How to Become a Meteorologist in India: A Comprehensive Guide

By Acadlog 17 Min Read
17 Min Read

Meteorology is the scientific study of the atmosphere and its phenomena, such as weather and climate. Meteorologists use various tools and methods to observe, measure, analyze, and forecast atmospheric conditions and their impacts on human activities and the environment. Meteorology is an important field that helps us understand and cope with natural hazards, such as storms, floods, droughts, heat waves, and air pollution. Meteorology also contributes to various industries, such as agriculture, aviation, energy, tourism, and defense.

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If you are interested in becoming a meteorologist in India, here are some steps you need to follow:

Career Prospects

As a meteorologist, you can work in different roles and sectors, depending on your qualifications, skills, and interests. Some of the common job roles and responsibilities of a meteorologist are:

  • Weather Forecaster: You can work for weather forecasting agencies, such as the India Meteorological Department (IMD), or media outlets, such as TV channels or newspapers. Your main task is to collect and analyze weather data from various sources, such as satellites, radars, weather stations, and computer models. You then use your knowledge and expertise to prepare and present accurate and timely weather forecasts for the public or specific clients.
  • Climate Scientist: You can work for research institutions, such as the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM), or government departments, such as the Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES). Your main task is to study the long-term trends and variations of the climate system and its interactions with the biosphere, hydrosphere, and geosphere. You then use your findings to assess the impacts of climate change on various sectors and regions and suggest mitigation and adaptation strategies.
  • Atmospheric Scientist: You can work for space agencies, such as the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), or defense organizations, such as the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). Your main task is to study the upper layers of the atmosphere and their effects on space exploration, communication, navigation, and security. You then use your skills to develop and operate satellites, rockets, missiles, radars, and other instruments that monitor and utilize the atmospheric environment.

Meteorologists are in high demand in India and abroad. According to a report by NASSCOM, India has a potential to create over 2.5 lakh jobs in the field of earth sciences by 2025. The global market for meteorological services is also expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.4% from 2019 to 2024. Meteorologists enjoy job stability and satisfaction as they contribute to the welfare of society and the advancement of science.

Educational Pathway

To become a meteorologist in India, you need to have a strong background in science and mathematics. The following table shows the detailed eligibility criteria for different levels of education in meteorology:

Level Duration Eligibility Entrance Exam
Diploma 3 years Class 10 with minimum 50% marks Polytechnic Common Entrance Test (CET)
Bachelor 3-4 years Class 12 with Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics (PCM) with minimum 60% marks Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) Main or Advanced
Master 2 years Bachelor in Meteorology or related discipline with minimum 60% marks Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE) or Joint Admission Test for M.Sc. (JAM)
Doctoral 3-5 years Master in Meteorology or related discipline with minimum 60% marks National Eligibility Test (NET) or Research Entrance Test (RET)

Some of the top colleges and universities in India that offer courses in meteorology are:

Some of the top colleges and universities abroad that offer courses in meteorology are:

To apply for these courses, you need to fill up online or offline application forms and submit the required documents and fees. You also need to appear for entrance exams conducted by the respective institutions or national bodies. The selection process may also involve interviews or counseling sessions.

Skills and Qualities

To become a successful meteorologist, you need to have certain skills and qualities that can help you perform your tasks effectively and efficiently. Some of the essential skills required to become a meteorologist are:

  • Analytical Skills: You need to have the ability to collect, process, and interpret large amounts of data from various sources and apply mathematical and statistical methods to solve problems and make predictions.
  • Communication Skills: You need to have the ability to communicate complex and technical information in a clear and concise manner to different audiences, such as the public, clients, colleagues, and media.
  • Computer Skills: You need to have the proficiency in using computers and software applications, such as Microsoft Office, Geographic Information System (GIS), MATLAB, Python, and R, that are used for data analysis, modeling, visualization, and presentation.
  • Research Skills: You need to have the curiosity and creativity to conduct original and innovative research on various aspects of meteorology and publish your findings in journals, books, or reports.
  • Teamwork Skills: You need to have the cooperation and collaboration to work with other meteorologists and scientists from different disciplines and backgrounds on joint projects and goals.

Apart from these skills, some of the personal qualities that can be beneficial in this profession are:

  • Passion: You need to have the interest and enthusiasm for learning and exploring new things about the atmosphere and its phenomena.
  • Accuracy: You need to have the attention to detail and precision in performing your tasks and ensuring the quality and reliability of your results.
  • Adaptability: You need to have the flexibility and resilience to cope with changing weather conditions and situations and adjust your plans and strategies accordingly.
  • Ethics: You need to have the integrity and responsibility to follow the professional standards and codes of conduct in meteorology and respect the confidentiality and privacy of your clients and sources.

Career Advancement

To advance your career as a meteorologist, you can pursue higher education and research in meteorology or related fields. A master’s degree or a doctoral degree can help you gain more knowledge and expertise in specific areas of meteorology, such as climatology, hydrology, oceanography, or environmental science. You can also apply for fellowships or grants from various national or international organizations, such as the Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR), the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), or the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), that support research projects in meteorology. You can also publish your research papers in reputed journals or present them at conferences or seminars.

Another way to advance your career as a meteorologist is to obtain professional certifications from recognized bodies, such as the American Meteorological Society (AMS) or the Royal Meteorological Society (RMS). These certifications can help you demonstrate your competence and credibility in meteorology and enhance your career prospects. Some of the popular certifications for meteorologists are:

  • Certified Broadcast Meteorologist (CBM): This certification is granted by the AMS to broadcast meteorologists who meet established criteria for scientific competence and effective communication skills in their weather presentations.
  • Certified Consulting Meteorologist (CCM): This certification is granted by the AMS to consulting meteorologists who meet high standards of technical competence, character, and experience for providing advice in meteorology to the public.
  • Chartered Meteorologist (CMet): This certification is granted by the RMS to meteorologists who demonstrate a high level of professional skill and experience in meteorology.

Salary and Benefits

The salary of a meteorologist can vary depending on various factors, such as education, experience, location, industry, and job role. According to PayScale, the average annual salary of a meteorologist in India is INR 6.8 LPA. The monthly salary ranges from INR 52,123 to INR 53,352 with the highest salary being INR 10 LPA. The following table shows the detailed salary structure for different job roles:

Job Role Average Annual Salary (INR)
Weather Forecaster 5.4 LPA
Climate Scientist 6.2 LPA
Atmospheric Scientist 7.6 LPA

Apart from salary, a meteorologist can also enjoy other benefits and perks, such as:

  • Medical insurance
  • Retirement plan
  • Travel allowance
  • Education assistance
  • Paid leave
  • Recognition awards

The Final Takeaway!

Meteorology is an exciting and rewarding career that offers ample opportunities for learning, growth, and contribution. If you are passionate about weather and climate and have a strong aptitude for science and mathematics, you can become a meteorologist in India by following the steps mentioned above. You can also improve your skills and qualities by taking up online courses or workshops on meteorology or related topics. By becoming a meteorologist in India, you can not only fulfill your personal aspirations but also serve the society by providing valuable information and guidance on weather-related issues.

Frequently Asked Questions

A. There are many online courses or workshops on meteorology or related topics that you can take to improve your knowledge and skills. Some of the best ones are:

  • Introduction to Meteorology by Coursera: This course covers the basic concepts and principles of meteorology, such as atmospheric structure, composition, thermodynamics, dynamics, clouds, precipitation, and weather systems. You can learn at your own pace and earn a certificate upon completion.
  • Weather and Climate Fundamentals by edX: This course introduces the fundamental processes that govern the weather and climate of our planet, such as radiation, heat transfer, moisture, winds, and pressure. You can also explore the impacts of human activities on the climate system and the challenges of climate change.
  • Weather Forecasting by Udemy: This course teaches you how to interpret and use weather data and models to make accurate and reliable weather forecasts. You can also learn how to communicate your forecasts effectively to different audiences and purposes.
  • Climate Change: The Science and Global Impact by Coursera: This course provides a comprehensive overview of the science and global impact of climate change, such as the causes, evidence, projections, risks, and solutions. You can also learn from the experts and join the global community of learners and activists.

Q2. What are the challenges and opportunities of becoming a meteorologist in India?

A2. Becoming a meteorologist in India can be challenging and rewarding at the same time. Some of the challenges are:

  • Limited resources and infrastructure: India still lacks adequate resources and infrastructure to support meteorological research and operations, such as advanced equipment, software, data, and networks. This can affect the quality and accuracy of meteorological services and products.
  • High competition and expectations: India has a large pool of talented and qualified meteorologists who compete for limited opportunities and positions in various sectors and organizations. This can create pressure and stress for meteorologists to perform well and meet the expectations of their employers and clients.
  • Dynamic and complex environment: India has a diverse and complex weather and climate system that is influenced by various factors, such as monsoons, cyclones, El Niño, La Niña, Himalayas, oceans, and land use. This can pose challenges for meteorologists to understand and predict the atmospheric phenomena and their impacts.

Some of the opportunities are:

  • Growing demand and awareness: India has a growing demand and awareness for meteorological services and products, especially in the wake of climate change and extreme weather events. This can create more opportunities for meteorologists to contribute to various sectors and domains, such as disaster management, agriculture, water resources, health, tourism, and renewable energy.
  • Emerging technologies and innovations: India has a potential to develop and adopt emerging technologies and innovations in meteorology, such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, big data, cloud computing, internet of things, drones, and satellites. These can enhance the capabilities and efficiency of meteorologists to collect, process, analyze, and disseminate meteorological information.
  • Collaborative and interdisciplinary approach: India has a scope to foster a collaborative and interdisciplinary approach in meteorology, involving various stakeholders, such as government agencies, academic institutions, private companies, non-governmental organizations, media outlets, and public. This can improve the communication and coordination among meteorologists and other professionals and enhance the quality and relevance of meteorological services and products.

A3. There are many books or magazines on meteorology or related topics that you can read to enhance your knowledge and interest. Some of the best ones are:

  • The Weather Machine: How We See Into the Future by Andrew Blum: This book explores the history and science of weather forecasting and reveals how meteorologists use technology, data, and cooperation to predict the weather and its impacts on our lives.
  • The Cloudspotter’s Guide: The Science, History, and Culture of Clouds by Gavin Pretor-Pinney: This book is a delightful and informative guide to the different types of clouds and their formation, classification, and significance. It also includes beautiful photographs and illustrations of clouds and tips on how to spot and appreciate them.
  • Weatherwise: A monthly magazine that covers various topics related to weather and climate, such as weather phenomena, events, trends, research, history, culture, and education. It also features stunning images and graphics of weather and climate from around the world.
  • Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society (BAMS): A peer-reviewed journal that publishes original research articles, reviews, commentaries, and news on various aspects of meteorology and related fields, such as atmospheric science, hydrology, oceanography, and environmental science. It also showcases the achievements and activities of the AMS and its members.
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