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Marine Biologist Education

Charlie S
Marine biologists are professionals who study the ocean life. This sector has become increasingly popular because of the modern facilities and provisions to carry out work extensively and achieve career advancement faster. The only thing that you need to be sure of is whether this field really interests you and, if you have the requisite skills for the job. So before moving on to the educational details, let us quickly go through the job description first.

Job Description

The job of a marine biologist includes:
  • Studying and collecting information on the marine life forms and their interaction with the ocean floor and land.
  • Studying the effects of ocean currents on living organisms and coming up with different ways of preserving the marine environment.
  • Preparing detailed reports of their observations and handing them over to the senior authorities so that they can make decisions regarding the protection of marine life.
  • Working in offices and laboratories as research assistants along with their field work.
From the job details, it is clear that this is a specialist's job and one must have the requisite educational qualifications besides the passion and interest to become a marine biologist.

Becoming a Marine Biologist

As mentioned above, all the candidates who wish to be marine biologists need to be fully aware of the educational requirements for this career. The preparation should start from one's high school itself, to get admission in top schools offering courses in or related to marine biology.
Entry-level jobs generally need a graduate degree whereas the senior level jobs would need a postgraduate degree or a doctorate along with enough experience. The following are the important subjects on which you should concentrate for a successful career in marine biology.
  • Environmental science
  • Marine biology
  • Oceanography
  • Fisheries science
  • Marine science
Knowledge of research can be gained from practical oriented courses which are run by some of the most prominent universities. At many places, the marine biologist education requirements include a four-year degree program in fields such as aquatic biology or biological science.
Apart from this, you should also have good knowledge of physics, chemistry, zoology and biometrics to make a mark in this career. When you select marine biology as your special subject, you need to be extra careful while choosing your college/university and make sure that it is an accredited one.
Some of the well-known schools offering marine biology courses are Florida International University, Boston University, Florida State University, University of Georgia, University of Southern California, Troy University and University of California, San Diego.
Effective communication and interpersonal skills, ability to work in a team, leadership qualities, observation skills and presence of mind are the qualities which makes a good marine biologist.


The salary figures are really impressive because of today's demand for talented professionals in this sector. Although, these figures vary depending on the location of the job, type of employer and skills of the candidates. Marine biologists employed by top research institutions are believed to earn the highest salaries in this vocation.

Experience and Salary Figures

No experience ~ $35,000 to $43,000 p.a.
2 to 5 yrs ~ $45,000 to $60,000 p.a.
5 yrs and above ~  $70,000 and above p.a.
We can thus conclude that marine biology is definitely an exciting career choice for young graduates. Putting in sincere efforts and improving your skills will surely help you in achieving your goals. Good luck for your career!