Climate Change Analyst
Climate change analysts (climatologists) evaluate scientific data and research about the climate. The climate data often includes, but is not limited to, information about atmospheric temperature, ocean conditions, ice masses, and greenhouse gases.
Climatologists study climate conditions averaged over a period of time and use climate models for a variety of purposes, from the study of the dynamics of the weather and climate system to projections of future climate. In contrast to meteorology, which focuses on short term weather systems lasting up to a few weeks, climatology studies the frequency and trends of those systems. Climatology considers the past and can help predict future climate change.
Climate change analysts who focus on science are more heavily involved in detailed mathematical modeling of the scientific data. They collaborate closely with the scientists who are gathering the climate data and work with them to analyze the information and put it in context with current environmental practices. They might also model how changes to existing government policies can alter climate change effects. Climate change analysts who focus on policy deal less with primary data; instead, they evaluate the published body of climate data and work to draw higher-level conclusions and make predictions from multiple studies. They then use these predictions to lobby for or against specific policy changes. Climate change analysts involved in policy spend a lot of time communicating their findings to non-scientific audiences like lawmakers, corporations, and the general public.
At minimum, a bachelor's degree in a scientific field is required to enter the climate change analyst career track. Strong job candidates usually hold a bachelor's degree in environmental science, or a related field, with an emphasis on understanding weather or the environment, and resource conservation.
Students interested in pursuing a career in climate change analysis should also take college courses in math, statistics, computer science, and physics. This is particularly important for students who would like their careers to focus on the science and modeling aspects of climate change. Students who plan to pursue the policy side of climate change should take a heavier course load in public policy and economics.
Check out government jobs. The Federal government is the biggest employer of atmospheric scientists in the U.S., and advertises jobs located throughout the country on its USAJobs website. Agencies include the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Department of Defense.
Be flexible about location. Those just starting out in the atmospheric sciences may need to be willing to move to a different geographic region or state, particularly when working in a government position. Once a career is established, there may be more latitude for location in the climate and region of choice.
Median Salary 2018
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary of a Climate Change Analyst in 2018, was $71,130.
Companies that Hire Climate Change Analysts
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