From professional engineers to chartered chemists, to registered professional foresters. Meteorology is one of the latest fields to develop a professional designation.
It's called the professional meteorologist certification, or P. Met.
“To become a professional meteorologist, the very first thing is an individual must have completed university degree at the baccalaureate level, and have a post-graduate certificate in meteorology,” says Grant Trump, President and CEO of ECO Canada. “They also must have five years of documented meteorological experience.”
The qualifications don't end there. An applicant must then go and compare themselves against the national occupational standards for meteorologists.
“Once they meet that, they must have three individuals who will attest that they have those particular competencies,” explains Trump. “Once they meet those qualifications, they write an online professional ethics exam.”
Getting certified is no easy task. Jaymie Gadal told The Weather Network that it felt great to be one of the very first meteorologists in the country to become P.Met certified.
“In any profession credibility is important,” says Gadal. “If you tell someone: go out and hire a meteorologist, how would they know who to hire? It's very important to have established credentials within the trade, so that people can find it easy to just know who to hire. And have a lot of confidence when they do that they're getting someone who has proven competence in the field.”
David Grimes is with Environment Canada, and is also the current President of the World Meteorlogical Organization. He says this certification will help not only Canadians, but other organizations around the world, looking at how they would look at certification and the competencies necessary to be a meteorologist.
“The world meteorological organization, which is the body that coordinates meteorological services and science on behalf of the United Nations, is looking at developing these competency profiles,” Grimes explains. “There are a few countries around the world that have gone further and have established something similar to Canada. But I wouldn't say that that is by vast the majority of countries. That would be a few select countries that felt the importance of doing that.”