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Career and Education Opportunities for Atmospheric Scientists in Charleston, West Virginia

There is a wide variety of career and education opportunities for atmospheric scientists in the Charleston, West Virginia 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.

The average wage in the general category of Physical Sciences jobs is $29 per hour or $60,625 per year in West Virginia, and an average of $38 per hour or $78,733 per year nationwide. Jobs in this field include: synoptic meteorologist, space operations officer, and computer meteorologist.

The Charleston area is home to seventeen schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Charleston where you can get a degree as an atmospheric scientist. Atmospheric scientists usually hold a Bachelor's degree, so 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 Charleston 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.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Atmospheric Scientist Training

West Virginia State Community and Technical College - Institute, WV

West Virginia State Community and Technical College, 103 Cole Complex, Institute, WV 25112-1000. West Virginia State Community and Technical College is a small college located in Institute, West Virginia. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 1,741 students. West Virginia State Community and Technical College has an associate's degree program in Meteorology which graduated one student in 2008.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Charleston, West Virginia

Charleston, West Virginia
Charleston, West Virginia photo by Malepheasant

Charleston is situated in Kanawha County, West Virginia. It has a population of over 50,302, which has shrunk by 5.8% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Charleston, 84, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Charleston are priced at $268,400 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, thirty-four new homes were constructed in Charleston, up from twenty-seven the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Charleston are health care, educational services, and public administration. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, health care, and public administration. The average travel time to work is about 16 minutes. More than 32.6% of Charleston residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 15.0%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Charleston is 7.7%, which is the same as West Virginia's average of 7.7%. About 16.7% of Charleston's residents are below the poverty line, which is better than the state average.

The percentage of Charleston residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 34.5%, is less than both the national and state average. Starcher Baptist Church, Southeast Church of the Nazarene and South Ruffner Presbyterian Church are among the churches located in Charleston. The largest religious groups are the American Baptist Churches in the USA, the United Methodist Church and the Catholic Church.

Charleston is home to the John F Kennedy Center and the Kanawha County Courthouse as well as Watt Powell Stadium and Ruffner Memorial Park. Shopping centers in the area include Patrick Street Plaza Shopping Center, Laidley Court Shopping Center and Plaza East Shopping Center. Visitors to Charleston can choose from Days Inn Charleston East WV, Motel 6 and Fairfield Inn Charleston for temporary stays in the area.