Saturday, March 23, 2013

Book Review: Careers for Aquatic Types and Others Who Want to Make a Splash by Blythe Camenson

Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: Lots of information on various careers
Cons: Only a basic listing. You'll need to do more research elsewhere.
The Bottom Line:
Good introductions
To wide variety of
Water employment

Skims the Surface but Never Goes too Deep

Picking a career is one of the toughest things anyone does as they grow up. Blythe Camenson has written a series of guides to help people find the career that is perfect for them. She has organized her series according to interests. Careers for Aquatic Types focuses on those who are interesting in working around water.

The book is set up into a series of chapters that focus on the various job opportunities for aquatic types. The book breaks the categories down into seven chapters: scientists, military, commercial fishing, transportation, cruise staff, water safety and rescue, and sports.

Each chapter pretty much follows the same pattern. It starts by describing all the jobs that might fall under that category. Then it talks about the training that the jobs would require. Next, it discusses employment statistics and salary before concluding with an interview of two with someone who is currently involved in that particular field.

As you might expect, the writing is a little dry most of the times since the book is basically a list of facts and figures. The author does a good job of explaining any jargon, so it never gets to technical and is a fast read. The interviews are the most interesting part and directly tie in to the information presented earlier in the chapter.

There is lots of good information here. Anyone trying to choose their first job or looking to change careers will get a feel for whether the job interests them, how much training they realistically need, and what they can do to increase their chances of getting a job in their chosen field.

But the book does have some down sides. At 150 pages, including an appendix of professional associations, the book just barely wets your appetite for more. You are truly just getting an introduction, and you'll need to use that appendix to get more information on your chosen field.

Additionally, the chapters list a lot of jobs, but usually focus on one or two. The first chapter is the worse offender. It lists all kinds of scientific jobs, including government opportunities, but spends the majority of the time on aquarium workers. In fact, each chapter focuses most of the career of the person interviewed at the end.

The book was published in 2000, and some of the information came from 1996, so some of the information is already out of date.

If you live in the US, the lists of places to contact for further information are invaluable. However, this book is obviously geared for the US and contains no contacts for anyone in a foreign country. In fact, most of the contacts on are on the East Coast.

If you are looking for one stop shopping career advice, you'll find this book disappointing. However, if you want a taste of the many career opportunities you could have while working near the water, Careers for Aquatic Types is exactly what you are looking for.

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