Oceanographers obtain information about the ocean through observations, surveys, and experiments. They study the biological, physical, and chemical composition of the ocean and the geological structure of the seabed. They also analyze phenomena involving the water itself, the atmosphere above it, the land beneath it, and the coastal borders. They study acoustical properties of water so that a comprehensive and unified picture of the ocean's behavior may be developed. A limnologist is a specialist who studies freshwater life.

Quick Facts
Duties Collect, analyze, and interpret geophysical data from many sources; plan or conduct studies; review research articles and reports; prepare maps; measure characteristics of Earth's waters using different types of equipment
Alternate Title(s) Biological Oceanographers, Chemical Oceanographers, Geological Oceanographers, Marine Biologists, Marine Geochemists
Salary Range $25,000 to $100,000+
Employment Prospects Excellent
Advancement Prospects Good
Work Environment Indoors/Outdoors
Best Geographical Location(s) Opportunities exist in all regions, but are best near bodies of water
Education and Training
  • Bachelor's Degree
Related School Subjects
  • Biology
  • Earth Science
  • Mathematics
Experience Internship
  • Organizational
  • Research
  • Scientific
Personality Traits
  • Curious
  • Realistic
  • Scientific
Licensure/Certification Required
Special Requirements None
Career Ladder
  • Supervisor, Oceanic Science Department
  • Professor, Oceanic Science
  • Oceanographer
  • Research or Lab Analyst

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