Thinking of a career as a Marine Biologist? Interested to know what the U.S. job market looks like? Oceans cover 71% of the planet and 2.8 million species live in them! Becoming a Marine Biologist is a great way to uncover the mysteries of the seas. Read on to find out how many Marine Biologist jobs there are in the U.S.!
Overview of Marine Biology
Marine Biology: The Study of Life in the Ocean
According to the heading, marine biology is the scientific study of creatures that live in salty water. It’s a large, cross-disciplinary field. Marine biologists explore the depths of the ocean. They study the way living things and ecosystems interact with their environment. This includes the chemical and physical properties of seawater.
Marine biologists research marine life and ecosystems. This helps us understand and manage oceans and their resources. There are a lot of career options in marine biology. Research, conservation, consultancy, government, and education are a few. Government agencies, non-profits, consulting firms, museums, aquariums, research centers, and universities employ marine biologists.
Pro tip: To increase chances of a career in marine biology, higher education and practical experience through internships or volunteering is needed.
Marine Biologist Job Description
Marine Biologists? They study the behavior, interactions, and ecology of marine organisms, as well as biological oceanography. In the US, about 3,000 jobs for marine biologists exist. Requirements to get a job in this field are numerous.
Job duties of a marine biologist include collecting, analyzing and interpreting biological or environmental data. They also do research on ecosystems and biodiversity, giving advice on research and project planning, and carrying out surveys and assessments.
Generally, marine biologists work full-time and need a Bachelor’s degree in Marine Biology, Biology or a related subject. To do well in this field, a master’s degree might be needed. Marine biologists should be able to work outside in difficult conditions, have nice communication skills, and be very detail-oriented.
Qualifications for Marine Biologist Jobs
To be a Marine Biologist, one must possess certain qualifications. A Bachelor’s degree in Marine Biology, Biology, Zoology or similar is a must. For senior roles, a Master’s/ Ph.D. is recommended. Specializing in ecology, marine conservation, environment, and oceanography helps to secure a job.
Experience through internships, research, or volunteering is desirable. Good communication, data analysis, problem-solving skills and a passion for the sea will give an edge.
Per US Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are around 2,700 Marine Biologist jobs in the US.
Marine Biologist Career Paths
The US offers countless marine biologist career paths! Ranging from academic research to conservation and government agencies.
Popular positions include:
- Research Scientist – Collecting data, analyzing it, and publishing papers.
- Oceanographer – Uncovering the physical and chemical properties of the ocean with advanced technology.
- Conservation Biologist – Protecting and conserving marine species through research, education, and policy-making.
- Fisheries Biologist – Managing fish populations, analyzing data, and implementing policies to ensure sustainability.
- Government Jobs – Agencies like NOAA, EPA, and state/federal ones hire marine biologists for research and policy-making.
Get the right education and experience to find the right path for you! Pro Tip: Gaining practical experience through internships and volunteering can help you stand out in the job market.
Marine Biologist Salaries
Marine biologist jobs are available in the US. Salaries depend on the job, location and other factors. Popular job titles include research scientist, conservation biologist, aquarist and marine mammal trainer.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics says median annual wage for marine biologists was $63,270 in May 2020. The lowest 10% earned less than $42,550, and the highest 10% earned more than $105,450.
Experience, education level, job location and employer type affects salary. For example, federal government marine biologists may earn more than those working for local or state governments. Advanced degrees or specialized certifications can increase earning potential.
Marine Biologist Job Market in the US
The US marine biology job market is increasing. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 8,100 zoologists and wildlife biologists – including marine biologists – were employed in 2020.
Plus, the field is expected to grow 4% between 2019-2029, with 1,900 new jobs. This rate is similar to the average for all occupations.
But, competition is strong. Having advanced degrees and extra abilities like GIS and scuba diving can make candidates more attractive.
Pro tip: Stay up-to-date on the latest scientific literature. Participating in internships or volunteer work can help your job chances in marine biology.
Finding Marine Biologist Jobs
Marine biology jobs in the US are rising in popularity. There are various types, such as research, management, education, and conservation.
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) recorded 4,600 marine biologists employed in 2020. The median wage was $63,420.
Search job boards like Monster, Indeed, and Glassdoor for opportunities. Also, attend job fairs & conferences, network and apply to research institutions or gov’t agencies such as NOAA or the National Park Service.
Pro Tip: Specialize yourself with scuba diving or GIS mapping to make you a more competitive candidate.
Tips for Landing a Marine Biologist Job
US marine biologist job numbers are unknown. But here are some tips to help you get one!
- Achieve education and experience: Get a degree in marine biology or related field, and do internships or research projects.
- Network with experts: Go to conferences, join online forums, and contact professionals in the field.
- Stay informed: Follow industry trends, new research, and job openings with professional associations and online sources.
- Customize your applications: Adapt your resume, cover letter, and application to the job and company you’re applying to.
- Look at other job openings: Be open to different locations, such as government, university, research institute, and non-profit organizations.
Pro tip- Don’t give up if you don’t land the job quickly. Keep learning and gaining experience in your field, and the right job will come!
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is the current job outlook for marine biologists in the US?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of marine scientists and marine biologists is projected to grow 5 percent from 2019 to 2029, which is faster than the average for all occupations.
2. What kind of jobs are available for marine biologists in the US?
Marine biologists can work in a variety of fields, including research, conservation, education, and government. Some common job titles include marine mammal biologist, marine ecologist, marine conservation biologist, and marine policy analyst.
3. What kind of education and training is required to become a marine biologist in the US?
Most marine biologist positions require at least a Bachelor’s degree in biology, marine science, or a related field. Many positions also require a Master’s or Ph.D. degree. Relevant coursework includes marine ecology, oceanography, and marine biology.
4. Are there any specific regions within the US that have a higher demand for marine biologists?
Coastal regions, particularly those with large marine research institutions, tend to have more job opportunities for marine biologists. These regions include California, Florida, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Alaska, and Washington.
5. What is the average salary for a marine biologist in the US?
The median annual wage for marine scientists and marine biologists was $63,170 in May 2020, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. However, salaries can vary widely depending on factors such as education level, experience, and geographic location.
6. What is the demand for marine biologists expected to be in the future?
The demand for marine biologists is expected to remain steady in the future due to the continued need for research and conservation efforts. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that job growth in this field will be driven by efforts to address climate change and ocean pollution.