Careers galore for marine scientists

2010-07-09 14:01

Pupils wishing to take up careers in marine sciences often picture themselves working with charismatic animals such as whales, dolphins and sharks.

However, these careers are only but part of a larger field of study. Marine science involves a variety of sub-disciplines ranging from chemical, engineering and biological to climate-related research.

The first step is to look at yourself. Consider your skills, likes and dislikes. Take up volunteering work in the field during school holidays.

This exposes you to a day in a life of a marine scientist. There are other occupations in marine science than being a scientist. Marine technicians and marine research assistants play an important role during the planning and execution of projects.

These courses are offered at universities of technology. If you are into the outdoors, getting in touch with marine wildlife and understanding the processes, then marine science is your field of choice. One of the first things to consider is talking to someone in the field.

This will help you understand in-depth what the field entails.

The Department of Environmental Affairs has in-house marine scientists that can assist your decision on your future in marine science.

Who can I contact at the Deparment of Environmental Affairs?

Integrated Coastal Management:

Mr J.R. Peter:

Mrs F. Albertus-Stanley:

Chemical Oceanography:

Mr M. Tsanwani:

Physical Oceanography:

Mr M. Gulekana:

Biological Oceanography:

Ms K. Pillay:

Ecosystems, Utilisation and Conservation:

Mr S.M. Seakamela:

Department of Environmental Affairs:

2 East Pier Road
V&A Waterfront
Cape Town
South Africa

Mr. Z. Nqayi (Director: Communications)

0?021 819 2423


What careers are there for people interested in the marine science?

•    Careers in the potential energy industry include engineering, physics, mathematics, computer science, ¬geomatics, mechanotronics, oceanography.
•    Careers in research include the following: applied mathematics, general mathematics, statistics, chemistry, physics, oceanography, marine biology, computer science, applied biology, ecology and evolution, biogeochemistry, genetics, microbiology, geology, physiology, archaeology, environmental science, engineering, environmental law, geographical ¬science.
•    Careers in shipping include captain, officers, crew, hospitality, naval services, engineers, electricians, ¬maritime lawyers.
•    Careers in the ocean mining industry include engineers, electricians, geologists, chemists, environmental lawyers.
Note: in all industries engineering refers to the following types of engineers — civil, electrical, mechanical, electrical and computer, electro-mechanical and chemical.
•    Careers in tourism include hospitality, game rangers, veterinarians for large animals

Where do I look for career information?

When making your decision on which tertiary institution you would like to apply to pursue a career in ocean and coastal sciences, not to worry!

There are many universities, colleges and technical universities that offer a wide range of courses in the ocean and coastal sciences , that allow you to specialise in the field of your choice. For further details on available degrees, courses, tertiary institutes and bursary opportunities please visit


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