Certified Consulting Meteorologist Program (CCM)

The AMS has established high standards of technical competence, character, and experience for those who seek to provide advice and consultation in meteorology. The principal purpose of the program is to enable users of meteorological services to select consultants with greater confidence in the quality and reliability of the products and services they will receive. CCMs must demonstrate exemplary qualities of character and devotion to high professional standards. CCMs are highly regarded by their peers in meteorology. They are considered experts in the application of weather information to a host of practical challenges ranging from specialized forecasts to engineering design support and expert testimony on weather-related court cases.

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The value of becoming a Certified Consulting Meteorologist (CCM) is knowing that the American Meteorological Society stands behind the CCM program and that every CCM stands behind not only your knowledge of meteorology, but also your professional standards, as well as your personal integrity.

  • You prove to yourself that you possess the attributes of a CCM;
  • You are competitive in the marketplace;
  • Your knowledge, skills, and credibility will become better known within the community;
  • Your clients know they are receiving the highest quality service;
  • You can have a lifelong association with fellow CCMs, and opportunities for knowledge sharing;
  • You have an opportunity to serve within the CCM community, furthering the goals of the AMS and shaping the future of the CCM program;
  • Your long term value of the CCM program far outweighs the effort required to become a CCM.

Additional benefits of becoming a CCM include:

Professional recognition

The CCM designation is granted only to those who demonstrate a broad background in meteorology together with a detailed knowledge in a particular field of specialization.  CCMs must demonstrate exemplary qualities of character and devotion to high professional standards.


Quarterly newsletters

All active CCMs receive a quarterly newsletter. This newsletter is intended to enhance communication between CCMs, the CCM Board and AMS. It provides information about the ongoing activities of the CCM program. CCMs are also encouraged to share information about their work by submitting articles for publication.


Professional Development

A 28 point professional development requirement every 5 years helps keep you abreast of new scientific research and tools. Attending conferences, serving as a lead forecaster on special events, mentoring a high school student, serving as an expert witness, or authoring a peer reviewed paper are just a few of the many ways to stay current in the field.


Networking opportunities

Join hundreds of other consulting meteorologists at the AMS Annual Meeting and attend or present at the CCM Forum. Organized by the CCM Board, the forum covers a wide variety of topics of interest to CCMs. Past forums have included session on forensic meteorology, alternate energy, applications of water resources, hydrometeorological analyses, emergency response planning and operations (public health), and starting a meteorological business. Better yet, join the Board of Certified Consulting Meteorologists, made up of other CCMs, and become an instrumental part in planning future conferences and events. Other networking opportunities include seeing old friends and meeting news ones at the CCM breakfast held each year at the Annual Meeting.


Career Advancement

AMS certifications have been nationally recognized as the standard in meteorological certification since 1957 and employers understand the high level of expertise that comes with receiving the Certified Consulting Meteorologist (CCM) designation. Earning a CCM will set you apart from other candidates and provide you with a competitive edge.


Respect of your peers 

CCMs are highly regarded by their peers. They are considered experts in the application of weather information to a host of practical challenges ranging from specialized forecasts to engineering design support and expert testimony on weather-related court cases. 


Confidence of the general public

Certification enables users of meteorological services to select consultants or employees with greater confidence in the quality and reliability of the products or services they will receive.


Social media presence

CCMs can discuss topics of interest and ask and give advice to each other through the CCM LinkedIn page, available only to active CCMs. The CCM logo may only be displayed by individuals who have earned the designation. This mark of distinction, displayed on your social media pages and web site, sets you apart as an expert in communicating complex weather information. 

 

As a minimum, applicants must meet one of the below requirements and have a minimum of five years of work at the professional level in meteorology or a related field. Substitution of a postgraduate degree below the doctorate is permitted for one year of experience, and substitution of the doctorate degree in meteorology for up to two years is allowable.

(A) Hold a Bachelor's (or higher) degree in meteorology or atmospheric science.

(B) Hold a Bachelor's degree (or higher) in "other sciences and engineering" and be engaged in an activity in which the applicant's knowledge is being applied to the advancement or application of the atmospheric or related sciences. Acceptable degrees will be determined after a review of the applicant’s college/university transcripts. Arts and humanities are not included; therefore, degrees in English, literature, philosophy, languages, journalism, communications and business administration would not lead to eligibility for CCM application.

(C) Have at least 20 semester credit hours in meteorology with 12 of the 20 credits in core classes (a minimum of 2 credits in each of 4 of the 5 core areas is required).

At least 12 of the 20 credits must be in areas of:

1. Atmospheric or Oceanographic Dynamics

2. Atmospheric or Oceanographic Thermodynamics

3. Physical Meteorology or Physical Oceanography

4. Synoptic Meteorology (or Weather Systems) or Synoptic Oceanography

5. Hydrology

Missing a few courses? Find a college/university with a meteorology program near you in the online Curricula or search our list of approved distance learning courses.


APPLICATION CHECKLIST
  • CCM application
  • College/university transcript(s)
  • Application Fee: $300 for AMS Members; $600 for Non-members*; Reapplication Fee: $100 for AMS Members; $200 for Non-members

*Non-members may apply for AMS membership and pay the member rate.

The annual renewal fee for the CCM is $110 for AMS Members and $500 for Non-members.

Acceptable payments: Check (made payable to AMS) or credit card (Visa, MasterCard, or American Express)

To earn the CCM credential, a meteorologist must make application for the designation, be recommended by three associates, pass a stringent written examination, and pass an oral examination before a national board of examiners.  The CCM designation is granted only to those who demonstrate a broad background in meteorology together with detailed knowledge in a particular field of specialization. 
 

Written examination

The written examination is in two parts. The first is an “open-book” examination which consists of several standard questions intended to test the applicant’s general meteorological background and several questions intended to probe more deeply his or her own area of specialty or expertise. In responding to the questions the candidate may use all available resources, except that he or she may not discuss the questions with any other individual person or persons. A period of 90 days is normally suggested as sufficient to complete the written part of the examination.

 

An essay representing the candidate’s professional work must be submitted as the second part of the written assignment. A CCM candidate must demonstrate that he/she possesses the ability to apply his or her meteorological knowledge beneficially to the affairs of mankind and communicate that knowledge to the public. Usually a client does not have the same technical expertise as the hired consultant; therefore, it is essential that the consultant be able to provide a written product that communicates effectively to any non-technical user. This report may not be more than five years old at the time of submission. It must adequately address the twin objectives of demonstrating both meteorological analytical skill and effective communication to a non-technical audience. 
 

Consulting Essay Guidelines

 
Written examination grading procedures as of 1 November 2020

To pass the written portion of the exam, the candidate must fulfill the following three steps: (1) the average score for the 15 written questions must be 70 or higher; (2) the candidate must score an average of 70 or higher on at least 9 of the 15 questions; and (3) the candidate must score an average of 70 or higher on the consulting essay portion of the written material. If the outcome of the above three steps are not met, the exam is deemed a failure and no oral review will be conducted for that applicant.

 

Oral examination

Applicant achieving a passing grade on the combined written exam and technical report are qualified for an oral exam. The oral portion of the examination is normally conducted during the Annual Meeting of the AMS but may also be conducted through a virtual testing process. Commonly the full Board participates, but a panel of at least 3 Board members is required.  

The oral examination may cover any hydro-meteorological topic. It usually consists of a discussion of the applicant’s written examination materials, his or her technical report and summary, and any other topics deemed appropriate by the Panel. Questions also are used to explore the candidate’s knowledge of areas identified by the candidate as their area of specialization. The Board, at their discretion, may pose questions using visual material such as isobaric maps, Doppler radar maps, satellite maps or numerical weather prediction products. The oral exam always includes a discussion of hypothetical situations that arise in consulting activities and a discussion of professional ethics.

Applicants will be given a list of any questions and/or consulting essay sections for which their aggregate score across all graders was less than 70, to assist them with preparing for the oral exam. No information on the identity of, or scoring from, individual graders will be provided. Immediately prior to the oral examination the candidate will be given a short written quiz on basic meteorological knowledge.

Following each examination the participating members vote individually on their recommendation for each candidate. The ballot poses a series of questions each of which require the grader to assign a numerical value from 1 to 10.  A passing grade is a mean score of 7 or higher.  Certification will be recommended if a majority of graders have scored the candidate at or above 7 points.

Results of the Board’s vote are communicated to the Commissioner on Professional Affairs.

Read full procedures

Appeals process

Report Guidelines prior to 1 January 2020

Certification is for a period of one year, and can be renewed annually. Renewals are billed by the AMS in conjunction with annual membership and subscription notices. If an individual fails to renew certification or fails to achieve an acceptable level of continuing professional development during the five-year period following certification or the completion of the most recent continuing professional development period, the certification will be considered Inactive.

Inactive Status

Inactive CCMs can’t practice as a CCM or market themselves as CCMs. Those wishing to acknowledge their past active CCM status in resumes may do so, but must list the years from initial certification to when they lapsed into Inactive status.

Retired Status

Retired CCMs may request that their status be changed to 'retired'. CCMs with a retired status are no longer required to pay the CCM renewal fee and do not need to complete the professional development requirement. Those wishing to acknowledge their past active CCM status in resumes may do so, but must list the years from initial certification to when their status changed to retired.

Reactivation

Reactivation of an Inactive certification can be obtained under the following situations:

  1. If the certification has become Inactive due to failure to pay the renewal fee, and has been Inactive for less than three years, active status can be obtained by paying the renewal fee for the inactive year(s) and the current renewal.
  2. If the certification has become Inactive because insufficient continuing professional development activities or insufficient documentation had been completed in the required five-year continuing professional development period, and the certification has been Inactive for less than three years, the certification can be reactivated upon completion of sufficient continuing professional development activities in the five year period preceding the request for reactiviation and with the payment of the renewal fee for the inactive year(s) and the current renewal.
  3. If the individual has been inactive in the atmospheric, hydrospheric, or related sciences for three or more years or the individual’s certification has been inactive for some other reason for more than three years complete reapplication for certification may be necessary.  Individuals in these circumstances should contact the CCM Board chair for guidance.

CCMs must demonstrate exemplary qualities of character and devotion to high professional standards. Relations with fellow meteorologists, and with clients or employers, should be conducted in a spirit conforming in full to the Society’s Guidelines for Professional Conduct (Article XII of the Constitution). The applicant’s record of professional work should clearly indicate that he or she maintains those traits for conduct complying fully with the Society's Guidelines for Professional Conduct and applying generally in public contacts.

There will be one or more questions on ethics on the written examination and the oral exam may include a discussion of hypothetical situations that arise in professional practice including those related to ethics.

Recommended reading list to prepare for the CCM oral exam:

AMS Constitution, Article XII. Guidelines for Professional Conduct

Business Ethics for Professional Meteorology

AMS Statement: Professional Guideline on Use of the Term Meteorologist

Guidelines for Use of the AMS CCM Logo