What is a Meteorologist?

Weather happens every day and in every corner of the world. So, if you have an interest in weather and its patterns – Meteorology is the career path for you!

Meteorologists forecast the weather on a day to day basis. They usually forecast up to seven days ahead. This includes studying all aspects of the weather, for example: expected minimum and maximum temperatures, rainfall, winds, and any other severe weather warnings.

Meteorologist can work in many areas:

  • Forecaster

The Central Forecasting Office in Pretoria gets weather information from around the world. The Forecaster then studies this data. From that, they predict the weather for that region.

  • Broadcaster

Broadcasters analyse the weather patterns then report on the weather for television, radio etc.

  • Researcher

Researchers study weather patterns for national weather bureaus, government and environmental protection agencies.

  • Climatologist

A Climatologist works for The Weather Bureau and collects and stores all the data in an effective databank.  Seasonal studies on climate change have become increasingly important. This service is provided by the Weather Bureau and some other organisations.

  • Teachers / Professors

Some meteorologists teach students to be meteorologists by imparting their experience and skills.  A few academic positions are available for meteorologists at universities.

  • Forensic Meteorologist

Investigate claims for insurance companies basing their information on past weather patterns.  This will be used to assess the impact on the business.

  • Consultant

Consultants advise companies on weather conditions so that the business concerned are able increase productivity by developing products to suit these conditions.

  • Archive Meteorologist

They research, study and verify data and report on storms of the past.

What does a Meteorologist do?

  • monitors weather patterns for specific regions
  • collects and compares seasonal weather patterns
  • studies the patterns and forecasts weather on a daily basis
  • collates data and shares it with the media
  • advises organisations, businesses on weather conditions so that they can make informed, productive decisions
  • gives weather warnings so precautions can be taken

Are you . . . ?

  • interested in the weather?
  • interested in collecting data?
  • scientific?
  • decisive?
  • pragmatic?
  • good with communication skills?
  • a hard worker?
  • a team player?

How do I become a Meteorologist?

You need a BSc degree in meteorology to become a Meteorologist. A lot of people like to do the Honours degree too.

Some even specialise in Aeronautical Meteorology Forecasting. The University of Pretoria is the only place in South Africa that offers all these options.


A short course is also available at Pretoria University to do: Aeronautical Meteorological Forecasting. Click here for more information

If you have done a BSc without specialising in Meteorology, you can go to South African Weather Services and do a 6 month course that will bridge this gap.

Minimum requirements: Senior Certificate with matric exemption.

Compulsory school subjects: Mathematics and Physical Science on the higher grade.

A driver’s licence is also essential, sometimes even compulsory.





  • Weather bureaus
  • Forecast stations at airports and airforce bases
  • Television
  • Government agencies


OTHER CAREERS TO CONSIDER: Wind Energy Developer or Cartographer

Is becoming a Meteorologist the right career choice for me?


30.01.2015 – Posted on Facebook