What it does: Predicts the weather
Staff stats: Around 1600
The good bits: Always knowing when to pack an umbrella
The not so good bits: Unsociable hours
The Bureau of Meteorology story
In 1906, Australia’s recently created federal government passed the Meteorology Act. This brought together the various state meteorological services then in existence. A couple of years later, the Bureau of Meteorology came into existence on January 1, 1908. Ever since, it has been the main provider of weather forecasts, warnings and observations to Australians.
The Bureau’s head office is in Melbourne. It has regional offices in all state and territory capitals and field offices on islands near Australia and in Antarctica. The Bureau’s parent agency is the Department of the Environment. The Bureau is run by the Director of Meteorology, who reports to the Minister for the Environment.
The Bureau has a rigorous commitment to diversity. It “seeks to respect and value the diversity in the workplace by helping to prevent and eliminate unlawful discrimination and to assist staff to balance their work and personal life responsibilities”. It is also particularly concerned to “increase employment and subsequent career development opportunities for Indigenous (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) people”.
For most people weather predictions don’t impact anything other than their weekend plans. But for a range of weather-sensitive industries and organisations – emergency services, defence, aviation, shipping, resources, agriculture and water – reliable weather forecasts can mean the difference between life and death. As part of the Bureau of Meteorology, you’ll be helping provide essential forecast, warning and information services that protect lives and property, support national security and environmental sustainability, and increase economic productivity.
The recruitment process
These days, the Bureau of Meteorology communicates with Australian citizens, government organisations and businesses through channels including a website, the traditional media, and an ever-growing number of mobile and social media platforms. The Bureau is therefore particularly interested in grads who can help it continue to deliver environmental information to a range of different audiences.
You don’t need to have studied meteorology to work at the Bureau of Meteorology. Grads with degrees in Computing, IT, Physical Sciences, Applied Mathematics and Science are welcome to apply. The Bureau favours candidates who are strong academic achievers, passionate about new technologies and interested in the climate and the environment. Candidates who are innovative and flexible and who have strong communication and problem-solving skills are also preferred.
Grads have three options. Those willing to undertake a nine-month Graduate Diploma in Meteorology in Melbourne can complete an internationally recognised program of study governed by the World Meteorological Organisation. After learning how to analyse the atmosphere and oceans and provide information on the weather and climate, grads are employed by the Bureau. They can then specialise in areas such as severe weather, tropical meteorology, thunderstorms, aviation or climate.
Alternatively, grads can do an ICT (Information and Communications Technology) Graduate Program. This 12-month program involves completing a postgraduate qualification with a public service ICT focus and playing a role in a major ICT project. You’ll also receive the training you need to join the Bureau’s ICT team. Once you join that team, you’ll play a crucial role in providing information, computing and communications solutions in relation to the weather, climate, ocean and water products and services that the Bureau is responsible for.
If you are an Indigenous Australian you can apply for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Graduate Program. Those from any discipline can apply for this 12-month program. If accepted, they are exposed to a range of areas and can go on to careers in admin, communications, environmental science, HR, meteorology or project management.
The Bureau uses a range of assessment tools when recruiting. These include “written applications, interviews, work competency assessments and referee reports”. After completing an online application that includes your CV and a statement detailing how you meet the selection criteria for the grad program you’re applying to join, you’ll probably sit one interview with a selection panel. This can be done in person or via the telephone or video conferencing. In conjunction with the interview, you may also need to do a ‘work competency assessment’. This can involve a written test, presentation or computer-based task. You will also need to undergo a pre-employment medical assessment and may need to get a security clearance before receiving an offer.
You will be paid a “competitive salary”, be part of a generous super scheme and have access to plentiful leave. Grads start on $53,372. Upon successful completion of the grad program, you advance to a Professional Officer Class 1 Classification. This entitles you to a salary between $56,574 - $75,139. Plus, if you’re doing shift work or working in remote locations, you’ll be eligible for penalty rates and allowances. If you wish to undertake further education, there are generous study leave provisions available. Perks include getting to play with state-of-the-art technology, such as supercomputers, and postings to exotic locations, such as Antarctica.
Given it’s the public service, you will need to serve your time before being considered for more senior roles. That noted, professional development opportunities are available for staff at all levels. Plus, you can apply for incredible assignments, such as living in Antarctica for a year, early in your career.
The vibe of the place
Somewhat unlike some public service organisations, the Bureau is full of people passionate about doing challenging, interesting work that has a real impact on the lives and livelihoods of their fellow citizens.
From the Employer:
"Australian communities depend on the Bureau’s essential forecast, warning and information services to protect lives and property, support national security and environmental sustainability, promote industry productivity and enhance societal well-being. Many important, weather-sensitive industries rely on our services for their own effective operation. These include emergency services, defence, aviation, shipping, resources, agriculture and water. We communicate directly with all Australians through various channels such as briefings, our website, social media and mobile platforms—and also through the media.
Graduate roles at the Bureau
We’re looking for graduates who will help us transform the way that we bring environmental information to the Australian community. Do you have a record of strong academic achievement, an interest in working with the latest technology—from supercomputing to ever-evolving modelling software—and a passion for weather, climate, water, ocean and space weather information? If you thrive in an environment where great communication, problem solving, innovation and flexibility are valued, and teams collaborate to achieve the best outcomes, you’ll fit right in at the Bureau.
We offer a wide range of job specialties—it’s not just about forecasting the weather, although that’s an important part of what we do! We encourage applications from all degree streams to join our flexible and diverse workplace, with mentoring support, career development and colleagues who are as passionate as you about making a difference to people’s lives. With offices around Australia and positions in locations as far away as Antarctica, we offer excellent opportunities to build a varied and rewarding career.
Graduate opportunities are available in the following programs:
- Graduate Diploma in Meteorology
- ICT Graduate Program
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Graduate Program
Graduate Diploma in Meteorology
Being a meteorologist is about understanding the atmosphere and its effects on the Earth's surface, the oceans and people’s lives and livelihoods. This includes analysing the state of the atmosphere and oceans, and providing forecasts, warnings, information and advice on weather and climate. Communicating weather information effectively is also an area of focus for meteorologists. Graduates may go on to a wide variety of specialisations, such as severe weather, tropical meteorology, thunderstorms, aviation or climate.
You will study the Graduate Diploma in Meteorology in Melbourne. This nationally accredited diploma satisfies the learning outcomes for the Basic Instruction Package for Meteorologists, as governed by the World Meteorological Organization—so it is also internationally recognised.
ICT Graduate Programme
Do you love information and communications technology (ICT)? The Bureau offers opportunities for participants in the Australian Government ICT Graduate Programme. As part of the Bureau's ICT team you will play a key role in providing information, computing and communications solutions to support weather, climate, ocean and water products and services. ICT specialists at the Bureau:
- work on new products with emerging technology to help communicate changes to the weather and environment to the community and industry;
- provide strategic direction for channel capability and services while managing day-to-day digital operations;
- effectively manage and support the Bureau's portfolio of operational weather, climate, water and environment systems;
- plan and develop/enhance/acquire systems in alignment with business area and ICT strategies, using a project management and IT capability framework; and
- undertake environmental information collection, storage, management and provision.
The 12-month programme offers extensive opportunities to develop your capabilities as an ICT professional. You will complete a postgraduate qualification with a public sector ICT focus, including a development opportunity to complete a major ICT project. You will also participate in networking events with ICT professionals and other Australian Government graduates, through which you can develop professional and social networks.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Graduate Program
Are you an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander graduate who is motivated to further your career while contributing to the Australian community? We want your ideas, fresh thinking, energy and perspectives! The Bureau offers opportunities through the Australian Government Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander graduate program. We are committed to increasing employment opportunities and creating career pathways for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. People who started their Bureau careers through the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Graduate Program now work in fields as diverse as meteorology, communication, environmental science, human resources, administration and project management.
- a wide range of job specialties—we encourage applications from all degree streams;
- a flexible, diverse and inclusive workplace;
- a supportive Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander network; and
- unique career opportunities with excellent prospects for building a rewarding career, alongside great people with a passion for their work.
This 12-month program is designed to give you exposure to different work areas across the Bureau. It offers a career pathway with a broadband classification that allows graduates to advance incrementally each year, starting at the APS 3 level, then advancing to the APS 4 then APS 5 levels upon meeting certain criteria.
What we’re looking for
We are inviting applications from graduates from the following subject areas:
- Physical sciences
- Applied mathematics
- Science and research
- Information technology and computing
- All disciplines, through the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Graduate Programs
Areas of Specialisation
Computer science & IT, Maths, statistics & related, Physics & related"