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Oceanographer Profile


This Section of the site details information that you might find useful if you are looking to secure employment or require further details regarding working as an Oceanographer. This page details the following Information:-

  • Finding Suitable Work as an Oceanographer
  • Working Duties Expected
  • Hours and Environment
  • Working Skills Required
  • Training Requirements
  • Salary Expectations
  • Trade Information
  • Other useful Oceanographer Work Information

Finding Suitable Work

This website features a volume of Job vacancies advertised on behalf of a number of different employers and specialist recruiters that post vacancies on a regular basis so you can start your search for work right here:-

Click here to View all the latest Oceanographer jobs online today

We feature many Oceanographer Jobs live online at this site and these posts are updated daily. Please book mark this page and return here on a regular basis or register with our site for Jobs by email so that you don't miss out on the latest work opportunities.

Working Duties Expected

Oceanographers study the seas and oceans, conducting research into the effects of climate change, or the impact of pollution and offshore engineering on marine ecosystems. Data is collected in a variety of ways, including using remote sensors on satellites, instruments on towed or self-powered submersibles and on moored or drifting buoys, probes lowered into the sea, drilling into the seabed and acoustics.

There are four main specialist disciplines:

  • marine biology, the study of marine plants and animals
  • marine chemistry, the study of the chemical composition of seawater
  • marine geology, the study of the structure and composition of the ocean floor
  • marine physics, the study of properties such as water temperature and density, wave motion, tides and currents.

An oceanographer will often employ a multi-disciplinary approach to their work, applying elements from some or all of the specialisms in order to conclude their research.

Hours and Environment

Hours worked will depend on the project being undertaken. Much of an oceanographers work is based in laboratories or offices, but fieldwork can involve several days to some months at sea, either on a research ship or on offshore platforms, often in remote locations and in potentially hazardous or physically demanding conditions.

Oceanographers may have to go into the sea using diving equipment or submersible vehicles.

Skills and Interests

To be an oceanographer you should:

  • have strong mathematical and scientific skills including observational, practical, research, and problem solving
  • have the flexibility to go beyond subject specialism
  • be accurate and meticulous
  • have good physical health and fitness for fieldwork
  • be able to work alone and with others
  • have excellent oral and written communication skills
  • be prepared to travel.


To become an oceanographer you must hold a degree in oceanography or another science-based subject.

For entry to first degree courses you will need at least five GCSEs (A-C)/S grades (1-3) and two A levels/three H grades, or equivalent. For most courses, English at GCSE (A-C)/S grade (1-3) is essential. Many universities demand more than the minimum. You should contact individual universities to establish exact requirements.

Even though maths at A level/H grade may not be required for entrance to some degree courses most employers consider this to be essential.

For details of qualification equivalents see:

Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (England, Wales and Northern Ireland)
Scottish Qualifications Authority
An Access to Higher Education qualification may also be accepted for entry to certain courses. If experienced in a related field, you may be able to gain recognition of skills through Accredited Prior Learning (APL). Please check with colleges or universities for exact entry requirements.


Various specialised or combined degree courses are available, and these typically take up to four years to complete and will usually include fieldwork.

Your training will probably include on-the-job training, and attending short courses, seminars and conferences.

There are a number of universities offering taught postgraduate MSc degrees and research degrees.


Employment is mainly research based, with most UK posts offered by centres that are wholly or partly funded by the Natural Environment Research Council. These include:

Southampton Oceanography Centre
Centre for Coastal Marine Sciences
Sea Mammal Research Unit
British Antarctic Survey
British Geological Survey.

Other national organisations that employ oceanographers include environmental protection agencies, the Royal Navy, the Ministry of Defence (MoD), the Environment Agency and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA).

Opportunities also arise in industries or consultancies concerned with the extraction of offshore oil and gas, offshore and coastal constructions and marine instrumentation.

There may also be opportunities to work in universities, and abroad.

In smaller organisations, internal promotion prospects are usually limited and short contracts from one to five years are common.

Annual Income

The annual income section is intended as a guideline only.

A new entrant to the profession with a first degree will earn around £15,279, possibly more if a postgraduate degree is held.
An experienced oceanographer will earn around £30,000.
Heads of department or project leaders can earn in excess of £34,000.

Further information

Natural Environment Research Council
Polaris House
North Star Avenue
Tel: 01793 411500

Society for Underwater Technology
80 Coleman Street
Tel: 020 7382 2601

Other Useful Oceanographer Work Information

We have a section available at this site on Oceanographer job interview tips that you may find of interest should you wish to brush up your skills in this area and we also have number of career articles that may also be of use to you from within our guides and documents section.

Locations where we feature Jobs include:-
Aberdeen, Berkshire, Aberdeen, Bath, Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Birmingham, Bradford, Bristol, Cambridgeshire, Cardiff, Central London, Cheltenham, Cornwall, Coventry, Derby, Devon, Docklands, Dorset, Dundee, Durham, East Midlands, East Sussex, Edinburgh, Essex, Glasgow, Gloucester, Hampshire, Hertfordshire, Kent, Lancashire, Leeds, Leicester, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Middlesbrough, Midlands and in various parts of the West Midlands

Details of other Oceanographer Jobs can also be found in other UK wide areas including:-
Milton Keynes, Newcastle, Newcastle Upon Tyne, Norfolk, North London, North Midlands, Northampton, Northamptonshire, Northern Ireland, Northumberland, Norwich, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, Oxford, Oxfordshire, Plymouth, Salisbury, Scotland, Sheffield, Shropshire, Somerset, South East, South London, South Midlands, Southampton, Staffordshire Surrey, Swansea, Swindon, Telford, Wales, Warwickshire, West End, West London, West Midlands, Worcestershire, York and throughout Yorkshire.

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