ASK THE METEOROLOGIST
“How many years of college are needed to be a meteorologist?”
Kailee Bell, Ashland
Four years of schooling is required to get a degree in meteorology. If you don’t include all of the general education requirements, it is 2 years. The core classes in a meteorology degree do require A LOT of prerequisites though and failing just one class can set you back an entire year.
A degree in broadcast meteorology do not require as much math or science, however does restrict what your options are once graduating. A broadcast meteorology degree is used mostly in the television and radio industries. When earning a degree in solely meteorology, your degree can be used in a number of different workplaces.
You can work for a government agency such as the National Weather Service or the National Hurricane Center, also the Storm Prediction Center (although the last two most likely require a masters). You can also work for a private company forecasting for large outdoor events like the NFL and stadiums …or for airports.
Another option is becoming a forensic meteorologist. This requires the passing of an examination but would allow the meteorologist to go to court and testify in regards to the weather. Let’s say someone fell and broke an arm on a patch of ice. If they were to sue whoever owns that property, a forensic meteorologist would go to court and verify what the weather conditions were like on that day.