Aviation meteorologist

An aviation meteorologist


Aviation meteorologists forecast weather conditions in airports. They provide day-to-day, hour-to-hour observations, analysis, forecasts, warnings, and advice to pilots, airport operators and airlines in meteorological matters. They report weather conditions expected at airports, current conditions, and en route forecasts.

Aviation meteorologists typically do the following:

  • Plan flight routes more efficiently, using less fuel, and staying on schedule.
  • Avoid costly delays and cancellations.
  • Provide a smoother ride for your passengers and your personnel by minimizing turbulence.
  • Optimize programs by using long-range forecasts.
  • Monitor atmospheric conditions in real-time.
  • View weather and atmospheric conditions at multiple altitudes, including upper-air flight support.
  • Evaluate runway visibility.
  • Predict specific weather conditions along your flight path, not just at take-off or landing.
  • Reroute or replan using up-to-date weather information.
  • Maximize revenue by keeping your flights operating, your schedule efficient, and your planes where they should be.
  • Receive personalized consultations for your specific needs.
  • Make both major and minor decisions quickly after consulting with an expert.

Working conditions

Aviation meteorologists work indoors at the airport in the airline operations office. They use weather facsimile machines, teletype machines, computer terminals, weather charts, and other meteorological data. Shift work is required, and the normal workweek is 40 hours.

Other titles

The following job titles also refer to aviation meteorologist:

aviation meteorological specialist
meteorological aviation inspector
air meteorologist
specialist in aviation meteorology
airline meteorologist
air navigation meteorologist
meteorological technician

Minimum qualifications

A bachelor’s degree in atmospheric science or meteorology is generally required to work as aviation meteorologist. However, for career advancement purposes, candidates should consider either a master’s degree or a doctorate in the same discipline.

ISCO skill level

ISCO skill level is defined as a function of the complexity and range of tasks and duties to be performed in an occupation. It is measured on a scale from 1 to 4, with 1 the lowest level and 4 the highest, by considering:

  • the nature of the work performed in an occupation in relation to the characteristic tasks and duties
  • the level of formal education required for competent performance of the tasks and duties involved and
  • the amount of informal on-the-job training and/or previous experience in a related occupation required for competent performance of these tasks and duties.

Aviation meteorologist is a Skill level 4 occupation.

Aviation meteorologist career path

Similar occupations

These occupations, although different, require a lot of knowledge and skills similar to aviation meteorologist.

aviation communications and frequency coordination manager
weather forecaster
airport environment officer
airspace manager

Essential skills and competences

These skills are necessary for the role of aviation meteorologist.

  • Coach employees: Maintain and improve employees’ performance by coaching individuals or groups how to optimise specific methods, skills or abilities, using adapted coaching styles and methods. Tutor newly recruited employees and assist them in the learning of new business systems.
  • Collect weather-related data: Gather data from satellites, radars, remote sensors, and weather stations in order to obtain information about weather conditions and phenomena.
  • Prepare forecasts for take-off and landing: Prepare accurate forecasts of climatic conditions for the take off and landing of aircraft; take into account parameters such as temperature, wind direction, and wind speed.
  • Use specialised computer models for weather forecasting: Make short-term and long-term weather forecasts applying physical and mathematical formulae; understand specialised computer modelling applications.
  • Perform data analysis: Collect data and statistics to test and evaluate in order to generate assertions and pattern predictions, with the aim of discovering useful information in a decision-making process.
  • Use meteorological tools to forecast meteorological conditions: Use meteorological data and tools such as weather facsimile machines, weather charts and computer terminals, to anticipate weather conditions.
  • Use different communication channels: Make use of various types of communication channels such as verbal, handwritten, digital and telephonic communication with the purpose of constructing and sharing ideas or information.
  • Think analytically: Produce thoughts using logic and reasoning in order to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Work in an aviation team: Work confidently in a group in general aviation services, in which each individual operates in their own area of responsibility to reach a common goal, such as a good customer interaction, air safety, and aircraft maintenance.
  • Provide reports on routine meteorological observations: Provide local routine reports for dissemination at the airport of origin including information on parameters such as wind direction and speed, visibility, runway visual range, cloud volume, and type, air temperature, etc.
  • Adapt to changing situations: Change approach to situations based on unexpected and sudden changes in people’s needs and mood or in trends; shift strategies, improvise and naturally adapt to those circumstances.
  • Advise aircraft in hazardous conditions: Recommend the most effective course of action to assist aircraft in hazardous conditions.
  • Continuously monitor weather conditions: Evaluate routine air observations, analyse a variety of weather information from various sources, and constantly monitor weather conditions to maintain the validity of the forecast.
  • Review meteorological forecast data: Revise estimated meteorological parameters; solve gaps between real-time conditions and estimated conditions.
  • Develop models for weather forecast: Develop mathematical models of the atmosphere and oceans to predict the weather based on current weather conditions.
  • Plan procurement of meteorological equipment: Plan and organise the ordering and purchase of appropriate meteorological equipment and tools required for weather forecasting.
  • Provide quality assurance for meteorological services+H40: Develop operating procedures for meteorological services; provide quality assurance and pursue continuous improvement of service.
  • Analyse weather forecast: Analyse weather forecasts and the information provided on meteorological conditions, such as wind forces, atmospheric structures, clouds, and visibility. Provide analyses depending on the requirements of various different industries and service providers.
  • Carry out meteorological research: Participate in research activities on weather-related conditions and phenomena. Study the physical and chemical characteristics and processes of the atmosphere.
  • Monitor performance of meteorological equipment: Monitor the performance of meteorological forecasting equipment.
  • Train employees: Lead and guide employees through a process in which they are taught the necessary skills for the perspective job. Organise activities aimed at introducing the work and systems or improving the performance of individuals and groups in organisational settings.
  • Continually survey meteorological conditions: Conduct surveys of meteorological conditions; prepare weather forecast for airport.
  • Use aeronautical mobile service communications: Make use of aeronautical communications devices to transmit and receive technical information to and from aircraft, in line with technical regulations and provisions.

Optional skills and competences

These skills and competences are sometimes, but not always, required for the role of aviation meteorologist. However, mastering these skills and competences allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

  • Follow airport safety procedures: Comply with airport safety procedures, policies and legislation to ensure a safe working environment for all employees, and to ensure the safety of passengers.
  • Present reports: Display results, statistics and conclusions to an audience in a transparent and straightforward way.
  • Tolerate stress: Maintain a temperate mental state and effective performance under pressure or adverse circumstances.

ISCO group and title

2112 – Meteorologists

  1. Aviation meteorologist – ESCO
  2. Atmospheric Scientists, Including Meteorologists – U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
  3. An Introduction to Aviation Meteorologists – DTN
  4. Aviation Meteorologist – Airline Careers and Jobs – For Your Dream Career
  5. Featured image: By NOAA – National Weather Service Office in Norman, OK, Public Domain
Last updated on December 7, 2023