Columbia can choose from PFMG, Courtyard by Marriott and Hilton Inn Columbia for temporary stays in the area.