Climate scientist

Alternative titles for this job include Climatologist

Climate scientists study the influences on the Earth's climate over time and how these might affect it in the future.

Average salary (a year)

£27,000 Starter

to

£55,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

37 to 42 a week

You could work

between 8am and 6pm

How to become a climate scientist

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course

University

You can do a degree or postgraduate qualification in:

  • environmental science
  • geography
  • physics
  • maths and statistics
  • oceanography
  • meteorology and climate science
  • computer science

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 3 A levels including maths and a science subject
  • a degree in a relevant subject for postgraduate study

More information

Volunteering and experience

You could get work experience through an internship or work placement. This would give you an insight into the different types of work you can do as a climate scientist.

More information

Career tips

You can get information about global climate conditions through NASA and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Further information

You can discover more about working in climate science from the Royal Meteorological Society and the Natural Environment Research Council.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • maths knowledge
  • knowledge of geography
  • knowledge of physics
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • science skills
  • knowledge of computer operating systems, hardware and software
  • the ability to work well with others
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages confidently

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

Your day-to-day duties may include:

  • gathering and analysing data from the atmosphere, oceans and land
  • creating computer models to simulate the effects of changes to climate
  • designing and building scientific instruments and sensors
  • studying past climates to understand what might happen in the future
  • monitoring ice packs, sea levels and temperatures
  • looking at how global climate affects regional weather patterns
  • attending conferences and publishing research findings
  • investigating ways to tackle climate change
  • advising policy makers
  • teaching

Working environment

You could work in a laboratory or at a university.

Your working environment may be outdoors some of the time.

Career path and progression

You could specialise in an area of climate science, for example polar research, rainfall patterns or ocean changes. You might do this through research and teaching at a university, or by working for a government department.

You could also work as a palaeoclimatologist, studying previous variations in climate and how the Earth adapted to these.

Other career options include working as a consultant for science publishers or broadcasters.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

We can't find any apprenticeship vacancies in England for a climate scientist right now.

The Find an apprenticeship service can help you with your search, send alerts when new apprenticeships become available and has advice on how to apply.

Courses In England

Environmental Science

  • Provider: The de Ferrers Academy
  • Start date: 05 September 2019
  • Location:

Environmental Science A level | AQA

  • Provider: Steyning Grammar School
  • Start date: 01 September 2019
  • Location: Steyning

JobsIn the United Kingdom

The Find a job service can help you with your search for jobs and send alerts when new jobs become available.

Get help using this service

Call 0800 100 900 or use webchat

8am to 10pm, 7 days a week

More ways to contact us

Is this page useful?

Yes No