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What Does A Career In Deep-Sea Exploration And Oceanography Entail?

What Does A Career In Deep-Sea Exploration And Oceanography Entail?

Edited By Rahul Shrivastava | Updated on Sep 01, 2023 09:10 AM IST

The world's oceans have long been a source of fascination and mystery for humanity. Covering more than 70 per cent of Earth's surface, these vast water bodies hold untold secrets and diverse ecosystems that are vital to our planet's health as well as to the survival of countless species. Deep-sea exploration and oceanography are two interconnected fields that delve into the mysteries of the ocean depths.

What Does A Career In Deep-Sea Exploration And Oceanography Entail?
What Does A Career In Deep-Sea Exploration And Oceanography Entail?

Deep-Sea Exploration

Deep-sea exploration is a discipline that investigates the ocean's depths. This area, often referred to as the abyssal zone, starts at around 2,000 metres and descends to the deepest trenches, reaching astonishing depths of over 10,000 metres.

Advancements in technology have been the driving force behind our ability to explore extreme environments. Submersibles, remotely operated vehicles (ROVs), and autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) equipped with cameras, sensors, and sampling tools have allowed scientists and explorers to venture to depths that were once considered inaccessible. These tools enable researchers to observe and document the unique life forms that thrive under crushing pressures, perpetual darkness, and extreme cold.


Oceanography is a broader field that encompasses the study of the entire ocean, including its physical, chemical, biological, and geological characteristics. It involves investigating various oceanographic features such as currents, tides, waves, marine life, seafloor topography, and the interactions between the ocean and the atmosphere. Oceanography plays a critical role in understanding climate patterns, marine ecosystems, and even the planet's history.

Careers in Deep-Sea Exploration and Oceanography

The allure of these fields extends to a myriad of captivating career paths that allow individuals to make meaningful contributions to our understanding of the oceans. Here are some of the notable careers in deep-sea exploration and oceanography:

Marine Biologist (Average Salary Rs 5 lakhs - Rs 8 lakhs per annum)

A marine biologist specialises in the study of marine life and ecosystems. They study the diverse organisms that inhabit the oceans, seas, and other saltwater environments, as well as the intricate relationships and interactions of the marine ecosystems. Marine biologists study a wide range of organisms, from microscopic plankton and algae to larger animals like fish, marine mammals, and even deep-sea creatures. They also investigate the impacts of human activities, climate change, pollution, and other environmental factors on marine ecosystems.

This field requires a multidisciplinary approach, often involving elements of biology, ecology, oceanography, and chemistry etc. Marine biologists work in academic and research institutions, government agencies, conservation organisations, and industries related to fisheries and marine resource management.

Prospective Employers: Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute, Central Institute of Brackish Water Aquaculture, Meteorological Survey of India, Department of Oceanography, Geological Survey of India, National Institute of Oceanography, and Pfizer Inc. etc.

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Oceanographer (Average Salary Rs 3 lakhs - Rs 15 lakhs per annum)

An oceanographer comprehends the intricate workings of the earth's oceans. They specialise in various subfields, including physical oceanography (studying ocean currents, waves, and climate patterns), chemical oceanography (examining the composition of seawater), biological oceanography (investigating marine life and ecosystems), and geological oceanography (exploring seafloor features and geological processes). From analysing ocean currents and chemical composition to investigating marine life and seafloor geology, oceanographers play a pivotal role in unravelling the mysteries of the underwater world.

Oceanographers contribute significantly to our awareness of climate change, marine biodiversity, geological processes, and more, offering insights that help shape our understanding of the planet's delicate balance. They work in educational institutions, research institutions, government agencies, and industries dedicated to marine resource management and environmental conservation.

Prospective Employers: Copal Amba, Maxwell Dies and Moulds, Precision Survey Consultancy, Kongsberg Process Simulation Private Limited, National Institute of Ocean Technology, Elcome Marine Services Private Limited, and Ocean Science And Surveying Private Limited etc.

Marine Geologist (Average Salary Rs 3 lakhs - Rs 13 lakhs per annum)

Marine geologists study the geological features and processes that shape the seafloor and the earth's crust beneath the oceans. Focusing on underwater landscapes, marine geologists explore phenomena such as underwater volcanoes, mid-ocean ridges, trenches, and the deposition of sediments over time. Through the analysis of seafloor samples, sonar mapping, and other advanced techniques, they contribute valuable insights into the history of our planet's tectonic movements and geological evolution.

By deciphering the complex interactions occurring beneath the waves, marine geologists shed light on the earth's past and present, enriching our understanding of its dynamic nature. Career opportunities for marine geologists span academia, research institutions, geological surveys, and industries related to natural resource exploration and environmental consulting.

Prospective Employers: Maharashtra Minerals Corporation Ltd, Avadh Eneterprises, Department of Oceanography, Geological Survey of India, and National Institute of Oceanography etc.

Hydrographer (Average Salary Rs 5 lakhs - Rs 9 lakhs per annum)

A hydrographer is a professional who specialises in the measurement, mapping, and analysis of water bodies, including oceans, seas, rivers, lakes, and coastal areas. They focus on collecting and interpreting data related to water depth, seafloor topography, and other hydrographic features. They play a crucial role in producing accurate nautical charts, which are essential for safe navigation by ships and boats. Additionally, hydrographers contribute to environmental monitoring, coastal development projects, and the assessment of underwater infrastructure.

Hydrographers often work in government agencies, naval forces, hydrographic offices, research institutions, and private companies involved in marine and coastal engineering.

Prospective Employers: UTM Consultants, Dredging Corporation of India Limited, CIEL, Nisvo Marine Surveys LLP, Geological Survey of India, and National Institute of Oceanography etc.

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Submersible Pilot (Average Salary Rs 15 lakhs - Rs 30 lakhs per annum)

A submersible pilot is a skilled professional responsible for navigating and controlling underwater vehicles known as submersibles or ROVs. These vehicles are designed to explore the depths of the oceans, lakes, and other underwater environments, providing researchers with a way to study and gather data from areas that are challenging or impossible for humans to access directly. The role of a submersible pilot demands a strong grasp of underwater environments, technical expertise, and the ability to adapt to unforeseen challenges while exploring the depths.

Submersible pilots find employment in various fields, including oceanography, marine research, underwater exploration, offshore industries, and environmental monitoring.

Prospective Employers: A.P. Moller - Maersk, Dhaval Placement Services, and Timesascent etc.

Ocean Engineer (Average Salary Rs 7 lakhs - Rs 10 lakhs per annum)

An ocean engineer is one who applies engineering principles to address challenges related to the oceans. They design and develop innovative technologies for deep-sea exploration, underwater vehicles, ocean instruments, offshore structures, renewable energy systems, coastal protection, and environmental monitoring. By combining engineering expertise with a deep understanding of marine environments, ocean engineers contribute to advancements in oceanography, marine resource management, renewable energy, and sustainable development.

They work in various industries and across sectors, making a significant impact on our understanding of the oceans and their vital role in the global ecosystem.

Prospective Employers: Fleet Management Limited, Meteorological Survey of India, Department of Oceanography, Geological Survey of India, National Institute of Oceanography, ExxonMobil, Ccean star ships, and Sea and Beyond etc.

Climate Scientist (Average Salary Rs 6.5 lakhs - Rs 20 lakhs per annum)

Climate scientists in the oceanographic field focus on understanding the role of the oceans in regulating climate patterns. They study ocean-atmosphere interactions, oceanic circulation patterns, and the absorption of carbon dioxide by the sea, all of which have significant implications on our global climate. Their work offers invaluable insights into the dynamic relationship between the planet's atmosphere, oceans, land, and life.

Climate scientists work in research-intensive universities, academic institutions, government agencies, consulting firms, renewable energy companies, and technology enterprises, where they contribute to sustainability initiatives and climate-related projects.

Prospective Employers: India Climate Collaborative, BCG, Boston Consulting Group, Indian Institute for Human Settlements, UNDP, Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute, Central Institute of Brackish Water Aquaculture, Meteorological Survey of India, and Department of Oceanography etc.

In conclusion, deep-sea exploration and oceanography represent the pinnacle of human curiosity and technological innovation. These fields offer a multitude of exciting career opportunities, right from studying the most elusive deep-sea creatures to deciphering the intricate mechanisms that drive our planet's climate system. As we continue to unravel the mysteries of the ocean depths, we gain not only a better understanding of our planet's history and future but also insights that could potentially inform life beyond our watery world.

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