Topic outline

  • Career as a Meteorologist

    Initial MeteorologyTraining

    At the Australian Bureau of Meteorology Training Centre (BMTC) we offer two initial training pathways for those wishing to become a Meteorologist; a Graduate Diploma in Meteorology and a shorter Basic Instruction Package-Meteorologist course (BIP-M).  As a global meteorological educator BMTC has a reputation for excellence, particularly in tropical meteorology and satellite meteorology.

    This course is offered to graduates recruited through the Bureau of Meteorology's annual graduate intake, and trainees sponsored by their national weather service or private weather company. We do not take private students at this time.

    Key benefits:

      Internationally recognised Meteorologist qualification;

      Role-focussed learning approach for easy transition to a career as an opertaional meteorologist;

      Purpose built training facilities;

      Highly qualified teaching staff, all with operational experience.


    Internationally recognised Meteorologist qualification

    The Graduate Diploma and BIP-M both satisfy WMO requirements1 for the classification of Meteorologist.

    The Bureau’s global leadership in satellite and tropical meteorology means that expert instructors can tailor content specific to international students' geographic regions, facilitating easier transition back to their local forecasting unit. 

    The BMTC is also recognised as a WMO Virtual Laboratory Centre of Excellence in Satellite Meteorology, and is registered with the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS) which means that we are authorised to accept international students.


    Role-focused learning approach

    Students will regularly use a range of forecasting tools and applications as part of their learning exercises, enabling them to develop weather watch and nowcasting capabilities. The Bureau’s leading technology, including our ‘Visual Weather’ system, helps develop forecasting skill in any geographic location.

    Course content includes both traditional theory and operational forecasting. Graduates will be ready to undertake a period of on-the-job forecasting training within their region of responsibility.

    Graduates will be able to:

    • make weather reports to the standard necessary to ensure the safety of aircraft;
    • meet the mandatory minimum standards of 'theoretical knowledge' for aeronautical observers required by ICAO/WMO/CAA policy;
    • demonstrate an acceptable level of knowledge of meteorological theory for airspace responsibility;
    • employ numerical guidance effectively as the basis of the forecast;
    • interpret actual and forecast data correctly and identify the most relevant data for any given situation;
    • produce weather forecasts consistent with the guidance and other relevant data;
    • present forecast products to an acceptable standard and in the style required by customers;
    • monitor the latest data - amending forecasts and issuing warnings when appropriate;
    • be an effective member of an operational forecasting team.


    Course Content

    The BIP-M course is of 25 weeks duration. Studies focus on covering the learning outcomes contained within the WMO-No.1083 document, as well as practical forecasting exercises and a 1 week aviation forecasting exercise. There is an additional 1 weeks equivalent of online refresher material in fundamental mathematics and physics to complete before arrival.

    The Graduate Diploma in Meteorology is of 34 weeks duration. This qualification is equivalent to one academic year and is of a similar standard to the honours year of a Bachelor degree. This course contains the BIP-M content outlined above, plus further studies which can include:

    • Extended Tailored Tropical Meteorology program for international students,
    • Forecasting exercises relevant to the student's region,
    • 3 week practical forecasting exercise, comprising aviation, public and marine forecasting. 
    • Advanced topics in meteorology, including advanced dyanamics

    Full details are available in our Handbook.

    Our course content is driven by leading science and technologies and includes the use of newly available Himawari-8 geostationary meteorological satellite imagery and data.

    Location and Timing

    Both initial training options will be conducted at the Bureau of Meteorology Training Centre (BMTC) Glenlitta campus in Melbourne.  Melbourne is known for its varied and dynamic culture. It is rated as Australia’s best and most livable city for students.

    Dates for the 2018 courses are:

    BIP-M program   Graduate Diploma   
    Course commencment:    Mon 21 Jan 2019 Mon 21 Jan 2019
    Course graduation: Fri 9 Aug 2019 Thu  3 Oct 2019


    An undergraduate degree, majoring in Mathematics and/or a Physical or Atmospheric Science; with at least 2nd Year Mathematics and 2nd Year Physical Science. The course is delivered in English, so potential applicants should also be able to demonstrate competence in English. For those who have English as a second language, a common exam like IELTS can be taken to help demonstrate this.

    Course Cost

    The BIP-M and Graduate Diploma are available to international students on a fee paying basis. These students need to be nominated or supported by a Meteorological agency and fund their travel, accommodation and living expenses. Course costs can be obtained by contacting the Manager, Meteorologist Initial Training.


    Nominate now for enrolment to the 2019 Graduate Diploma in Meteorology.

     1: Satisfying the Basic Instructional Package – Meteorology learning outcomes articulated in WMO-No.1083: “Manual on the Implementation of Education and Training Standards in Meteorology & Hydrology: Volume I – Meteorology”.