There is a lot more that goes into planning any military mission than troop strength and weaponry.
One of the most important factors in military mission success is being able to operate under ideal weather conditions.
That’s why consulting with an Air Force Weather Specialist is so vital to mission success.
These military weather professionals’ advise commanders as to how the weather may play a role in any upcoming Air Force missions they are planning.
Air Force meteorologists also play an important part as far as safe airfield operations are concerned.
They make sure that military aircraft do not attempt landings and takeoffs in extremely windy weather or other weather conditions that are deemed hazardous to operate in.
Air Force Weather Specialists are experts at taking meteorological data, disseminating it, and then getting it to the commanders that this weather data is important too.
It’s not only a rewarding Air Force career but it’s also an Air Force specialty that often leads to gainful employment in the civilian world too.
Here is a video that describes what it’s like to be an Air Force Weather Specialist:
Air Force Weather Specialist Requirements and Qualifications
Here are the prerequisite and other conditions that it takes to be eligible to enter into training to become an Air Force Weather Specialist.
- Minimum ASVAB Score of 66 in the general category and 55 in the electrical category
- Be between the ages of 17 and 39
- Possess a GED or high school diploma
- Have normal color vision and depth perception
- Be able to lift 40 lbs.
- Visual acuity correctable to 20/20.
- Be able to speak English clearly and distinctly as demonstrated by passing the Reading Aloud Test.
- Successful completion of 8.5 weeks of Air Force Basic Military Training held at Joint Base Lackland in San Antonio, TX (Not required of those with prior military experience or training)
- Completion of a current Single Scope Background Investigation (SSBI) that leads to the ability of an Airman being granted access to Secret of higher level material
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Training and Career Path to Become an Air Force Weather Specialist
This is the training path that all Weather Specialist recruits must undergo in order to do this job full-time in the US Air Force.
Air Force Technical Training Information
Technical training for this Air force career takes place at Keesler AFB, Mississippi.
It lasts approximately 21 weeks.
During this training period, a new Weather Specialist recruit will learn such things as the characteristics and principles of atmospheric weather and space environments.
This includes weather observation, analysis, and prediction principles.
The new recruit will also be taught how to integrate weather and space environment information into mission planning.
They will also become familiar with the use of fixed and deployable meteorological equipment and space weather instruments and systems.
During technical training, recruits will also learn how to maintain and operate weather communications systems and other related support equipment.
This specialty training is geared toward teaching future Air Force meteorologists how to help mitigate Mother Nature’s effects on future missions and current flight operations.
Battlefield Operations Training
A select few Air Force Weather Specialists will also be selected for additional training in combat field skills.
This will help them survive and operate on the battlefield when they are embedded with ground troops as weather advisers.
On the Job Training
With this Air Force specialty, there will be an extensive on the job training phase after technical training.
It will take any aspiring Air Force Weather Specialist many months of hands-on training to get comfortable working with the different weather-related equipment and data that will be available to them.
Once this lengthy training period is completed, an enlisted member will then be able to handle the various duties that an Air Force Weather Specialist is asked to perform.
Related Article – Air Force Radar, Airfield & Weather Systems (1C8X3): Career Profile
How Much Are Air Force Weather Specialists Paid?
Most new recruits into this career field will initially be classified as an Airman Basic (E-1).
Those with relevant weather experience or education may be placed as high as an Airman (E-2) or Airman First Class (E-3) in starting rank.
|Insignia||Pay Grade||Rank||Abbreviation||2019 Pay (Monthly)|
|E-3||Airman First Class||A1C||$1,981|
|E-8||Senior Master Sergeant||SMSgt||$4,345|
|E-9||Chief Master Sergeant||CMSgt||$5,308|
|E-9||Command Chief Master Sergeant||CCM||$5,429|
|E-9||Chief Master Sergeant Of The Air Force||CMSAF||$5,580|
Other forms of pay and incentives may include such things as:
- Housing allowance for those that live off base (BAH)
- Subsistence allowance (Food – BAS)
- Temporary duty pay
- Hazardous duty pay
- Separation pay
- Cost of living incentives
- Tuition reimbursement
Of course, all health care for any Air Force member is always 100% paid for.
What’s Life Like as an Air Force Weather Specialist?
This an interesting and challenging career field where one must take the weather analysis skills they have learned and properly relate them to Air Force missions and operations.
Among the many tasks that an Air Force Weather Specialist will be asked to perform are:
- Use satellite and radar imagery, computer-generated data and weather instruments to analyze and predict forecast atmospheric and space weather conditions.
- Interpret and then communicate weather information to meet current operational needs.
- Issue weather advisories, watches and warnings to alert those who need to know about dangerous or operationally significant weather events.
- Manage weather operations in such a way that it ensures quality and accurate weather data get to those that need it to fulfill mission requirements.
This is a fast-paced job that involves extensive computer research and analysis time to get it done right.
Here is a YouTube video that talks more about what Air Force Meteorologists do:
Most of those that review this Air Force job position state hat this career is rewarding and interesting but somewhat understaffed too.
This creates the potential for some long working hours.
Despite this fact, those who reviewed this job recommend it to those who are interested in going into the Air Force.
Here are some job reviews done by those who have previously or currently work as Air Force Weather Specialists.
These reviews were taken from the website Glassdoor.com.
Related Article – Air Force Special Missions Aviation (1A9x1): Career Details
Air Force Weather Specialist Civilian Career Opportunities
Those who enter into this Air Force Career field generally have a fairly easy time finding jobs.
Weather plays a factor in so many things that many companies like to hire those that have a background in meteorologist services.
These jobs also tend to have above-average starting salaries for those that conducted themselves well while serving as a weather specialist in the US Air Force.
Many of them pay well over $50,000 per year to start.
An Ex-Air Force Weather Specialist will also be able to find a job in many different locations around the country.
The types of jobs that former Air Force Weather Specialists capably fill include:
- Working in broadcast media as a weather specialist
- Supporting airfield weather operations
- Marine weather
- Weather equipment support
- Environmental weather monitoring
- Working for the department of commerce
- Scientific weather support
Here are some examples of companies that are known to seek out the types of services that former Air Force Weather Specialists can provide for them:
- IMSG/NOAA – College Park, MD
- Sinclair Broadcast Group – Conway, SC
- Tenet Headquarters – Dallas, TX
- The E.W. Scripps Company – Great Falls, MT
- Tribune Media Company – Salt Lake City, UT
- Nielsen-Kellerman – Boothwyn, PA
- Walt Disney Television – Durham, NC