Preparing Students for Employment in the Private Sector

The AMS Financial Weather/Climate Risk Management (FinWxRisk) Committee and the Board of Private Sector Meteorologists (BPSM) created a mission to build tangible links between the weather/climate community and the broad community of business and government decision-makers whose financial performances are affected by weather/climate risk.

Enterprises across the breadth of sectors that apply meteorological expertise to manage financial risk include energy, insurance, weather data/forecasting, commodities trading, supply chain management, and others. These industries increasingly rely on meteorological expertise but often leverage this expertise in professional positions called Energy Analyst, Insurance Analyst, Supply Chain Analyst, Transportation Manager, Manufacturing Coordinator, Business Continuity Analyst, Quantitative Researcher, Data Scientist, Crop Analyst, Flight Dispatcher, Commodity Trader, and others.

The subject areas listed below can be viewed as common non-meteorological industries where meteorology graduates find employment. The courses listed beneath each subject area can complement the standard offerings of the meteorology curriculum. At most universities, the courses would be offered outside of the meteorology or atmospheric science department. The FinWxRisk committee and BPSM recommend these courses for any students considering one of these unconventional career paths.


Two things that are extremely important for acquiring employment in any area of the private sector are: 

1) Oral and written communications

The best science, project plan or presentation, or research results will fail if it is not effectively communicated.  Whether it’s communicating to business colleagues, clients, students or companies, information must be shared to the knowledge level of your audience. In any future role, odds are that it will require frequent client and colleague interaction. The skill of translating complex knowledge into simple terms will be necessary for success.

2) Networking

For better or worse, many opportunities in the private sector for employment are shared by word of mouth rather than job boards and postings. Building your network as early as possible, coupled with a passion for what you look to achieve with your education and eventual career, will aid a smooth transition in your next career steps. Networking is key.