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Career and Education Opportunities for Atmospheric Scientists in Columbia, Missouri

Many educational and employment opportunities exist for atmospheric scientists in the Columbia, Missouri area. The national trend for atmospheric scientists sees this job pool growing by about 14.7% over the next eight years. 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 earn approximately $43 per hour or $90,210 yearly on average in Missouri. Nationally they average about $39 per hour or $81,290 annually. Incomes for atmospheric scientists are better than in the overall category of Physical Sciences in Missouri, and better than the overall Physical Sciences category nationally. People working as atmospheric scientists can fill a number of jobs, such as: hydrometeorological technician, weather forecaster, and meteorological engineer.

There is one school within twenty-five miles of Columbia where you can study to be an atmospheric scientist, among thirteen schools of higher education total in the Columbia area. Given that the most common education level for atmospheric scientists is a Bachelor's degree, 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 Columbia 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

University of Missouri-Columbia - Columbia, MO

University of Missouri-Columbia, 105 Jesse Hall, Columbia, MO 65211. University of Missouri-Columbia is a large university located in Columbia, Missouri. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 30,130 students and an admission rate of 85%. University of Missouri-Columbia has bachelor's degree, master's degree, and doctor's degree programs in Atmospheric Sciences and Meteorology which graduated fourteen, six, and three students respectively in 2008.


Columbia, Missouri
Columbia, Missouri photo by Grey_Wanderer

Columbia is situated in Boone County, Missouri. It has a population of over 100,733, which has grown by 19.2% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Columbia, 85, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Columbia are valued at $171,800 on average, which is below the state average. In 2008, three hundred thirty-five new homes were constructed in Columbia, down from six hundred fifty-three the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Columbia are educational services, health care, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is educational services, accommodation and food services, and health care. The average travel time to work is about 15 minutes. More than 50.5% of Columbia residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 24.0%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Columbia is 6.8%, which is less than Missouri's average of 8.9%.

The percentage of Columbia residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 40.9%, is less than both the national and state average. Sugar Grove Church, Fairview Church and Emmanuel Church are among the churches located in Columbia. The most common religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the Catholic Church and the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).

Columbia is home to the Columbia Country Club and the Columbia Plaza as well as Nickell Park and Stephens Park. Shopping centers in the area include Whitegate Shopping Center, North County Shopping Center and Biscayne Mall. Visitors to Columbia can choose from Churchill's, Columbia Super 8 Motel and Arrow Head Motel LLC for temporary stays in the area.