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Career in meteorology and skiing

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

I've been very interested in the weather for years now, and also am completely obsessed with skiing (to bad I live in wisconsin and get like 10 days a season) and I want to make sure I go into a career which allows ample opprotunity for frequent skiing.  I would think being a meteoroligist would be rather compatable with skiing, as a lot of people are wondering how much it will snow, etc, but maybe I'm wrong.

 

Any insight on the career field would be much appreciated.   

post #2 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by chickenonabun View Post

I've been very interested in the weather for years now, and also am completely obsessed with skiing (to bad I live in wisconsin and get like 10 days a season) and I want to make sure I go into a career which allows ample opprotunity for frequent skiing.  I would think being a meteoroligist would be rather compatable with skiing, as a lot of people are wondering how much it will snow, etc, but maybe I'm wrong.

 

Any insight on the career field would be much appreciated.   


Chick...

It's not like I am much good at career counseling, but I would try to steer you more toward hydrology than meteorology. Here in the mountains, water measurement and management are much more important than trying to predict the weather.

Good luck with your choices.
post #3 of 13

I'm not sure. I see a lot of meteologist working in some office at the flat land far from the snow...

post #4 of 13

Education of a nuclear physicist with the salary of a garbage man...

 

Last I heard Accuweather starts you at 30,000ish and you're stuck with the night shift for several years. Granted you probably wouldn't want to work for them anyway as they only have offices in PA, NY and KS. 

 

Most people that major in meteorology eventually end up doing something else.

 

Unless you're completely obsessed with the weather you should likely look elsewhere.

post #5 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by chickenonabun View Post

I've been very interested in the weather for years now, and also am completely obsessed with skiing (to bad I live in wisconsin and get like 10 days a season) and I want to make sure I go into a career which allows ample opprotunity for frequent skiing.  I would think being a meteoroligist would be rather compatable with skiing, as a lot of people are wondering how much it will snow, etc, but maybe I'm wrong.

 

Any insight on the career field would be much appreciated.   



Nursing... do your 3 twelves and ski for 4 days. Pay's not bad either. Lot's of physical therapists seem to work in a good ski schedule as well.

post #6 of 13


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bump skier View Post

Education of a nuclear physicist with the salary of a garbage man...

 

Last I heard Accuweather starts you at 30,000ish and you're stuck with the night shift for several years. Granted you probably wouldn't want to work for them anyway as they only have offices in PA, NY and KS. 

 

Most people that major in meteorology eventually end up doing something else.

 

Unless you're completely obsessed with the weather you should likely look elsewhere.

 

This is true. Take a  Met.Ob. class if you like Weather a lot and there is plenty of info on the Net to read. I have a degree in Met. and did many parameters of Weather. Aviation,Ballistics,Winds Aloft,Met. Ob.,R&D,Air Pollution,Micro,Macro,ect. Interesting yes, but I do not do it for a living. I did a paper on Weather Folklore,check the info about this subject on the Net.

post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 

Hmm so it sounds like meteorology sucks...  I'll have to look into other stuff like Hydrology.  Thanks everyone for answering.

post #8 of 13

Maybe you could join these guys...

http://opensnow.com/

post #9 of 13

Good news: as a professional mountain meteorologist I can offer some unique perspective here.

 

First the bad news: meteorology is a small field and you are not going to get to be picky about where you live. Nor are you going to live at a ski resort. I'm one of the few mountain meteorologist on the East Coast and I work in Lexington, MA. It is about 2.5 hours from ski country in Vermont and New Hampshire so I make it work. I don't do anything with skiing professionally as most ski resorts seem to just use National Weather Service forecasts. Mountain meteorology is popular at the moment though. It will likely stay popular so long as we are flying lots of aircraft (especially unmanned) over mountainous countries.

 

Your options in meteorology are as follows:

  1. work for the National Weather Service (Master's degree recommended)
    Here it'll be hard to pick your home office and you'll likely have to move around the country to advance. The good news is that offices in ski country and in rural areas. This means that there won't be as much competition for the jobs. There are some great locations for skiing like Burlington, VT, Grand Junction, CO, Salt Lake City, and Reno. (http://www.nws.noaa.gov/organization.php) The income will be solidly middle class and you'll have great job security, but don't plan on getting rich.
  2. research / academia (Ph.D. required)
    This track takes the most time to work up to. The bonus is that you could conceivably work wherever there is a university. Also, the National Center for Atmospheric Research is in Boulder. Not a bad plan if you like staying in school and are great in math. This career will also leave you with the most time to ski. I've had great luck going this route, but I know a lot of people who had to move around and ended up in less than desirable locations.
  3. a private company (varying education levels)
    Here you'll need a graduate degree to make a decent income. It'll also be hard to find a job in ski country. Your best bets for finding a job near skiing will be in the Boston area, San Francisco Bay Area, and Boulder. This is probably the path of least resistance though.
  4. broadcast television (undergrad only)
    Don't do it. You'll have an awful schedule and make crap to start. It's really hard to break into unless you look great in a short skirt. Oh, and the job security is non-existent. Plan on being fired for putting on 10 pounds to your waistline or 10 years to your age.
  5. the military (become a weather officer after college)
    I bet you can figure out the deal here. Is there skiing in Afghanistan?

 

 

post #10 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by bump skier View Post

Education of a nuclear physicist with the salary of a garbage man...

 

Last I heard Accuweather starts you at 30,000ish and you're stuck with the night shift for several years. Granted you probably wouldn't want to work for them anyway as they only have offices in PA, NY and KS. 

 

Most people that major in meteorology eventually end up doing something else.

 

Unless you're completely obsessed with the weather you should likely look elsewhere.


As for income, yes out of undergrad you will make crap. Especially at Accuweather or WSI. They suck. Go to grad school; I made 30k as a grad student.

 

With a graduate degree the federal government will start you as a GS11 (salary in the mid 50s). A year ago after completing my Ph.D. I started at 75k at a private company.

 

post #11 of 13
Thread Starter 

Thanks a lot bliz, I have found this very helpful.  Right now I'm only in high school, but am getting pretty curious about career choices.  I guess I won't rule out meteorology quite yet.

post #12 of 13

Career path for powder technicians.

1. Train in a career that is often contracted or synonymous with self employment. Current well paying ones are electricians, plumbers, software engineers, locksmiths, network designers and chiropractors. 

2. Set up shop somewhere near snow
 

3. Work hard and learn to work at night, many nerds do this.

 

4. Ski all the time.

 

Best setup I saw for this was the physio in Hirafu Village, Japan. He worked from midday onwards 4 days a week. Shredded every morning and charged $75 a visit.

post #13 of 13

There are a few programs in "Snow Science" which is part meteorology, part physics, and part psychology.  You would be studying to become an "Avalanche Expert".  Most western ski resorts have positions as well as highway departments that maintain roads over mountain passes.  Great career if you love snow.  Many of these guys ski a lot.  I don't think any of them are getting rich.

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