Meteorological technicians are responsible for the collection of meteorological information. Their work includes the rendering of meteorological advisory services, the operating and maintenance of a weather observation network throughout the whole of South Africa, and research and training.
Except for a few specialists, technicians render almost all of the climatological services at the Weather Bureau. Before any meteorological forecast can be made, the technician must collect a large amount of meteorological information.
Observations are made of different elements such as temperature, atmospheric pressure, visibility and clouds. Various aids such as computers, radar and automatic weather stations are used to make these observations. Meteorological instrument technicians are responsible for the maintenance of this apparatus.
After a meteorological technician has checked all the information, it is sent to the most important weather offices with the use of meteorological codes. Sometimes observations are sent directly to air navigation and marine offices. Weather offices at all the major airports are manned by meteorological technicians who provide more than 300 flight forecasts daily to air navigation. Forecasts are also provided to agriculture, industry and the general public. Records are kept of all observations and added to a computerized data bank.
Meteorological technicians may work in weather stations at airports or at stations in isolated areas. They work shifts and some weather offices are open for 24 hours every day. Meteorological instrument technicians are responsible for the installation, maintenance and development of electronic and sophisticated equipment such as electronic airport systems and weather radar.
- working both indoors and outdoors
- the challenge of trying to predict the weather
- working shifts and long hours
- making the wrong weather predictions
- stress of meeting deadlines
A meteorological technician should:
- have mathematical and scientific aptitude;
- have good observational skills;
- work accurately;
- be responsible;
- be attentive;
- work independently.
National Senior Certificate meeting degree requirements for a degree course
National Senior Certificate meeting diploma requirements for a diploma course
Each institution will have its own minimum entry requirements.
Compulsory Subjects: Mathematics, Physical Sciences
Recommended Subjects: Geography
Degree: BSc with appropriate subjects - most universities. The course, Geography, Geoinformatics and Meteorology can be taken at UP, Soil-, Crop- and Climate Sciences - UFS
The Department of Environmental Affairs employs meteorological technicians. Full salary is received during in-service training and a contract must be signed with the Department of Environmental Affairs to work for them for four years after the completion of training.
- Department of Environmental Affairs
- Weather ships
- Marion island
- Gough island
Irene Weather office
Private Bag X08
Tel: (012) 665-1591
Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism
Tel: (012) 310-3661
Fax: (012) 322-0082
P O Box 395
Tel: (012) 841-2911
Fax: (012) 349-1153