Marine Biologist | Education Requirements, Salary, and Job Description

Many people with an appreciation of nature and water creatures, in particular, have found their niche in the area of Marine Biology. Competitive, challenging and exciting, the rewards of a career in this field have no price. With oceans covering approximately 71% of the Earth’s surface, it’s not surprising that most of the life on this planet can be found underwater and there is no doubt many new species still wait to be discovered.

What Do Marine Biologists Earn In a Year?

It would be nice if we could choose a career based solely on what we like but in reality, people do have to consider whether or not it can support them in the future. How much does a Marine Biologist make? In the United States, salary is based on several things which are company size, location, industry, experience, and education.

  • $ 40,000 to start.
  • $ 125,000 for top earners.
  • $ 70,000 yearly average.

marine biologist and her salary

Job Description of a Marine Biologist

What is a Marine biologist? That question is easily answered. They are people who dedicate themselves to the scientific study of life in the ocean or other large bodies of water. Typically, the next thing people want to know is what does a Marine Biologist do? The following list answers that question.

  • Being able to establish a routine is rare. Schedules can’t be predicted because they depend on the weather and how difficult it can be to locate the sea creature you are looking for.
  • One day you may find yourself with little to do, and then the next, be up all night to accomplish a task.
  • 60 hour work weeks are common when doing field work.

What Degrees Are Required?

Education required to enter this field is generally a bachelor’s degree. Undergraduate degrees typically take four years to earn with the first two years being spent on general education requirements such as:

  • Science
  • Physics
  • Biochemistry
  • Cell, Plant and Microbiology
  • Genetics
  • Mathematics
  • Ecology
  • Evolution

How To Become a Marine Biologist and Make A Difference

What’s needed most to work in this fascinating field is simple dedication. Once all educational requirements have been met an internship must be completed to gain practical experience. Specialization determines the industry where an internship is served so depending on your field of study, you may find yourself at either an aquarium, zoo, or environmental agency.

If the goal is a research position advanced degrees may be required. Marine Biology covers so much more than underwater research on plants or bacteria. Those that train and research specific sea creatures also have the same title since they are both tied to the world of water. The study of marine life has led to clues on how to improve both human and animal health as well as the environment that supports them both.

By discovering how to track the growth or decline of marine life and studying water quality, recommendations can be made to protect a species that may be in danger and save them from extinction. Working as a Marine Biologist is the most satisfying way there could be to avoid a 9-5 lifestyle.