Aquatic biologists examine plants, organisms, and chemicals that are found in areas connected with water, such as wetlands, rivers, oceans, and lakes. The field of aquatic biology is divided into two concentrations: marine biology, which is the study of saltwater environmental systems, and limnology, which is the study of freshwater environmental systems.
It is the responsibility of an aquatic biologist to collect and analyze environmental data to understand the dynamics that may affect an organism’s inhabitants in the environment. An aquatic biologist develops conservation plans to improve and categorize the organisms and the environment.
If you have a passion for environmental science, preserving our environment, and working outdoors, you may want to explore a career in aquatic biology.
Why Become An Aquatic Biologist
If you have a passion for protecting our Earth’s organisms and water systems, a career in aquatic biology may be for you! The various branches of aquatic biology are essential to understanding and protecting fresh and salt water systems, while providing the proper habitats for animals and plants to flourish.
Aquatic biologists may work within an office setting, however, the majority of their work and research is performed within outdoor fieldwork. Aquatic biologists perform laboratory work and testing, research, and preparing reports. The work of an aquatic biologist is based within environments surrounded by water.
They may conduct experiments with scuba diving equipment and fishing vessels. Aquatic biologists typically work full-time and may have irregular schedules or hours, depending on the environmental experiments, tasks, or weather.
Aquatic Biologist Salary
The Occupational Employment and Wages Report of the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the US Department of Labor showed the annual wage scale in 2014, of aquatic biologists, varies from $31,750 to $78,160. The annual wage of aquatic biologists is dependent on experience and education within the field.
Aquatic Biologist Career Outlook
The career outlook for an aquatic biologist looks to grow slower than other career areas, with a projected increase of 5% from 2012 to 2022. The demand for aquatic biology services has slightly decline, as funding for aquatic research has decreased due to the 2008 and 2009 economic recession. The job opportunities for aquatic biologists are expected to improve in the near future, as the economy improves and research funding becomes available.
Aquatic Biologist Degree
In order to become an aquatic biologist, you will need to obtain an undergraduate degree within the field of aquatic science, biology with an emphasis in aquatic biology, or aquatic biology. It is imperative you take undergraduate coursework in ecology, evolution, genetics, and general biology.
You may be able to pursue electives such as ichthyology, fish biology, environmental policy, aquatic habitats, limnology, marine biology, and wetland ecology. It is imperative to enroll in internships in order to gain experience within the fieldwork of an aquatic biologist. Your coursework may include laboratory experiments and how to properly identify freshwater and saltwater organisms within an environment.
The goal of studying aquatic biology is to understand the habitat or the organisms or animals and how you can protect them in their freshwater or saltwater environment. If you wish to pursue a graduate degree, such as a Master’s degree or a PhD degree, you may find employment within aquatic biology teaching or research positions.