Forensic Meteorologist - Forecasted to be a Good-Paying Profession

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Forensic meteorologists can also be called an atmospheric scientist, physicist or chemist. The meteorologist prepares for the job of weather forecasting with a minimum of a B.A. in meteorology, chemistry or physics. Other 4 year degrees that prepare a meteorologist are mathematics electrical engineering and computer engineering. A master's degree or doctorate degree is required for more advanced weather forecasting jobs.

Events reconstruction - The forensic meteorologist can re-construct weather events and perform air quality modeling on software that assists attorneys and claim reviewers in modeling the correct atmospheric conditions that caused damage or injury. Re-constructing weather events doesn't have to be done on software. Meteorologists can use the process of reconstructing weather events by getting the local weather reports backed up by radar, satellite pictures and accounts reported by eyewitnesses to the event.

Forensic meteorology experts use air quality software in industry pollution cases and to map the toxic concentration levels that are moved by weather events. These mappings offer support to the attorney and client cases which involve:
  • Air Pollution,
  • Reduced Visibility,
  • Severe Storms,
  • Wind Damage,
  • Flooding and hazardous material spills and releases into the atmosphere.

Where do meteorologists obtain their degrees and training? This is a very good consideration for anyone who is thinking to go into the field of meteorology and becoming an expert witness and scientist. There are only a little more than 100 universities that offer degrees in meteorology or atmospheric science. Masters degree programs are offered at about 85 universities. Finally, a doctorate in the field can only be completed at about 75 universities of higher learning. Only 100 degrees or those related to meteorology are earned each year. It is interesting to note, the U.S. military offers training for the specific needs they have in the service and many of their men and women take classes to get a degree.

Where does a forensic meteorologist work? They are often employed by insurance companies or hired by attorneys to give expert testimony and recent job developments show the forensic meteorologist is being employed direct by the courts. It is not the job of the forensic meteorologist to take sides in a case, but it is to give assistance to the judge and jury members in understanding the facts of the case related to his field of experience.

How much do forensic meteorologists earn annually? Here are the salaries for educated meteorologists which will include forensic meteorology. A four year degreed meteorologist earns just under $100,000 annually. A meteorologist with a Masters degree earns over $150,000 and a doctorate degree commands $200,000 annually. These figures are for jobs in the private sector. Government jobs pay much less, between $35K and $75K annually.

What is the Job Outlook? The job market for forensic meteorologists is expected to grow over the next ten years. Meteorologists can find low entry level positions with a high school degree but the largest sector of atmospheric scientists have four year degrees and the better jobs will go to candidates with masters or doctorate degrees in atmospheric science.

About Harrison Barnes
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Air Quality Modeling      Civil Investigations Cases      Forensic Meteorologist     

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