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Climate scientist

Alternative titles for this job include Climatologist

Climate scientists study changes in the Earth's climate over time and how they might affect the planet in the future.

Average salary (a year)

£15,609 Starter


£55,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

37 to 42 a week

You could work

between 8am and 6pm

How to become

Explore the different ways to get into this role.

How to become a climate scientist

You can get into this job through a university course.


You could do a degree or postgraduate qualification in a relevant subject like:

  • environmental science or ecology
  • geography, earth sciences or geology
  • physics
  • maths and statistics
  • oceanography or marine science
  • meteorology and climate science
  • computer science

Work experience

You can get work experience through internships, placements or a year in industry during your course. This may help you to identify your area of interest for research.

For example, the Met Office runs both summer placement and year in industry schemes.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

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

More Information

More Information

Career tips

You can find information about global climate conditions through:

Further information

Discover more about working in climate science from:

What it takes

Find out what skills you’ll use in this role.

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

Discover the day to day tasks you’ll do in this role.

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

You could:

  • gather and analyse data from the atmosphere, oceans and land
  • create computer models to simulate the effects of climate change
  • design and build scientific instruments and sensors
  • study past climates to understand what might happen in the future
  • monitor ice, sea levels and temperatures
  • look at how global climate affects regional weather
  • attend conferences and publish research findings
  • investigate ways to tackle climate change
  • advise policy makers
  • teach or lecture in education

Working environment

You could work in a laboratory, at a university or visit sites.

Your working environment may be outdoors some of the time.

Career path and progression

Look at progression in this role and similar opportunities.

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 historic variations in climate and how the Earth adapted to these.

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

You may be able to apply for chartered environmentalist status. You can find out more about being a chartered environmentalist from the Society for the Environment.

Current opportunities

Find apprenticeships, courses and jobs available near you.

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

  • Start date: 01 September 2024
  • Location: SALISBURY

Environmental Science

  • Start date: 01 September 2024
  • Location: CAMBRIDGE

Jobs In the United Kingdom

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