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Careers for Aquatic Types & Others Who Want to Make a Splash [Secure eReader]
eBook by Blythe Camenson

eBook Category: Business
eBook Description: Careers for Aquatic Types and Others Who Want to Make a Splash lets career explorers look at the job market through the unique lens of their own interests. The book reveals dozens of ways to pursue a passion and make a living--including many little-known but delightful careers that will surprise readers.

eBook Publisher: McGraw-Hill Companies/VGM Career Books, Published: 2002
Fictionwise Release Date: September 2002


Scanning the Horizon

An Overview

Does the idea of working in an office building give you claustrophobia? Are you a sun, sky, and surf type of person? If so, then Careers for Aquatic Types & Others Who Want to Make a Splash will give you an ocean of opportunities to elude the land and embrace the sea. From lifeguarding to studying the ocean floor, to training marine mammals or entertaining guests aboard a cruise ship, you'll be able to find your sea legs within the following pages.

Choosing Your Field

People who work in and around the water give of themselves in many different capacities, providing valuable services -- and having fun. If you're reading this book, chances are you're already considering a career in one of the many areas of this wide-open category. But perhaps you're not sure of the working conditions that different fields offer or which area would suit your personality, skills, and lifestyle the most. There are several factors to consider when deciding which sector to pursue. Each field carries with it different levels of responsibility and commitment. To identify occupations that will match your expectations, you need to know what each job entails.

Ask yourself the following questions and make note of your answers. Then, as you read through the next seven chapters, compare your requirements to the information you're provided with. In many of the chapters you will also read firsthand accounts from people working in the field. Their comments will help you pinpoint the fields that would interest you and eliminate those that would clearly be the wrong choice. What better way to learn about a career than from someone already established and experienced in that particular field?

  • How much time are you willing to commit to training? Some skills can be learned on the job or in a year or two of formal training; others can take considerably longer.

  • Do you want to work on land or at sea? Should your job make sure you are free of a desk and all the other office-type accouterments?

  • Can you handle a certain amount of stress on the job, or would you prefer a quiet -- and safe -- environment?

  • How much money do you expect to earn starting out and after you have a few years' experience under your belt? Salaries and earnings vary greatly in each profession.

  • How much independence do you require? Do you want to be your own boss, or will you be content as a salaried employee?

  • Would you rather work daytime hours, or would you prefer evenings or weekends?

Knowing what your expectations are, then comparing them to the realities of the work will help you make informed choices.

Your Aquatic Options

In this book we cover a variety of job options, but the list is by no means exhaustive. As you do your own research and investigate how you might combine your love of the water with a satisfying career, you will, no doubt, uncover others.

Here are several to get you started. You can read more about these careers -- and others -- in the pages ahead.

  • Aquatic science is the general term for research conducted in oceans and coastal or inland waters connected to the sea. Under this broad category fall oceanographers, marine mammal experts, geologists, and archaeologists, to name a few.

  • Navy and Coast Guard careers provide good opportunities for aquatic types. From patrolling inland waters for the Coast Guard to working as a journalist for the U.S. Navy, you can find a place to put your skills to good use.

  • Commercial fishing lends itself to strenuous work, long hours, and seasonal jobs. But for those who prefer to combine their love of the sea with a need for independence, this field might be the one for them. The proportion of self-employed workers in this field is among the highest in the economy.

  • Water transportation workers operate and maintain all sorts of seagoing vessels, including tugboats, cargo ships, and ferries. The career options, from captain to mechanic, are broad and plentiful.

  • Cruise Staff work can be fun and exciting, with the opportunity to travel to exotic ports and meet different kinds of people. Jobs run the gamut from purser to activities director.

  • Water Safety offers a wide range of employment opportunities, from lifeguarding at summer camps to rescue duties working for the National Park Service.

  • Water Sports work can let you pass on your skills to others while you enjoy the sun and surf. Adult education programs, summer camps, the Red Cross, YMCAs, private resorts, and a variety of other organizations regularly employ instructors to teach swimming, sailing, and all the other water activities.

The Training You'll Need

The training required for the different aquatic careers varies greatly. Some positions are entry level, requiring no more than a high school education. Others demand you be physically fit and have some prior work experience. Others require specific skills and a college degree -- some even require postgraduate training at the Ph.D. level.


Just as the training you'll need for aquatic occupations varies greatly, so do the salaries. In general, the more education and training required for a position, the more you'll earn. But that isn't always the case. Other factors also determine salaries, such as the geographic region in which you work and the size and the budget of the hiring organization. In each chapter ahead you'll learn the different salaries for each occupation.

For More Information

In the Appendix you will find professional associations for many of the career paths explored in this book. Most offer booklets and pamphlets with career information; some are free, and others might have a nominal charge of one or two dollars. Most organizations will respond to your letter within a few days.

Copyright © 2000 by VGM Career Books

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