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STEM Careers in Oceanography

STEM Careers in Oceanography

Consider a career in oceanography if you’re curious about the physical characteristics of the ocean floor, monitoring marine life, or analysing the chemical makeup of saltwater. There are many different jobs in this large subject that are connected to the activities, habitats, and structures that occur within the ocean. You can choose what kind of career to pursue based on your professional interests and objectives by being aware of various roles in oceanography. In this article, we define an oceanographic career, list nine careers in the subject, talk about their pay, and outline their main responsibilities.

What is Oceanography ?

The fields of mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology, and geology all meet in the discipline of oceanography.

Physical oceanography, chemical oceanography, biological oceanography, and geological oceanography are the four traditionally used terminology to describe oceanography.


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Career in Oceanography: Types Of Oceanography

Physical Oceanography 

involves the investigation of seawater’s characteristics (such as temperature and density) and motion (such as waves, currents, and tides), as well as the interaction between the ocean and the atmosphere.

Chemical Oceanography

involves researching the biogeochemical cycles that affect seawater’s composition.

Biological Oceanography 

involves the study of marine biological creatures, such as fish and marine mammals, with an emphasis on their life cycles and food production, including bacteria, phytoplankton, and zooplankton.

Geological Oceanography

Focuses on the composition, characteristics, and history of the ocean basins. The field of oceanography encompasses more than just these individual branches. Oceanographers utilise a range of instruments to research the water, and many of these investigations span several fields. Ships are used by oceanographers to gather specific water, sediment, and biological samples (Research Vessels). To collect data over time and space scales that a ship cannot, they deploy autonomous sampling equipment like buoys and gliders. Oceanographers can gain a worldwide perspective on some characteristics using remote sensing from aircraft and satellites. Oceanographers can use modelling to examine the past and forecast the state of the ocean in the future (e.g circulation, air-sea interactions, sustainability of fisheries, quality of water, etc.).


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Top Careers in Oceanography 

Careers in oceanography can involve a wide range of duties and responsibilities and can call for different levels of academic preparation and work experience. Professionals in oceanography might explore the ocean floor, the chemical composition of the water, or build ships using a number of research equipment and data analysis methods. Nine careers in this discipline are listed below for your consideration. Please click on the links below to view the most recent Indeed salaries:

1. Marine Biologist

National Average Salary: Rs 2,356,669.75 per year

The main responsibilities of a marine biologist are to study living things, such as plants and animals, in saltwater habitats, which includes the ocean. These experts may treat sick or hurt marine animals and carry out various tests to learn more about how contaminants affect them. To learn more about aquatic life, marine biologists may also observe how aquatic animals interact with one another and their environs. They can utilise a range of procedures and techniques, including visual recording, coring techniques, and geographic information systems, to gather and interpret data (GIS).

2. Marine Technician

National Average Salary: Rs 2,729,712.97per year

Primary responsibilities: Marine technicians support aquatic researchers by ensuring the proper operation of a ship’s engine by repairing and maintaining electrical components within it. These experts can be hired by ports, docks, and repair facilities to handle normal upkeep and maintenance on seagoing boats. They might perform diagnostic tests to identify and resolve a range of plumbing and electrical problems. When necessary, marine technicians generally install new systems and upgrade old ones. These experts may also be tasked with cleaning various components of the marine vessels they fix. They can also evaluate the engine efficiency of boats and ships.

3. Assistant Professor In Oceanography

National Average Salary: Rs 5,329,051.86 per year

Primary responsibilities: An assistant professor of oceanography may be in charge of developing the academic programme and teaching both graduate-level and undergraduate courses on the subject. Assistant professors with expertise in this area may guide and assist students as they advance academically. For people who need more information or assistance, they might also offer supplementary learning resources. These experts might work with academics from other departments, like environmental science and geology, to provide fun student activities that encourage learning beyond the traditional classroom setting.

4. Marine Researcher

National Average Salary: Rs 5,708,168.62 per year

Primary responsibilities: To learn about aquatic organisms that live in the water, marine researchers may conduct fieldwork and laboratory study. A particular area of aquatic life might be chosen by researchers to focus on and research. These experts may support sizable organisations engaged in aquatic research initiatives and may collaborate with a group of researchers and other experts, such as marine biologists, ecologists, and oceanographers.

5. Marine Chemist

National Average Salary: Rs 5,161,766.16 per year

Primary responsibilities: To make various bodies of water safer for aquatic life, marine chemists must study and monitor their chemical composition and behaviour. These experts may research seas, lakes, and rivers and typically assess how pollution, different foreign substances, and aquatic vehicles affect the qualities and purity of the water. They may function in a range of settings, such as frigid lakes and tropical oceans. Regardless of where they are, the goal of their job is typically to comprehend a body of water’s chemical composition and assess the effects of those chemicals on the environment.

6. Marine Engineer

National Average Salary: Rs 5,166,800.81per year

A marine engineer’s main responsibilities include designing, developing, testing, and putting various marine machinery into use. Boats, ships, drilling machinery, and offshore platforms can all be considered here. These experts might work alongside naval architects to develop a range of seacraft, such as submarines and yachts. This position may need a wide range of intricate technical procedures, including building propulsion systems and engines, supervising huge ship construction projects, and preparing design drawings. Every stage of a project may involve marine engineers, including creating and testing prototypes, designing on-board systems, and making last-minute tweaks.

7. Ecologist

National Average Salary: Rs 5,166,800.81 per year

An ecologist is a specialist who analyses environmental conditions and habitats, among other things. To establish environmental restoration programmes, organise habitat management projects, or carry out inventory assessments, they may gather fieldwork, track data, and analyse it. Environmental site assessments may be used by these professionals to investigate the effects that human activities have on natural ecosystems and the plants and animals that inhabit them. Usually, they want to protect natural ecosystems and deal with environmental issues. These experts may be hired by nonprofit and conservation organisations to research the fauna, flora, and creatures.

8. Marine Geologist

National Average Salary: Rs 6,900,100.85 per year

Marine geologists’ main responsibilities are to research how changes in the Earth’s crust affect the ocean and the ecosystem. The study of how tectonic plate movements cause various environmental catastrophes, such as tsunamis, can fall under this category. They may use drilling and testing projects in addition to generating and carrying out geochemical, geophysical, and geological surveys and investigations as their data collection techniques. These experts may also look at the effects of volcanic eruptions and earthquakes on the structure of the ocean floor. They might work in tandem with a group of other marine scientists to publish their findings in scholarly journals or give presentations at trade shows.

9. Oceanographer

National Average Salary: Rs 6,982,732.96 per year

Primary responsibilities: Although an oceanographer’s duties can change based on the subfield in which they specialise, they usually involve gathering data and field samples and supervising field research expeditions. These experts may test samples in a lab, examine water samples for living forms and mineral composition, and simulate ocean processes using computer modelling tools. The populations of marine organisms and their interactions, as well as the physical movements of the sea, may be of interest to oceanographers. They might assess the effects of the oceans’ chemical and physical characteristics on the climate and weather.

Career in Oceanography Colleges In India

  • Anna University, Institute for Ocean Management, Chennai.
  • Annamalai University, Centre for Advanced Study in Marine Biology, Parangipettai, Tamil Nadu.
  • Goa University (Department of Marine Sciences; Department of Marine Biotechnology, Bambolim, Goa)
  • Mangalore University (Department of Marine Geology, Mangalagangotri, Karnataka).
  • Berhampur University, Berhampur, Orissa.
  • Cochin University of Science and Technology (Department of Physical Oceanography, Kerala).
  • National Institute of Oceanography, Dona Paula, Goa.

Career in Oceanography: Top Colleges & Course Fees

The course fees vary depending on the college and university. The course fees for some of the universities are listed below for necessary reference.

SR.NO. College/Institute Course Total course fees in INR (Approx)
1 Annamalai University Integrated BSc+MSc 74475
Andhra University MSc 29640
IIT Bhubaneswar MSc 266000
Amity University, Jaipur MSc 184000


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STEM Careers in Oceanography: FAQs

Question 1 Is oceanography a good career?

Ans. Oceanography is a fantastic subject to study and can lead you into any number of careers. I have worked in and studied ocean science for over 40 years and have never stopped enjoying it and never been unemployed. There is still so much to learn and discover about the oceans


Question 2 What type of oceanography pays the most?

Ans. Marine biology or physical oceanography salary in academia averages around ​$94,520​ per year. Geophysicists working for natural gas and oil companies earn the highest average salary at ​$170,870​ per year.


Question 3 What does an oceanographer do on a daily basis?

Ans. Collecting and analyzing data from the ocean, ocean floor, and atmosphere. Examining life forms and matter in seawater. Investigating hypotheses using statistical models. Attending conferences.

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