Atmospheric Physics Professor

Teach university students about atmospheric physics.
picture of Atmospheric Physics Professor

Quick Stats

Salary Range
$44,000 – $149,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Atmospheric Physics Professors do?

While most students believe that the Earth is round, an Atmospheric Physics Professor believes that the shape of the Earth can change ever so slightly over time. Atmospheric Physics Professors help students prove their beliefs by teaching them how to model the Earth’s atmosphere through the magic of math.

The courses you teach as an Atmospheric Physics Professor are very specialized, and they target advanced students who already have a solid background in math. Instead of covering basic concepts, you delve into the nitty-gritty of atmospheric physics. The books you ask your students to read support the lectures you give in class, and you augment that information by holding laboratory sessions. As they practice their skills in the lab, you walk among them and answer questions.

Some students have difficulty with advanced concepts, and you make time to listen and coach these students. Others may be gifted in atmospheric physics, and they may come to you with wild theories that they want to explore in graduate programs. Sometimes, you sponsor them in their graduate studies, and you help them conduct their research and prepare it properly.

Often, you conduct research of your own. When a storm occurs, for example, you may perform studies to determine how the oceans are moving or how the clouds pull on the atmosphere. After you conduct your research, you submit papers to reputable journals about what you’ve found. Reading research that other people have conducted helps you stay abreast of changes in your field.

In addition, you help choose new Instructors to teach in your department, and you attend meetings both for your department and your school.

Should I be an Atmospheric Physics Professor?

You should have a doctoral degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Ready for a Challenge: You jump into new projects with initiative and drive.
  • Outside the Box Thinker: Your creative brainpower gets a workout as you come up with innovative ideas.
  • Independent: You enjoy flying solo and doing things your own way.

  • Also known as: Geophysics Teacher

    How to Become an
    Atmospheric Physics Professor

    Most Atmospheric Physics Professors have a Doctorate. Start by getting your Bachelor's degree. Chart?chd=s:aaaaj9&chl=||||master%27s+%2813%25%29|doctorate+%2887%25%29&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,0,87
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