Average Salary: $79,930
Expected Lifetime Earnings: $3,337,000
Oceanographer salaries will vary as widely as the responsibilities, education, and specialties they have. Starting salaries for Oceanographers with a bachelor's degree will be in the $40k range, although the median salary is closer to double that. Oceanographers who work with nonprofit organizations can generally expect to make less than those who work for private corporations, especially if that corporation exists for oily reasons.
Keep moving up in the education and experience categories, and an Oceanographer's salary will follow. Those scientists who have earned a PhD or are involved in high-level research, important government agencies, or who teach at the university level can expect to earn closer to $150k, with some making more than two hundred grand. There is also the remote possibility that your pirate dreams will come true: There are a lot of shipwrecks out there in the great blue sea. Many of those shipwrecks may still hold booty. Who knows? One day you may accidentally come across a Spanish galleon holding a fortune in gold. That should float your boat.