All you need to know about a career in Oceanography – Dive into the unknown


Oceanography, to put merely, is the study of oceans and seas. With discrete importance to the coastline, estuaries, coastal waters, shelves and the ocean bed, the subject covers a wide range of topics, including marine organisms and ecosystem dynamics, ocean currents and waves, plate tectonics and fluxes of various chemical substances and physical properties within the ocean. Read the below article to know about the career in Oceanography.

About the job of Oceanographers

The work of an Oceanographer requires the scientific proficiency of biology, chemistry, physics, geology, geophysics, mathematics and engineering science. They are associated with mineral exploitation, coastal construction, weather prediction and climate change. This emerging field gives the opportunity of employment in various public and private organizations.

Career in Oceanography

There are large employment opportunities for Oceanographers in both public and private sectors. The study of Oceanography is further divided into various sectors-

1. Chemical Oceanography

Chemical Oceanography - All you need to about a career in Oceanography - Dive into the unknown

Chemical oceanographers conduct research on the chemical composition of the water and are interested in the many chemical interactions that occur in the ocean and sea. This area is involved in research and development of technology that will be able to recover valuable elements from the sea, look for methods to solve pollution problems in estuaries near-the-shore waters due to increasing population and industrial waste, etc.

2. Geological Oceanography

Geological Oceanography - All you need to about a career in Oceanography - Dive into the unknown

Geological and geophysical oceanographers describe the shape such as seamounts, ridges, and trenches.  They also study the characteristics of coastal margins, the formation of the coastal basin and other ocean structures as well as the exploitation of the oceans mineral resources. They seek to understand the origin of seafloor sediments and rocks and their patterns in which they exist.

3. Physical Oceanography

Physical Oceanography - All you need to about a career in Oceanography - Dive into the unknown

Physical oceanographers scrutinize physical properties of the ocean such as temperature, density, wave motions, tides, and currents. They conduct research on the relationship between ocean and atmosphere and their influence on weather and climate patterns.

4. Biological Oceanography

Biological Oceonography - All you need to about a career in Oceanography - Dive into the unknown

Biological oceanographers are the field which studies life processes in marine environments. Also called Marine Biologist studies the ocean processes that control the productivity and distribution of marine life.

Some other career prospects in this field are:

1.Marine Archaeologists

Marine archaeologists are involved in the study and methodical recuperation of evidence of past human life and culture such as shipwrecks, buildings, pottery, etc. buried in the sea now.

2. Ocean Engineers

Their work mostly involves designing instruments for measurement processes in the ocean, building strong structures to withstand waves, tides and other practical uses where they can use their technical knowledge.

3.Marine policy experts

Marine policy experts require a background in at least one of the social sciences(such as law, economics, political science or business) to combine with their knowledge of oceanography and develop guidelines and policies relating to ocean and its use.

Courses related to Oceanography

Postgraduate courses

  • Master of Science (M.Sc) in Oceanography
  • Master of Science in Marine Biology
  • M.Tech in Ocean Engineering
  • M.Tech in Ocean Technology

Doctoral courses

  • M.Phil in Marine Biology
  • M.Phil in Chemical Oceanography
  • PhD in Oceanography

Eligibility Criteria

For M.Sc. courses

A B.Sc. degree either in Zoology/ Botany/ Chemistry/ Fishery Science/ Earth Science/ Physics or in other equivalent field is required.

For M.Tech courses

B. Tech or equivalent degree in Civil Engineering with an aggregate of 60% marks along with a valid GATE score is essential for admission to this program.

For M.Phil and PhD

Candidate requires a Master’s degree in the same branch or any equivalent branch to be eligible for this course. For pursuing PhD one has to qualify either NET or GATE.

Institutes and Colleges to study Oceanography

In India

  • Alagappa University, Tamil Nadu
  • Andhra University, Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh
  • Annamalai University, Chidambaram, Tamil Nadu
  • Cochin University of Science and Technology, Kochi, Kerala
  • Indian Institute of Technology (Madras, Bombay, Kharagpur, Bhubaneswar)
  • Berhampur University, Berhampur, Odisha
  • Goa University, Goa
  • Mangalore University, Karnataka

In abroad

  • University of Reading, UK
  • University of Wollongong, Australia
  • The Australian National University, Australia
  • University of Liverpool, UK
  • Sacred Heart University, USA
  • Hawaii Pacific University, USA

Some top and reputed recruiters

  • Geological Survey of India
  • Meteorological Department
  • National Institute of Oceanography

Pay Scale

With a Master’s degree, one can expect a salary of ₹ 20,000 to ₹25,000 per month in the government sector( higher in the private sector). The salary increases with experience. A Ph.D. degree can earn about ₹40,000 to ₹50,000 per month.

Foreign countries like UK, US, etc. offer a pay scale around $50,000 to $80,000 per year in abroad.

Oceanography is today of immense significance to developing countries. A career in this area is exciting with full of adventures and it provides an opportunity to those with intrinsic inquisitiveness and a passion to move into the vast arena of the unknown, which exists within our oceans. So if you desire an occupation filled with satisfying challenges, oceanography might just be the thing for you.