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Becoming a Marine Biologist

Prabhakar Pillai
Marine biology is all about studying, observing, and protecting the marine plants, coral reefs, seaweeds and marine organisms. It is a very challenging and rewarding career. Go through this information to know how to pursue a career in this field.

Did You Know?

The ocean surface contains 99% of the living space on earth and currently, only less than 10% has been named and classified by scientists.
Does the job of exploring the deep sea, working underwater surrounded by aquatic plants and animals seem alluring? The first milestone is to have genuine interest in the field. After that, becoming a marine biologist need not be just a dream. Here is some guidance to reach that goal.


  • Becoming a marine biologist basically involves working and observing species underwater as well as working in a research laboratory.
  • You ought to start your preparation in high school by taking math and science classes seriously. You'll need to fare well in them, as these classes will prepare you for college.
  • Some time ago, a giant mysterious eyeball was found by a beachcomber near the shores of Pompano beach in Florida (USA). Marine experts believe it belongs to a swordfish, who's eye got slashed by an angler fish. Intriguing, isn't it? Reading books and watching documentaries will definitely give you a profound insight into this fascinating work.
  • You could gain more knowledge and experience if you are willing to volunteer at a local aquarium store, a beach or a lab. Summer and weekend jobs in biology will help you in creating a strong resume and will boost your chances when pursuing a job after graduation.
  • It will work to your advantage if you get experience working both in the lab and in the field while you are at the university. Try to maintain a high-grade point average as it will count, and only then start looking for colleges that specialize in marine biology.
  • Ask a good guidance counselor for a list of colleges that are reputed for marine biology programs. Request for college catalogs and applications well in advance of your senior year.
  • Graduating from the top colleges can open doors to bright career opportunities worldwide. In the US itself, a large number of reputed colleges offer courses in marine biology.
  • It will take a minimum of four years to obtain a Bachelor's degree in science. It will take another two to five years to obtain a Master's degree. The real challenge starts when you go through the entrance exams and interview sessions.
Some aspiring marine biologists also enroll for undergraduate programs, which is related to their field, such as:
  • Oceanography
  • Marine science
  • Marine biology
  • Environmental science
  • Fisheries science


  • By being a marine biologist you are doing something which will benefit not only the current generation, but also the future generations. You have first-hand knowledge of marine environmental problems, and will also get the opportunity to be close to mother Nature. It enhances your intellectual aspect.
  • Scientists study the marine ecosystem, which includes the seas and oceans and some brackish areas like estuaries. They also collect sponges and keep looking for bioactive drugs.
  • The work involves counting and classification of marine species. He investigates the environmental impact of industrial processes, observes, makes theoretical notes, and predicts the equilibrium state of the fish, once fishing is decreased.
  • He researches how marine species can benefit humans, discovers new ways to get biofuels from seaweed, studies their ability to change sex and how oil spill can harm marine life.
  • He studies the impact of seas and oceans on land. The work is tough. He has to spend much time away from home. Physical fitness is needed along with diligence and accuracy in work.
  • There exists a lot of freedom career-wise in this field. You get to travel across the globe and can earn anything ranging from US $29,435 to US $98,756 annually. The salary range varies depending on location, education, and experience. Nevertheless, with experience, it rises at a significant pace.
If you are concerned about protecting, studying and recording valuable information about these marine organisms, then this job could be apt for you. So now that you are armed with all the necessary knowledge and information for becoming a marine biologist, start working hard and achieve that dream. Here's wishing you the best in your pursuit.