The Oceanographer role is to study the physical and chemical properties of the ocean, as well as the plants, animals, and other organisms that live within it. They use this knowledge to help protect the environment and improve our understanding of how the ocean works. Duties of an Oceanographer include collecting data through field work (e.g., measuring water temperature, salinity levels, and wave height) or conducting experiments in a laboratory. They also analyze this data using mathematical models to better understand ocean processes such as circulation patterns and climate change. In addition, Oceanographers communicate their findings to the public through writing scientific papers and giving presentations.

Oceanographer Job Responsibilities

  • Study the physical and chemical properties of the Earth's oceans
  • Monitor ocean conditions, such as currents, temperatures, and salinity levels
  • Collect data using tools such as sonar equipment, satellites, and weather buoys
  • Analyze data to identify trends and make predictions about future ocean conditions
  • Communicate findings to colleagues, policy makers, and the general public


  • To understand and predict the behavior of oceanographic features such as currents, waves, and tides
  • To monitor the health of marine ecosystems
  • To study the effects of human activity on the oceans
  • To map the seafloor
  • To search for new mineral and energy resources beneath the sea
  • To develop new technologies for exploiting marine resources

Oceanographer Job Skills & Qualifications Needed

  • The skills and qualifications needed for the role of oceanographer vary depending on the specific job. However, most oceanographers have a bachelor's degree in oceanography or a related field such as physics, chemistry, geology, biology, or engineering. Many also have a master's degree or doctorate in oceanography or a related field. Specific skills and qualifications may also be required for certain positions, such as experience with specific research methods or knowledge of particular software programs.