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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)

£20,000 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 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:

  • 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


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 find 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

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 changes to climate
  • design and build scientific instruments and sensors
  • study past climates to understand what might happen in the future
  • monitor ice packs, sea levels and temperatures
  • look at how global climate affects regional weather patterns
  • 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 or at a university.

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 previous 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

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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: 05 September 2022
  • Location: Havant

Environmental Science

  • Start date: 01 September 2022
  • Location: CHELTENHAM

Jobs In the United Kingdom

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