J6.4 The Roadmap: Become an AMS-Certified Broadcast Meteorologist

Monday, 8 January 2018: 11:00 AM
Ballroom B (ACC) (Austin, Texas)
Irene Sans, WFTV/ClimaData, Orlando, FL; and E. McGiffin

The American Meteorological Society continues to be a strong and a crucial pillar of the weather enterprise. Meteorologists from different branches and across the globe come together at AMS meetings, webinars and local chapters to find a well-trusted organization that will connect them to other scientists and even other professions intertwined with meteorology, to continue expanding their knowledge and network in search for new ways to evolve the science and findings.

As technology advances, the broadcast sector is quickly evolving. Broadcast management leaders have noticed the importance of having a recognized organization, such as the AMS, provide extra certifications to meteorologists, greatly assisting in their search for qualified meteorologists who are also well-rounded scientists that can provide extra support to the news station.

The first certification for on-air meteorologists was launched in 1957. The AMS Seal of Approval recognized on-air meteorologists for their sound delivery of weather information to the general public. Although some requirements must be met to obtain this seal of approval, there was no requirement of a meteorology degree. This program was phased out in 2008 and taken over by the Certified Broadcast Meteorologist seal. The CBM program is a rigorous process to pass, but it raises the professional standard in broadcast meteorology as well as encouraging a wide range of scientific knowledge, embracing the “station scientist” goal.

As of July 2017, there are 545 active CBMs. As we continue to encourage broadcast meteorologists to become CBM, we have also encountered lots of confusion about eligibility, testing procedure, video submission, value and benefits. It will be beneficial to not only to future CBMs but also to the AMS and potential employers to know exactly what this process is about and clearly specifying the steps that must be taken to obtain the prestigious certification.

Since an important portion of the requirements start well prior to obtaining a meteorology degree, our plan is to develop a fully comprehensive roadmap for students to be aware of and follow in order to achieve their goal of becoming a certified broadcast meteorologist. This roadmap will also serve as guidance for those professionals who are deeper into their careers or with advanced degrees and are considering entering media communications. Outlining and simplifying the process will help clear confusions and ease the understanding of eligibility and requirements. We aim to increase the interest of those professionals who are not yet CBMs, and for upcoming generations to prepare ahead of time as they prepare to become a meteorologist, entering the workforce with the right momentum to become AMS certified as soon as they are comfortable.

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