How To Become A Marine Biologist
Career Video: Marine Biologist
Marine biologists are scientists who specialize in the study of the ocean. Ocean animals, ecosystems, plants, water, and everything having to do with the oceans is fascinating to a marine biologist. Our oceans are an important part of our world, covering 75 percent of the Earth’s surface. Scientists are interested in learning more about our oceans and how we can protect them.
Why Become A Marine Biologist
A marine biologist is a scientist who specializes in the study of the environments within our oceans. Marine biologists study many types of sea creatures, including whales and dolphins, and also the smaller organisms in our oceans, such as fish and coral. There are many creatures which live in our oceans. They also study the oceans themselves. Marine biologists are interested in better understanding our oceans and how we can preserve the wildlife that lives there.
Research is important to marine biologists. They are often working on a research project, trying to advance their knowledge of our oceans. Whether it is trying to discover a new species that lives in the sea, finding out what kind of food a certain fish eats, or plotting the migration patterns of a school of sea creatures, marine biologists are always using research to study something. Marine biologists must be intelligent, great at science, and good at working in a research setting.
As a marine biologist, you will help advance the field of science. You will make fascinating discoveries about our oceans and the sea creatures that live within them. This career is a great choice for somebody who loves science and wants to do research and dedicate their lives to an environmental cause. You will use your mind to solve problems that need to be solved.
Marine biologists must possess the following qualities and skills:
- Loves Science
- Enjoys Animals
- Enjoys Outdoors
- Great at Research
- Detail Oriented
- Problem Solver
Marine Biologist Work Environment
Research is a large part of the careers of marine biologists. Many work in conjunction with large universities or research institutions in order to conduct their work. A marine biologist should be prepared to spend time in a laboratory setting. They are often performing experiments. Marine biologists often write proposals so they can receive grants to fund their work.
Fieldwork is an important aspect of this career. Marine biologists often work on boats and research vessels, out on the ocean or sea. On the boats, they are able to directly study the objects of their research. Whether it is diving to the bottom of the ocean floor, or taking samples of water so it can be studied back at the laboratory, marine biologists do a lot of work out in the field. They need to be comfortable working out on a boat on the ocean.
Marine Biologist Salary
According to the United States Department of Labor, marine biologists earned a median salary of $59,680 in 2015.
A bachelor’s degree is necessary for many entry-level positions within the field. As more education and experience is obtained, it is possible for a marine biologist to increase their salary level.
Marine Biologist Career Outlook
Career openings in marine biology are expected to increase by 4 percent from 2014 to 2024, which is at a slower rate than most other fields. There are not as many positions open in this field compared to other occupations. Most of the funding for marine biology comes from government and private research grants. Because of this, the field has been stunted due to shortages in appropriate funding.
Marine Biologist Degree
There are many universities that offer degrees in marine biology. Naturally, these schools are often found near the coast – places such as California, Florida, and Hawaii have universities with many great programs, which will help you earn a career in marine biology.
Step 1: Enroll in a university. Research colleges and their programs, and note which ones are known for their marine biology programs. If you grew up near the coast, there may be a great college nearby you. If you grew up nowhere near the ocean, you may need to consider relocating far away to university, if this is something you want to pursue.
Step 2: Take necessary classes. Science classes are important for any marine biologist: biology, chemistry, environmental science, and physics. You will also need mathematics classes, as well as writing classes, in order to be able to publish your research and write grants.
Step 3: Consider an internship. You may be able to work in a laboratory, learning about different aspects of marine biology. Also, try to do independent research in your field, either at your campus or at another educational institution. This will help you understand the field of marine biology better.
Step 4: Decide on a specialty. There are many different things you can study. You can specialize in zoology, oceanography, marine conservation, marine biotechnology, fishery biology, and more. Decide on a certain area of this field that you are passionate about and that you want to dedicate your career to.
Step 5: Attend graduate school. You will be able to specialize in the field of your choosing in graduate school. You will be able to do research and perform experiments that will advance the field. Having an advanced degree will also help you earn a higher salary in your field.