Prospective meteorologists must complete at least 4 years of college study by completing a bachelor's program in meteorology or a related discipline. It is also possible to become one by taking another science subject, like physics, and completing a graduate program, which takes an additional 2 years.
The most direct route into meteorology is to complete a 4-year bachelor's degree in meteorology. This means high school students who are looking at the degree should pick math and physics based subjects. It is more common for students to complete a 4-year degree in geology, physics, chemistry, engineering or biology, before moving onto a 2-year master's degree program in meteorology. This is because few colleges offer bachelor's degree programs that focus primarily on the subject.
Students who want to enter particular areas of meteorology should consider taking additional courses accordingly. For example, those who want to become broadcast meteorologists need to look at journalism. Individuals who want to go into research need to complete a Ph.D. People who choose to work for the federal government are likely to receive additional training while there. In addition, the National Weather Service offers student training programs for prospective meteorologists who are specializing in the right subjects.