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Trainee Operational Meteorologist – Meteorology Graduate

Company Met Office Location Devon
Contract Permanent Position Salary 20250 - 20250 GBP per Year
Sector(s) Science

Job Description


As a Met Office Operational Meteorologist, you will work at the forefront of weather interpreting real-time data, delivering meteorological services and advising our diverse customer group. No other national meteorological service interprets and applies its forecasts in the same level of detail to meet such a wide range of customer needs.

You will be at the heart of the Met Office’s operations, using our state-of-the-art technology and weather information to support our partners in activities such as informing aviation routes and flight safety, public weather services, utilities companies, marine and offshore work, frontline support for the Armed Forces, emergency/disaster response and enabling fundamental government decisions. From the UK to Cyprus or the Antarctic, you could be part of our weather story and help us to deliver our vision for protection, prosperity and wellbeing.

Join our Trainee Operational Meteorologist – Meteorology Graduate course in August 2019! This course is specifically designed for those with a BSc or MSc in Meteorology.

We train our Operational Meteorologists to maintain our world leading status in weather forecasting. Completing our training programme, you will qualify as an independent meteorologist through a mix of classroom-based learning, on-the-job training, examinations and vocational assessments. Our internationally renowned training is delivered in the Met Office College in our Exeter HQ and in the operational environment working at one of our many Defence customer sites, Met Office Aberdeen or Operations Centre in Exeter HQ.  Once qualified you will have a permanent role at one of our defence or civil sites across the UK.

We will develop your understanding and operational forecasting experience as well as focusing on interpersonal skills (customer engagement and business awareness, communications and relationship building) to ensure you can help us deliver our vision for Operational Meteorologists and excellence in customer service.

Whilst training and once qualified you will work closely with other qualified Operational Meteorologists to produce products and deliver services in real time for customers. Towards the end of your training you will be required to complete work-based competence assessments to achieve the National Occupational Standard that underpin RQF level 5 Meteorological Forecasting Qualification.

Job Purpose

Throughout your training you will be working towards gaining the skills and capabilities to meet the following job responsibilities as a qualified Operational Meteorologist. 

Job Responsibilities
  • Prepare and deliver weather forecasts and impact-based advice to customers through a variety of media.
  • Monitor current and developing weather situations, taking decisive action where required in order to advise customers in a comprehensive and timely manner.
  • Work closely with other meteorologists across the Met Office network to ensure we communicate a consistent weather story.
  • Manage and prioritise workload effectively, particularly in changing circumstances.
  • Deliver services on time, in full and to the quality and standards customers expect from the Met Office.
  • Identify continuous improvements to enable customers to operate in the most safe and cost-effective manner.
Essential Qualifications, Skills & Abilities

You need to ensure you structure your CV and cover letter to address each of these essential criteria.

  1. A degree in meteorology (at 2:2 or higher).
  2. A-level mathematics and AS or A-level physics or the direct equivalent (e.g. IB, Scottish Highers).  If you do not hold A-level mathematics and AS or A-level physics qualifications (or the direct equivalent) you will need to supply alternative evidence that you meet the pre-requisite standard as outlined below*.
  3. Demonstrate your interest in the weather and how it impacts on you.
  4. Evidence of contributing effectively as a member of a team and an understanding of the importance of building and maintaining good working relationships.
  5. Proven ability to ensure people get the information they need, on time and in an appropriate manner and format.
  6. An appreciation of customer needs and the importance of good customer service.
Desirable Qualifications, Skills & Abilities
  1. Ability and desire to work in uniform as an RAF Reservist including passing a medical and fitness standards.


*Required standard of mathematics and physics for Trainee Operational Meteorologists

The foundation course is an intensive course of study.  It uses many of the physical and mathematical concepts covered at A-level and prior knowledge of the following topics is expected:

  • Mathematics:

    Linear algebra and vector calculus; Differential and integral calculus; Ordinary and partial differential equations; Probability theory and statistics.
  • Physics:

    Fundamentals of mechanics; Basic thermodynamics; Wave theory/fluid motion; Basics of electromagnetic radiation/electromagnetism.

Competence in the maths and physics topics listed above will be tested in a technical test (see attached) as part of the selection process.

If you do not hold A-level mathematics and AS or A-level physics qualifications (or the direct equivalent) you will need to supply alternative evidence that you meet the pre-requisite standard in addition to your CV and covering letter.  Alternative ways of demonstrating the standard could include successful completion of a university foundation year in science or successful completion of degree modules that make significant use of the mathematics and physics topics listed above. In these instances, please provide a syllabus outline, or, where possible, a link to online module descriptors (example 1, example 2). The test will likely differ from examples linked to, to include elements of degree level meteorology.


Unsociable shift allowance may be applicable for parts of the on-the-job training, depending upon working pattern. This may also be applicable upon completion of your training.


Additional Supplementary Information

Our Operational Meteorologists work a variety of shifts with the pattern dependant on the customer and location.The most common shift working pattern involves 12 hour shifts covering both days and nights, but other shift patterns including morning/evening and can often include an element of weekend working. During your training you will work standard days whilst studying in the college and shifts when completing your on-the-job training.

There is a requirement for you to be based in Exeter when completing the training with the Met Office College, and you will be based at one of our Defence customer sites (non-Exeter) for your on-the-job training. Please state your preferred location in your application; consideration of your preference will be given, but cannot be guaranteed.

We provide significant investment to put trainees through an intensive training programme and like any business, we expect you to stay with us after your training. If you choose to leave the Met Office within two years of successfully completing your Training Course, you’ll be required to pay back an element of the training costs we have invested in you. If you are successful, your commitment to this will form part of your employment contract.

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