Oceanographer

Oceanographers study the seas and oceans.

Average salary (a year)

£14,000 Starter

to

£60,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

39 to 41 variable

You could work

evenings / weekends / bank holidays away from home

How to become an oceanographer

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course

University

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

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • knowledge of geography
  • knowledge of teaching and the ability to design courses
  • knowledge of sociology and anthropology for understanding society and culture
  • excellent written communication skills
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • analytical thinking skills
  • maths knowledge
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

Your day-to-day tasks may include:

  • planning and carrying out research expeditions
  • managing a research project and leading a team
  • preparing scientific equipment
  • designing experiments to test your ideas
  • using equipment to collect samples and data
  • tracking changes in the environment
  • using computers to produce models like maps of the ocean floor
  • writing reports of your research findings
  • publishing and presenting your findings

Working environment

You could work in an office or in a laboratory.

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

Career path and progression

You could further your career by taking courses through the Marine Technology Education Consortium, or by networking at events run by the Society for Underwater Technology or the Challenger Society for Marine Science.

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

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 - Foundation Degree

  • Provider: BLACKPOOL AND THE FYLDE COLLEGE
  • Start date: 08 September 2020
  • Location: Blackpool

Marine Biology and Coastal Zone Management - BSc Hons Degree - Topup

  • Provider: BLACKPOOL AND THE FYLDE COLLEGE
  • Start date: 08 September 2020
  • Location: Blackpool

JobsIn the United Kingdom

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