Discover your career path

Marine Chemist

Make sure the chemicals in bodies of water are within safe levels.

What does a Marine Chemist do?

Save the oceans! Become a marine chemist! As a marine chemist, you study the chemical properties of different bodies of water with the goal of making them safer and cleaner. For this to happen, you determine the potential effects of foreign chemicals, as well as the impact of aquatic transportation and construction, on rivers, lakes, and oceans.

Many projects—like waterside construction or new legal policies—have to go through a rigorous series of environmental impact tests, and you lead those tests. Any project with potential negative environmental effects can’t proceed unless your studies support it. That means it’s your responsibility to make sure that any project you’re involved in has minimal negative impact.

A variety of government agencies, environmental survey groups, and private companies employ marine chemists, so you have many potential venues to practice your science. But regardless of who you’re working for, your time isn’t spent locked up in a lab or slaving over a Bunsen burner.

Fieldwork is the name of the game, which has some excellent benefits. You may find yourself on the road, surrounded by beautiful natural scenery. And even if you’re testing levels of chemicals after a toxic spill, you’re still working outdoors and away from a desk.