Oceanographers study the seas and oceans.
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
You’ll usually need:
- 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), including English, maths and a science
- 3 A levels, including at least one science subject
- a degree in a relevant subject for postgraduate study
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
- 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.
Skills and knowledge
- 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
- Being able to use a computer terminal or hand-held device may be beneficial for this job.
The following salaries are a guide only:
- Starter: £14,000
- Experienced: £60,000
- You’ll usually work between 39 and 41 hours per week but this will be variable. You may work evenings, weekends and bank holidays.
- You could work in an office or in a laboratory.
- You may need to wear safety clothing.