AMS Certification Programs
What is the Certified Broadcast Meteorologist Program?
In January 2005, the AMS introduced a new program called the Certified Broadcast Meteorologist (CBM) program, intended to raise the professional standard in broadcast meteorology and encourage a broader range of scientific understanding, especially with respect to environmental issues. The goal of the CBM program is to certify that the holder meets specific educational and experience criteria and has passed rigorous testing in their knowledge and communication of meteorology and related sciences needed to be an effective broadcast meteorologist.
In order to acquire a CBM, new applicants must hold a degree in meteorology (or equivalent) from an accredited college/university, pass a written examination, and have their work reviewed to assess technical competence, informational value, explanatory value, and communication skills. All CBMs may retain their certification and display the CBM logo as long as they pay their membership and renewal fees each year and complete certain professional development requirements every five years.
Current AMS Sealholders (those who earned or applied for the Seal prior to January 1, 2005 ) are not required to hold a degree in meteorology (or equivalent). These Sealholders may qualify for the CBM designation if they pass the written exam.
How does a broadcast meteorologist obtain the CBM designation?
Application to the AMS CBM Program is a three-step process. First, one must complete an application. New applications will be accepted only from individuals who hold a bachelor’s or higher degree in atmospheric science or meteorology (or the equivalent) from an accredited college/university. Note that current AMS Sealholders (those who earned or applied for the Seal prior to January 1, 2005) are not required to meet this criteria. These Sealholders may qualify for the CBM designation if they pass the written exam.
Second, the applicant must pass a “closed book” examination referred to as the “CBM Exam” to demonstrate knowledge of general meteorology. The AMS has contracted with a testing company, LaserGrade, to administer the examinations at their test centers. LaserGrade has 700 test centers throughout the US. Applicants will receive information on how to register for the exam once they apply. Applicants must score a grade of 75 or higher in order to pass the written exam.
Finally, applicants successfully satisfying the educational requirement and who pass the CBM Exam will then submit tapes of three consecutive working weathercasts for review by the AMS Broadcast Board. The tapes will be reviewed based on technical competence, informational value, explanatory value, and communication skills. Those applicants who already hold an AMS Seal of Approval are not required to submit tapes for review.
What is the AMS Seal of Approval?
The AMS Seal of Approval was launched in 1957 as a way to recognize on-air meteorologists for their sound delivery of weather information to the general public. Among radio and television meteorologists, the AMS Seal of Approval is sought as a mark of distinction. To date, the Society has awarded more than 1,400 Seals of Approval.
How does a broadcast meteorologist obtain the Seal of Approval?
The Society awards the Seal of Approval to broadcast meteorologists who meet established criteria for scientific competence and effective communication skills in their weather presentations. In addition to meeting the professional membership requirements for the Society, broadcasters must submit three examples of their work, which are evaluated by a national board of examiners to assess technical competence, informational value, explanatory value, and communication skills. If the applicant meets these criteria they are awarded the AMS Seal of Approval and can display the Seal on the air. All current Sealholders may retain and display their Seals as long as they pay their membership and renewal fees each year and complete certain professional development requirements every five years.
How do these two programs differ?
The main difference between the two programs is education and the exam. To apply for the CBM, applicants must hold a bachelor’s or higher degree in atmospheric science or meteorology (or the equivalent) from an accredited college/university. Current AMS Sealholders (those that earned the Seal prior to January 1, 2005 ) are not required to meet this criteria. These Sealholders may qualify for the CBM designation if they pass the written exam. All CBM applicants must pass the written exam to earn the CBM designation.
Will AMS Sealholders automatically be awarded the CBM designation?
No, AMS Sealholders will not be automatically elevated to the CBM designation. Current AMS Sealholders (those who received the Seal prior to January 2005 or applied by December 31, 2004 ) who want to obtain the CBM must apply and then take the CBM exam. If they pass the exam they will be awarded CBM status.
Will AMS Sealholders be required to upgrade to the CBM?
Sealholders are not required to upgrade to a CBM. Application to this program is completely voluntary. Sealholders wishing to upgrade to CBM without having to meet the requirement of a degree in atmospheric sciences must apply before January 1, 2009 . After that date, all Sealholders will have to meet all the requirements required by the CBM including holding a bachelor’s or higher degree in atmospheric science or meteorology (or the equivalent) from an accredited college/university.
Can broadcast meteorologists still apply for the AMS Seal?
Yes, broadcast meteorologists can still apply for the AMS Seal through December 2008. After this date, the only broadcast certification program accepting applicants will be the CBM program. All current Sealholders may retain and display their Seals as long as they pay their membership and renewal fees each year and complete the professional development requirements every five years.
What does it cost to apply for and renew the AMS Seal and CBM?
The initial application fee for the AMS Seal is $300 for members and $600 for non-members. The initial application fee for the CBM for new applications is $300 for members and $600 for non-members. The application fee for the CBM for current AMS Sealholders is $150. In addition, for the CBM there is a $45 examination fee to be paid at the test site.
The annual renewal fee for the AMS Seal and CBM is $160 for AMS members and $250 for non-members.
What is the Certified Consulting Meteorologist Program?
The CCM program is a service for the general public by the AMS. The Society has established high standards of technical competence, character, and experience for certified consultants who provide advice in meteorology to the public. The CCM program was established to ensure that certain individuals have been tested and found to meet or exceed those standards. The purpose of certification in the CCM program is fourfold:
1) To foster the establishment and maintenance of a high level of professional competency and mature and ethical counsel in the field of consulting meteorology;
2) To provide a basis on which a client seeking assistance on problems of a meteorological nature may be confident of mature, competent, and ethical professional counsel;
3) To provide incentive for the continued professional growth of the meteorologist after completion of his or her academic training;
4) To enhance the prestige, authority, success, and emoluments of consulting meteorology specifically, and of professional meteorology generally, by promoting such a consistently high order of professional activity that unqualified practitioners will either labor to achieve this recognition or retire from the field.
How does one become a Certified Consulting Meteorologist?
Application for designation as a Certified Consulting Meteorologist is made through the headquarters office of the Society. The application materials are then forwarded by that office to the Board for its consideration. The requirements are expressed in the application form. Only those individuals with the necessary qualifications and dedication to the ideals of the program will be approved for certification. Certification is applicable to individuals only and not to organizations.