The faculty aids graduating seniors in finding jobs or in graduate school admission. The program keeps a database of companies that have hired its students so that future graduates can use it to aid in their search. A 2019 report on employment rates of graduates reports that Meteorology majors have the lowest unemployment rate of any major in the United States, at only 0.58%. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook reports that the 2018 median income of Meteorology graduates was $94,110 per year. Do well and you will get a job.
It's never too late to become a meteorologist. Read a New York Times article about returning to school to study weather and climate.
Tips for Jobs/Internships in the Private Sector
Broadly speaking, upon graduation, you can find employment in the academic (e.g., grad student/researcher/professor), government (e.g., NWS, NASA, NOAA), or private sectors. However, much of the job growth over the next 10 years is expected to be in the private sector, and much of that growth may be within industries that are not on your radar screen. This section reveals some of the "secrets" of finding jobs and internships in the private sector.
Examples of Private Sector Employees
Aside from TV stations and well-known weather-focused companies such as AccuWeather and WeatherWorks, the following companies are listed to provide a flavor of the many companies and industries that employ meteorologists:
- Airlines, such as JetBlue
- Energy/Utility Companies, such as:
- Avangrid Renewables
- Cheniere Energy
- IBM/The Weather Company
- Insurance/Reinsurance Companies, such as:
- BMS Group
Be aware that many positions for which meteorologists are hired do not contain "meteorologist" in the job title. Instead, you may find titles such as Business Continuity Analyst, Commodity Trader, Crop Analyst, Customer Success Scientist, Data Scientist, Energy Analyst, Flight Dispatcher, Insurance Analyst, Manufacturing Coordinator, Quantitative Researcher, Supply Chain Analyst, Transportation Manager, and others.
Finding Jobs/Internships that aren't Posted
In the academic and government sectors, just about every job and internship opportunity is posted and searchable by the public at large. However, in the private sector (especially in the "start-up" industry), that is often not the case. Jobs and internships are commonly not advertised, but are instead obtained via networking. What can you do if you don't have a network? Meteorologists have gotten jobs and internships by "cold-calling", or in more modern terms, by finding someone on LinkedIn at a company you are targeting, and contacting that person to see if they would be willing to help you understand more about the company and whether there are any jobs/internships available. In addition, you can post your resume at ZipRecruiter, whereupon interested parties in the private sector may contact you (rather than post a job announcement). Finally, be aware that "virtual" internships are becoming more common. It may be possible to intern "at" a company far from home without incurring the travel/rental costs that might be associated with doing an in-person internship.
Academic Preparation for the Private Sector
The following programs at Rutgers have been identified as particularly useful for those of you interested in private-sector employment:
- Clearing Corporation Charitable Foundation Agribusiness Scholars Program
- Minor in Environmental and Business Economics
- Minor in Environmental Geomatics
- Minor in Computer Science (including 01:198:439 and 440)
- Minor in Statistics (especially 01:960:379, 384 or 401, 381, 382, 463, 467, 486, 490)
- Minor in Business Administration
If you don't have room for an entire minor or program, you might consider taking a few of the courses included in the minors or programs above, and/or:
- 04:192:380 Public Speaking
- 11:375:322 Energy Technology and Environment
- 11:628:364 Oceanographic Methods and Data Analysis: Physical Processes
- 11:670:325 Special Topics in (Applied) Meteorology
- 11:776:102 Soil and Society
Always remember, going through the Meteorology program delivers important skills that are transferable to other domains. For example, by graduation, you will have experience making decisions given incomplete information (every time you make a weather forecast, you are doing this), but this skill is important in many contexts beyond pure meteorology. Make sure employers know you have that skill. As another example, did you know meteorologists were involved in the Human Genome Project? This is because Meteorology is the original "big data" science.
Getting a position after graduation usually requires something extra beyond the "simple" B.S. in Meteorology. That something extra might be a minor; it might be involvement in an academic program like the Agribusiness Scholars Program, Honors College, or G.H. Cook Thesis; it might be grad school; or it might be your extracurricular activities. One such activity to consider is the AMS Board for Private Sector Meteorologists Mentorship Program. The AMS BPSM also has a YouTube channel that may be of interest. Another mentoring opportunity is Mentoring365, cosponsored by both AMS and AGU. Since experience with medium-range forecasting is becoming increasingly important in many parts of the private sector, participating in the Subseasonal Forecast Contest along with the associated weather discussions and course (11:670:325) may be beneficial as well.
- Careers Opportunities for Rutgers Meteorology Majors
- University Career Services
- Department of Commerce Report on Science, Technology, and Math (STEM) Employment Prospects
- UCARConnect Career Resources for Students
- The University of Illinois provides a Comprehensive List of Sites with Job Listings for Meteorologists
- NOAA Corps