Marine Biologist

By: Hillary Lesperance

What Is A Marine Biologist?

Marine biology is the field of knowledge relating to marine organisms. A marine biologist can do anything from being a dolphin trainer, to managing a marine wildlife sanctuary. A marine biologist is anyone who studies, observes, protects, or manages marine organisms.

What do Marine Biologist do

Marine biologists do both independent research and teamwork with other professionals. A marine biologist may work with engineers, business managers, technicians, and scientists. They may also act as consultants to government organizations, or become professors at colleges and universities. Some marine bio technologists develop new underwater technologies. Many marine biologists work at large aquariums, caring for the creatures that live there. Others work in environmental agencies. Some marine biologists move into management positions after years of research. They often plan and administer programs at fisheries, or direct activities at aquariums

Work Environment

Some marine biologists do a lot of work outside of the lab. This may involve taking animal samples underwater. They also do a lot of in lab work , like organizing samples, preforming a data analysis, or setting up PRC experiments. Some risks/hazards you have to look out for is ocean dangers and the chemicals you may work with inside of the lab.  

How to Become One

Some steps involved in being a marine biologist include:

Taking an entry level internship (Field research assistant or Aquarium worker)

Acquiring relevant skills like diving, small boat handling, or wilderness first aid.

Getting academic credentials. You will need at least a Master's Degree but fields to consider include

  • Marine ecology
  • Marine biology
  • Ichthyology
  • Cytology
  • Ornithology
  • Aquarium sciences


Ranges generally quoted for marine biologist salaries vary from about $35,000 to $110,000 per year.

Job Outlook

Technological change: One area of specialization, the emerging field of marine biotechnology, offers great opportunity for marine biologists.

Demand: Because the ocean is so vast and most of it hasn't been discovered there will be a strong demand for marine biologists, especially government jobs.


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