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Alternative titles for this job include

Oceanographers study the seas and oceans.

Average salary (a year)

£14,000 Starter


£60,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

39 to 41 variable

You could work

evenings / weekends / bank holidays away from home

How to become

Explore the different ways to get into this role.

How to become an oceanographer

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course


You can study for a degree in oceanography or a related subject, like:

  • ocean science
  • geology
  • biology
  • chemistry
  • environmental science

Employers are increasingly looking for postgraduate qualifications, like a master's or PhD. They also value experience of working in marine science or oceanography research.

You can get experience through:

  • studying for a degree that includes a year in industry with a research organisation
  • a placement or internship in a laboratory or marine research centre

You can find marine companies and research organisations through the Society for Underwater Technology.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English, maths and science
  • 3 A levels, or equivalent, including at least 1 science
  • a degree in a relevant subject for postgraduate study

More Information

More Information

Further information

You can find out more about becoming an oceanographer from the Society for Underwater Technology and the National Oceanography Centre.

What it takes

Find out what skills you’ll use in this role.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • knowledge of geography
  • maths knowledge
  • knowledge of sociology and anthropology for understanding society and culture
  • excellent written communication skills
  • knowledge of computer operating systems, hardware and software
  • analytical thinking skills
  • knowledge of teaching and the ability to design courses
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • to have a thorough understanding of computer systems and applications

What you’ll do

Discover the day to day tasks you’ll do in this role.

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

In your day-to-day tasks you may:

  • plan and carry out research expeditions
  • manage a research project or lead a team
  • prepare scientific equipment
  • design experiments to test your ideas
  • use equipment to collect samples and data
  • track changes in the environment
  • use computers to produce models like maps of the ocean floor
  • write reports of your research findings
  • publish and present your findings
  • in education you may give lectures and lead students on field trips

Working environment

You could work in an office or in a laboratory.

Your working environment may be outdoors some of the time and you'll travel often.

You may need to wear safety clothing and use safety equipment.

Career path and progression

Look at progression in this role and similar opportunities.

Career path and progression

You could further your career by taking courses or attending networking events through the:

You could take a PhD through an initiative like the Southampton Partnership for Innovative Training of Future Investigators Researching the Environment (SPITFIRE).

Current opportunities

Find apprenticeships, courses and jobs available near you.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

We can't find any apprenticeship vacancies in England for an oceanographer right now.

The Find an apprenticeship service can help you with your search, send alerts when new apprenticeships become available and has advice on how to apply.

Courses In England

Marine Biology - BSc Hons Degree - Topup

  • Start date: 09 September 2024
  • Location: Blackpool

Jobs In the United Kingdom

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