Ocean Engineering and Sciences

National Weather Service (NWS) Career

National Weather ServiceThe National Weather Service (NWS) is one of the largest employers of meteorologists in the United States. A National Weather Service career is one of the most highly sought after careers for meteorologist. The NWS provides weather, hydrologic, and climate forecasts and warnings for the United States, its territories, adjacent waters and ocean areas, for the protection of life and property and the enhancement of the national economy. NWS data and products form a national information database and infrastructure which can be used by other governmental agencies, the private sector, the public, and the global community. If you are lucky enough to have an National Weather Service career, you will get to work in one of the five NWS regions (Central, Eastern, Southern, Western, and Alaska) each of which has a Regional Support Center and Regional Climate Center. In addition, the NWS also has a number of River Forecast Centers, Regional Climate Centers and specialized centers.

Volunteering at the local NWS Weather Forecast Office

The Melbourne NWS Weather Forecast Office (NWSFO), is one of six Florida NWSFOs. A number of Florida Tech students have passed through the doors of this office on their way out into the real world of weather forecasting. Each of these Florida Tech students were recipients of the Student Career Experience Program (SCEP) positions. The opportunity offers students a direct path into a National Weather Service career – unfortunately these positions are difficult to come by, but can be facilitated by first volunteering. Students typically participate at a ‘local’ office in proximity to their university – which allows the student some flexibility regarding their academic schedules. The student is required to work 640 hours at their WFO in order to qualify for full National Weather Service career employment post-graduation. Former Florida Tech SCEP students who are now employed with an NWS career include Arlena Moses (Melbourne WFO) and Will Ulrich (Key West WFO).

Florida Tech and WFO collaborations

Florida Tech has a history of collaboration with the Melbourne and Miami WFOs – having received a number of COMET and NOAA (CSTAR) grants in association with “applied” research projects over the past decade. Florida Tech just recently received a small COMET grant to test a prototype “set-up” wind-forced hydrodynamic model of the Indian River Lagoon.

Tour the NWS Forecast Office

Located approximately 6 miles from campus, Florida Tech students typically have a chance to visit (tour) the Melbourne WFO once or twice per year – usually by the way of their introductory meteorology course OCN2407 or via the Florida Tech Student Chapter of the AMS (FITSCAMS). Given the level of collaboration, Florida Tech research personnel also visit the office regularly. If your dream is to have a National Weather Service career, we will do our best to help you make it happen.


Learn more about the meteorology programs at Florida Tech

BS - Meteorology

MS - Meteorology

Contact Info

Dr. Steven Lazarus
Phone: (321) 394-2160