Chemical Oceanographer

Chemical Oceanographers study one or a combination of the following: formation of seawater and seafloor sediments, relationships between chemical compounds (both organic and inorganic), how chemical inputs to the ocean (including pollution) affect it, and how the chemistry of the ocean affects or is affected by biological, geological, and physical factors. Chemical Oceanographers rely on and interact with researchers from the other disciplines.


Chemical Oceanographers in 2012 earned a median annual salary of about $90,890, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.


The minimum college degree that will be accepted is a masters.

Skills/Additional Training

developed communication skills, research skills, a broad foundation in the sciences. Oceanographers should study math, statistics and sciences, including geology, physics, biology and the social sciences, as well as majoring in chemistry. Future oceanographers should also learn to scuba dive, speak a foreign language in order to communicate in foreign locales with scientists from other cultures and read research written in a foreign language. Learning to manipulate and repair mechanical equipment can also boost future employment possibilities. Undergraduates should also seek internships or part-time jobs in labs.

Work Hours

Sporadic hours. Whenever your employer needs you.

Working Conditions

You would go out in the field (generally on a boat or in the water), collect the data, then return back to the "office" to analyze the newly found information.

Physical Activity

This job consists of a lot of analysis, and sometimes it is required to go out in the field. This may consist of scuba diving, and trudging through inter-coastal regions collecting information.

Interests Good For This Career

A curious and inquiring mind

An interest in nature and the environment

An aptitude for the physical sciences and the scientific process

Analytical abilities

Ability to use logic to solve problems

The ability to communicate ideas clearly in writing, orally and in presentations

The ability to apply theoretical concepts to the analysis of large volumes of information

The ability to work individually or in a team setting

Physical stamina needed to conduct fieldwork


University of South Florida

Florida State University

University of California, San Diego

University of Hawaii at Manoa

University of Maine

Job Outlook

It is expected to grow by 21% between 2010 and 2020.


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