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Career and Education Opportunities for Atmospheric Scientists in Houston, Texas

Houston, Texas provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for atmospheric scientists. About 670 people are currently employed as atmospheric scientists in Texas. By 2016, this is expected to grow 34% to about 900 people employed. 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.

A person working as an atmospheric scientist can expect to earn about $32 per hour or $68,280 per year on average in Texas and about $39 hourly or $81,290 annually on average in the U.S. as a whole. Atmospheric scientists earn less than people working in the category of Physical Sciences generally in Texas and more than people in the Physical Sciences category nationally. Atmospheric scientists work in a variety of jobs, including: service hydrologist, atmospheric chemist, and science and operations officer .

There is one school within twenty-five miles of Houston where you can study to be an atmospheric scientist, among eighty-one schools of higher education total in the Houston area. 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

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 Houston 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

University of Houston - Houston, TX

University of Houston, 212 E. Cullen Building, Houston, TX 77204-2018. University of Houston is a large university located in Houston, Texas. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 36,080 students and an admission rate of 79%. University of Houston has a master's degree program in Atmospheric Sciences and Meteorology which graduated two students in 2008.


Houston, Texas
Houston, Texas photo by Hequals2henry

Houston is located in Harris County, Texas. It has a population of over 2,242,193, which has grown by 14.8% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Houston, 89, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Houston are valued at $173,500 on average, which is near the state average. In 2008, 3,684 new homes were constructed in Houston, down from 6,035 the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Houston are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and administrative and support and waste management services. The average commute to work is about 27 minutes. More than 27.0% of Houston residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 9.7%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Houston is 8.0%, which is less than Texas's average of 8.1%.

The percentage of Houston residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 50.4%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. El Buen Pastor United Methodist Church, 34th Temple Church of God in Christ and Pentecostal Church of God in Christ are some of the churches located in Houston. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the United Methodist Church.

Houston is home to the Champion Rod and Gun Club and the Independence Heights Residential Historic District as well as Hermann Park and Hennessey Park. Shopping centers in the area include Windsor Plaza Shopping Center, Meyerland Plaza Shopping Center and Meyerland Shopping Center. Visitors to Houston can choose from Capital Inn, Bradford Homesuites - Houston Galleria and Best Western Fountainview Inn and Suites for temporary stays in the area.