Becoming a Meteorologist

Most occupations in the NWS are either for people trained in meteorology, atmospheric sciences, climatology, hydrology, or related fields. Jobs available with the NWS are updated periodically on the NOAA Resource Development Center's page listing NOAA Human Resources Center or you can use the NOAA Job Search. More information about careers in meteorology and recommended college coursework is available from the American Meteorological Society.

Student Opportunities

TIER 1 - Paid Employment

These are paid student employment education programs. There are 2 components:

1. Student Temporary Employment Program (STEP)
Job opportunities under this program offer you temporary employment. Employment can range from summer jobs to positions that last as long as you are a student. These employment opportunities need not be related to your academic field of study. See Student Temporary Employment Program for more information.

2. Student Career Experience Program (SCEP) (formerly the Coop Program) This program offers you valuable work experience directly related to your academic field of study. It provides formal periods of work and study while you are attending school. It requires a commitment by you, your school and the DOC. You may be eligible for permanent employment under this component after successfully completing your education and meeting work requirements. See Student Career Employment Program for more information.

These positions are filled competitively on a regional basis. The existence and/or number of positions varies from year to year (primary due to budget limitations). The locations of positions also varies, and it is not known from year to year whether a position will exist at WFO Caribou.

Interested students should send (or we can forward) their resume to Mickey Brown at ERH and Christine Hudson at EASC. They should include a cover letter stating their interest in the STEP and/or SCEP program at WFO Caribou (and/or other offices).

Additional information on the DOC Student Educational Employment program can be found at Student Information

TIER 2 - Student Volunteer

This is WFO CARís Student Volunteer Program, and is designed for students nearing the completion of their undergraduate studies (or in a graduate level program) in meteorology, atmospheric science, or hydrology. The number of students working under the Tier 1 and 2 programs at any given time will be limited to no more than 3. Students will be expected to work a minimum of 12 hours per week at the WFO for a total of at least 120 hours. It is preferred (although not required) that students also earn academic credit for this program During the time at WFO CAR, the student will do the following:

1. Work on an applied research or field program project that is of mutual benefit to the studentís educational goals and the WFO CAR mission. This project does not have to be completed during the volunteer period, but a mutually agreed upon deadline will be determined. For example, a student volunteer may work collaboratively with WFO CAR personnel on a research project during the summer that subsequently evolves into his/her senior thesis project that is completed during the following academic year.
2. Spend at least 30 hours working with operational duty personnel on routine forecast and product preparation tasks.
3. Complete at least 2 computer-based training modules of their selection. If schedules permit, the student may also participate in other WFO CAR training activities such as tele-training sessions.

Applicant requirements:
1. Students must have completed their sophomore year in a meteorology, atmospheric science, or hydrology program.
2. Students must have an overall GPA of 2.5 (2.8 for juniors), with a GPA of at least 3.0 (3.3 for juniors) in core major and science courses.
3. Students must submit a project proposal. This proposal must be approved in advance by both the WFO CAR MIC, and a university faculty member. Proposals should be submitted at least 6 weeks prior to the proposed start date.

TIER 3 - Job Shadow

WFO CARís job shadow program consists of 3 levels.

This level is intended for pre-college students interested in meteorology as a possible career. The student spends 2-4 hours with a WFO CAR meteorologist observing the forecast process, and discussing National Weather Service career opportunities.

This level is intended for freshman and sophomores enrolled in a university meteorology, atmospheric science, or hydrology program, or a student in any other math or science program who is considering meteorology/atmospheric science, or hydrology for future study. The student will spend 6-8 hours at NWS CAR, observing the full range of WFO operations. The student will spend time with each of the duty staff members, observing them prepare and disseminate various forecast products. The student will also meet with members of the WFO CAR management team to further discuss future career and study options.

This level is intended for juniors, seniors, and graduate students enrolled in a university meteorology, atmospheric science, or hydrology program. The program is similar to Level 2, however it is expanded to up to 3 days at the WFO. The expanded time is intended to give the student a more comprehensive understanding of what it is like to work at a National Weather Service field office. Prior participation in a Level 1 or 2 job shadow is permitted but not a requirement.

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