Oceanographers use science and mathematics to study the interactions between oceans, continents, the atmosphere, and the biosphere. Oceanographer’s work is dedicated to understanding and predicting how oceans work, as well as how to best take advantage of the resources oceans provide us with. Becoming an oceanographer could be the right career choice for you if you’re interested in math and science, have a love for the environment, and enjoy research and hard work.
Decide what type of oceanographer you’d like to be so that you can study the right subjects and get the proper degrees in college.
Once you’ve determined what kind of oceanographer you want to be, you’ll be able to choose specific majors and minors to get your degrees in. This decision will be an ongoing process that may change as you study for your Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees, but it’s important to know that there are different types of oceanographers who have different specialties before you start choosing college programs. Physical oceanographers study currents, waves, tides and ocean circulation. This type of oceanographer would typically get their Bachelor’s degree in physics. Chemical oceanographers determine the chemical composition of seawater and oceans. This type of oceanographer would typically get their Bachelor’s degree in chemistry. Biological oceanographers study how marine animals, plants, and organisms interact with their environment. This type of oceanographer would typically get their Bachelor’s degree in biology. Geological oceanographers examine the ocean floor, including rocks and minerals. This type of oceanographer would typically get their Bachelor’s degree in geology.
Go to college to get your undergraduate Bachelor’s degree.
Oceanographers usually get their Bachelor’s degrees majoring in biology, physics, chemistry, or geology. These majors will help prepare you for your Master’s studies. There are also some schools that offer undergraduate Bachelor’s degrees in marine biology, which is another option for your undergrad degree. Undergraduate education gives students the necessary knowledge and experience that is needed when pursuing advanced degrees in subjects related to oceanography
Attend a graduate school to get your Master’s degree. Oceanographers always have a postgraduate Master’s degree in their field of interest. Going to school for your Master’s degree will allow you to focus on the particular kind of oceanography that you’re interested in.
Get your Ph.D. in O
Most oceanographers attend school until they have a Ph.D. in their field of oceanography. Schools that offer advanced degrees in oceanography are often equipped with the best faculty, resources, facilities, and training possible. Most of these schools are also located in the best locations to study oceanography – along coasts.
Working as an Oceanographer
- Find an internship. Many organizations and schools offer internships to those who are either in school for oceanography, or have earned degrees in oceanography. Getting an internship provides you with hands-on experience, and is a great way to familiarize yourself with different elements of oceanography. Having numerous internships throughout your academic career will give you a better chance of landing a good job in oceanography after you’ve finished school. School advisors and mentors can help you locate good internships. For this reason, it helps for you to develop relationships with your teachers and school faculty.
- Look for an assistant or technical position. Having a Bachelor’s of Science degree will typically enable you to work as a research assistant or as a computer technician within your desired field. After you’ve gotten your Bachelor’s degree, apply for research assistant jobs, or any other support position jobs, while you go back to school for your advanced degrees. This will allow you to keep learning while also making money. You can usually find these jobs at colleges and universities or research companies and facilities. Mentors and teachers can usually help you find actual jobs in addition to internships.
- Get a job as an oceanographer. There are numerous organizations that need a special skill sets and vast knowledge of oceanographers. Some oceanographers will work strictly for science and research organisations, and others will apply their skills to different types of corporations. For example, an oceanographer could be hired by an oil company to help determine the best location to place an underwater pipeline. Many different types of companies and organization hire oceanographers, including Colleges and universities Environmental and engineering consulting firmsFederal government laboratoriesMarine science institutionsMarine transport companies national Defense Research (NDR) establishments Private corporations, like oil and gas companiesPrivate research institutions