Career in Oceanography


Oceanography has emerged as one of the demanding fields, especially, with the advancement of technology. The knowledge and skills gained upon pursuing degree courses after 12th Science in this field are used to attain the information on the deepest parts of the ocean and sea. Due to this, there exists a vast scope in the industry, study, and research. To understand this in detail, here is a blog that will shed light on various components related to starting a career in Oceanography!

What is Oceanography?

Oceanography is a subdivision of Earth Science that assesses the ocean and marine life’s chemical, physical and biological components by applying the concepts of various branches of Science like Geology, Biology, Chemistry, and Meteorology. The subject has been traditionally divided into four fields of study- Chemical, Physical, Geological, and Biological oceanography. 

What are the 4 Types of Oceanography?

  • Chemical Oceanography is the study of seawater, its cycles, and interaction with the seafloor. Apart from this, the effects of pollutants and chemical processes on marine life in the ocean is also examined. 
  • Physical Oceanography studies the conditions and processes in the ocean, the currents, tides, waves, etc. Furthermore, the relationship between the ocean-atmosphere which affects the weather and the climate is also studied. 
  • Geological Oceanography explores the surface of the ocean and studies how the valleys, volcanoes, and mountains are formed at the surface bed. Those who pursue such courses are the ocean archaeologists who look at the evidence of millions of years and the processes that have taken place. The study then helps in understanding how the earth was formed.
  • Biological Oceanography, which is also known as Marine Biology, is the study of living organisms in the marine environment. The study uses filed observation to understand how the organisms adapt, live, interact and develop in the environment.

Eligibility Criteria for Pursuing Oceanography Courses

Be it Marine Engineering courses or programs related to it, a candidate has to fulfill certain requirements that the concerned university demands. There are also some exams which one has to clear in order to be eligible for applying to a particular course. So, if you are wondering what qualifications do you need to be an oceanographer then here is what you need to know: 

  • A candidate should have pursued the Science stream with BiPC subjects [Biology, Physics, and Chemistry] in XIIth standard.
  • For pursuing postgraduate programs, an applicant should have a bachelor’s degree like Bachelor of Science, preferably in Geoscience, with a minimum percentile as set by the university. BTech Oceanography or related graduates can also apply. 

Docuemnts Required

As discussed, when it comes to starting a career abroad, one has to clear some exams or furnish a set of documents. Enlisted are some admission requirements to pursue Oceanography courses abroad:

  • A valid scorecard of English language tests like IELTS/TOEFL/PTE, etc. 
  • Statement of Purpose [SOP], Letter of Recommendation [LORs], transcripts/marksheets, updated CV/resume, etc.
  • For master level Oceanography courses, one also has to clear GRE exam [If required]

On the other hand, In India, aspirants are required to write the GATE exam for post-graduation courses and JEE Mains to pursue a BTech or Bachelor of Engineering degree in Oceanography. Some institutions and universities also have their own separate entrance tests for the Undergraduate, Postgraduate, and Doctorate programs. 

Apart from offering quality education, the academic institutes mentioned below also offer state of the art facilities, well-built infrastructure, experienced professors, and industry opportunities. Here are colleges offering courses in Oceanography or its variants:

University  Course
Hawaii Pacific State University BS in Oceanography
Washington University Bachelors in Oceanography
North Carolina State University BS in Marine Science: Biological Oceanography
Stockholm University Bachelor’s in Marine Science: Oceanography
University of Queensland BSc in Marine Science
University of Strathclyde MSc Hydrogeology
University of Auckland Postgraduate Diploma in Sciences [Marine Science]

Did you know you can pursue oceanography in IIT? IIT Madras offers courses in oceanography. Here is a list of colleges in India offering Oceanography courses:

  1. Indian Maritime University
  2. IIT Madras
  3. Goa University
  4. Mangalore University
  5. Kerala University
  6. Annamalai University
  7. Berhampur University
  8. Cochin University of  Science and Technology
  9. Anna University
  10. Institute of Technology & Marine Engineering

Oceanography Careers

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Job prospects are vast in the field of Oceanography in both, public and private sectors. The requirement of Oceanographers is at its peak with the number of researches taking place at all the level and aspects of the ocean. Furthermore, with the increase in global warming, the necessity of understanding various facets of Marine Science has increased the demand for such professionals. learning the survival of marine organisms and most importantly the history that has been buried in the oceans all over the world. In India, public sectors like Geological Survey of India, Department of Oceanography, Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC), Meteorological Survey of India and Oil India are some of the highly demanded and respectable companies where an Oceanographer can work. The Union Public Service Commission or UPSC exams is a way of joining such services in the public sector.

Here is a list of sectors where Oceanographers can find employment opportunities: 

  • Environmental Protection Agencies
  • Indian Navy
  • Merchant Navy
  • National Institute of Oceanography
  • Weather Forecast Department
  • Manufacturers of Marine Equipments
  • Energy Supply Organizations
  • Oil, Gas, and Water Industry
  • Industrial Research Laboratories

Job Profiles & Salary

There is immense scope in oceanography in India & abroad. Here is the list of popular job profiles along with basic salary structure:

  • Ocean imports Manager
  • Wellness Ocean Resource Person
  • Marine Biologists
  • Physical, Biological, Chemical and Geological Oceanographers
  • Marine Environmentalists
  • Marine and Ocean Engineers
  • Marine Policy Experts
  • Hydrographer
  • Marine Archaeologists
  • Ocean Freight Manager
  • Maintenance Assistant
Credits: PayScale

This blog post was about the career prospects in the field of Oceanography and we hope that the information was of relevance to you. There exists a variety of courses available in this field. Needless to say, choosing a course that aligns with your competencies can be tough. Reach out to our experts at Leverage Edu through an E-meeting who will not only help you choose the right university and course but will also provide assistance in writing an impressive SOP to increase your chances of getting selected in revered institutions!

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