Careers & technology

At NOAA, a career can make a world of difference!


A career with NOAA could launch you all over the world, from the warm waters of the Caribbean to the winter wonders of the South Pole. The challenges are endless. Employment in NOAA is a job with a mission. Safeguarding the public, protecting natural resources and strengthening the economy are all in a day's work. Careers in NOAA are as diverse as the line offices that make up the agency. For more information, see NOAA's Office of Workforce Management.

Aquarius an undersea laboratory and home for scientists studying the marine environment that is owned and operated by Florida International University.
The Aquarius Underwater Laboratory: America's "inner space" station
The Aquarius is the only undersea laboratory dedicated to marine science operating in the world. Owned by NOAA and managed by the University...


We’ve come a long way since 1970, when NOAA was officially recognized and all of our components united under a common name and mission. The past 40 years have brought dramatic changes in almost every aspect of our lives — personal, professional, and civic. This era saw the end of the Cold War; the birth of the microcomputer, the Internet, and instant communications; the start of the environmental movement; and the development of a deeper understanding of our universe, our Earth, and our biological selves. Several of these “revolutions” had profound effects on NOAA.

Some changes within NOAA have been spurred by technological advances outside of the agency. Increasingly fast and powerful computer systems have allowed us to create more sophisticated computer simulations, or models. Scientists can now incorporate much more sophisticated data and information into models, better describing the natural environment. This new generation of models has markedly improved weather forecasts and increased our understanding of atmospheric and ocean climates.

In addition to intensive regional field studies, NOAA scientists conduct laboratory experiments to study chemical reactions that are important in air quality. Their quest for better understanding of processes that influence air quality is leading to development of models to forecast air-quality conditions.
Chasing bad weather, tracking bad air: The answer is blowing in the wind
Hurricane hunters, tornado chasers, cloud watchers, trace-gas tracers, model makers, remote-sensor designers, lab laborers — NOAA researchers are called many things...

It has really only been within the last 50 years that technology has advanced to the point that we can examine the oceans in systematic, scientific, and, most importantly, noninvasive ways. For the first time, our ability to observe the ocean environment and its resident creatures has finally caught up with our imagination. Numerous vessels, submersibles, diving technologies, and observation tools make ocean exploration possible.

Moreover, the advent of the Internet provided NOAA the opportunity to make a quantum leap in the way we provide information and data to the public — one of our core goals. Today, over 800 NOAA websites stream our vast data holdings nonstop throughout the world. These websites also serve to educate and inspire people young and old, offering everyone opportunities to explore with us underwater treasures, coastal habitats, and marine life.

NOAA/ESRL BAO Tower, Colorado
Tracking greenhouse gases from NOAA’s tall towers
NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory (ESRL) scientist Dan Wolfe dons his safety hat and climbing harness before boarding the two-person elevator for the long, five-minute ride to the top...