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Meteorology & Oceanography

US Navy Meteorology and Oceanography (METOC) officers collaborate to deliver a timely forecast.

Meteorology & Oceanography

In America’s Navy, nearly every mission is affected by ocean and weather. It’s up to Meteorology and Oceanography (METOC) Officers to deliver timely, accurate data and forecasts to ensure mission success.

In America’s Navy, nearly every mission is affected by ocean and weather. It’s up to Meteorology and Oceanography (METOC) Officers to deliver timely, accurate data and forecasts to ensure mission success.

Meet real Sailors & learn from their experiences.
Naval chart displaying inclement weather that could affect naval operations.

About This Job

Planning an air strike. Charting the best course for a deployed ship. Identifying currents that affect a submarine underway. Whatever the scenario, meteorology and oceanography are factors that inevitably come into play. And Officers in this field help lead efforts to ensure safe and successful operations as they:

  • Deliver a timely and accurate understanding of operational conditions from sea to space
  • Manage those who monitor the surrounding physical environment
  • Forecast weather conditions
  • Serve as a key part of the Information Dominance Corps in its mission to gain a deep understanding of the inner workings of adversaries and develop unmatched knowledge of the battlespace during wartime
part time
full time
Full Time
Part Time

Whether operating in the air, at sea or below it, Navy equipment, people and decision making all rely on the technical and tactical advice of Navy Meteorology and Oceanography (METOC) Officers. They apply expertise in all facets of oceanography, meteorology, hydrography, and precise time and astronomy as they:

  • Help guide ships, aircraft and troops with recommendations based on weather forecasts and ocean conditions
  • Relay forecast updates and weather warnings to military and civilian authorities
  • Prepare ocean, sea and waterway charts and maps for anything from basic navigation to search-and-rescue efforts
  • Maintain the military’s primary master clock, which provides the most precise time interval in the world and drives the Global Positioning System (GPS)
  • Oversee the work of Aerographer’s Mates – Enlisted Sailors (no degree required) who monitor weather conditions and provide forecast information
Full Time
Part Time

Serving part-time as a Reservist, your duties will be carried out during your scheduled drilling and training periods. During monthly drilling, Meteorology and Oceanography Officers in the Navy Reserve typically work at a location close to their homes.

For Annual Training, they may serve anywhere in the world, whether on ships or at facilities on land, both home and abroad.

Take a moment to learn more about the general roles and responsibilities of Reservists.

Full Time
Part Time

Most of what you do in the Navy Reserve is considered training. The basic Navy Reserve commitment involves training a minimum of one weekend a month (referred to as drilling) and two weeks a year (referred to as Annual Training) – or the equivalent.

Meteorology and Oceanography Officers in the Navy Reserve serve in an Officer role. Before receiving the ongoing professional training that comes with this job, initial training requirements must be met.


For current or former Navy Officers (NAVET): Prior experience satisfies the initial leadership training requirement – so you will not need to go through Officer Training again.

For current or former Officers of military branches other than the Navy (OSVET) as well as for Officer candidates without prior military experience: You will need to meet the initial leadership training requirement by attending the 12-day Direct Commission Officer (DCO) School in Newport, R.I. This will count as your first Annual Training.

Full Time
Part Time

Beyond professional credentials and certifications, Meteorology and Oceanography Officers can advance their education by:

Oceanography and Meteorology Officers eventually earn a dual master's degree in meteorology and physical oceanography at Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) in Monterey, Calif. There are opportunities to receive informal business training in areas such as budget/finance, manpower, and research and development. And beyond that, you could potentially earn a doctoral degree while being paid full-time as a Navy Officer.

Full Time
Part Time

A four-year degree is required to work as a Meteorology and Oceanography Officer. Candidates seeking an Officer position in this community must have a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution in a technical field, preferably in areas of study such as physics, physics-based oceanography, meteorology, hydrography, earth science; or engineering.

All candidates must also be U.S. citizens, eligible for a secret security clearance and qualified for sea duty.

General qualifications may vary depending upon whether you’re currently serving, whether you’ve served before or whether you’ve never served before.

Paid training. Competitive salary. Comprehensive health coverage. Generous vacation. World travel. The list goes on.
US Navy servicemen raise US flag.
US Navy servicemen raise US flag.