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Career Opportunities

Crew of RV Savannah preparing for a plankton tow
Photo credit: Mike Sullivan

The health and future state of our oceans and coastal resources are increasingly in the news. Students graduating from UGA with a BS in the Ocean Science will have the skills, knowledge, and understanding to enter rewarding careers in a wide variety of expanding fields that center on understanding, conserving, and managing our oceans and coasts. Ocean scientists are employed by federal, state, and local governments, as well as by a variety of businesses and educational institutions. 




Ocean scientists are employed at many different levels in federal, state, and local government. Federal organizations that employ ocean scientists include the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Coastguard, the Army Corps of Engineers, and The National Parks Service. You will find ocean scientists in many state and local government institutions such as departments of natural resources and state parks services. Ocean scientists are employed in these institutions in a wide variety of jobs, such as environmental protection and cleanup, ocean monitoring, and enforcement of environmental regulations.


Many local and global businesses employ ocean scientists in a wide variety of management, and research and development positions. For example, aquaculture is a rapidly expanding business that employs ocean scientists in managerial and development positions. Environmental consultancies employ ocean scientists to work on relevant projects. Similarly, ocean exploration companies provide careers in working with remote vehicles and other technical staff. Renewable energy companies that build and operate off-shore wind farms also need ocean scientists.


Educating people about the oceans is also a rapidly expanding area. Many school districts include ocean science in their curriculum. Educating the public about the ocean through adventure travel is also a growing area. 


  • The Centers for Ocean Sciences Education Excellent (COSEE) has a useful resource listing career opportunities.
  • The Association for the Science of Limnology and Oceanography (ASLO) has good career advice.
  • This video shows interviews with women scientists in oceanography.


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