What it Takes to be a Meteorologist

TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - Meteorologists do more than just present the forecast. Understanding the physics and chemistry of the atmosphere is pivotal to forecasting the weather.

Dr. Arthur Samel, Associate Professor and Chair of the BGSU Geography Department, explains, "There's this laundry list of courses that any student would have to take to be a meteorologist. Atmospheric chemistry, atmospheric physics, atmospheric dynamics, synoptic meteorology."

Dr. Kathleen Sherman-Morris, Director of the Geosciences Distance Learning Program at Mississippi State University agrees. She says, "It is a lengthy process. It's a several-year program. You can't go online and just complete a few modules and become a meteorologist.”

It takes a bachelor's degree to work as a professional meteorologist. But if you already have a degree in another field, you have an online option.

Dr. Sherman-Moriss says, “We have students take a couple of classes in forecasting, and things like satellite and radar interpretation. So we focus on how to use the meteorology information to do forecasts, which is what most students do when they graduate.”

Mississippi State University's Broadcast and Operational Meteorology certification meets the requirements to earn that seal of approval that many meteorologists strive for. After graduating and passing a written test, a meteorologist gets his or her seal of approval.