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Professional Guideline on Use of the Term “Meteorologist”

While members of the American Meteorological Society (AMS) span a variety of scientific and other disciplines related to meteorology, the Society is occasionally asked to clarify, specifically, the use of the term “meteorologist.”  A meteorologist is an individual with specialized education who uses scientific principles to observe, understand, explain, or forecast phenomena in Earth’s atmosphere and/or how the atmosphere affects Earth and life on the planet. This specialized education is most typically in the form of a bachelor's or higher degree in, or with a major or specialization in, meteorology or atmospheric science consistent with the AMS Statement on a Bachelor’s Degree in Atmospheric Science.

There are cases where an individual has not obtained a degree in meteorology or atmospheric science but has gained sufficient knowledge through coursework and/or professional experience to successfully fill professional positions, such as military weather forecasters or positions typically held by degreed meteorologists.  These individuals can also be referred to as meteorologists.  This includes individuals who have obtained and maintain either the AMS Radio or Television Seal of Approval or the AMS Certified Broadcast Meteorologist designation.  Individuals who have little formal education in the atmospheric sciences, and who disseminate weather information and forecasts prepared by others, are properly designated weathercasters.

[This guideline was adopted by the AMS Council on 20 September 2012, and remains in force until modified by the Council.]


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