September 20, 2016

Marine Biology is a multifaceted career choice. While it may seem like a fun and exciting future... it is! But it's not without its sacrifices, struggles and the same confusion, choices and decisions that any career has.

Given that the ocean covers over 70 percent of the planet, it is inconceivable for a marine biologist (or anyone thinking of becoming a marine biologist) to think that there are no jobs. Marine Science.But that's a common misconception among our parents, career advisors, and friends. There are plenty of jobs, you just have to know where and how to look. The jobs in marine science today don't involve what people picture in their minds. We're certainly not sitting on a beach all day, playing in the water and "pretending" to work. Marine Biology, like any career field, is as much a dedication to a skill set as woodworking, accounting, or being a lawyer. Sure we may play in the ocean from time to time, but even those living on tropical islands, right next to the water may not spend more than 20% of their time in the water.

So what else are we doing? We're writing, analyzing data, doing administrative duties, writing publications, applying for grants or research permits, liaising with communities and governments, educating people, helping to write policy, changing policy, the list goes on. Stereo-video.Not only that but we're always reeducating ourselves by reading the latest scientific work, learning new statistical methods, learning new field work methods, learning lab techniques, and new technologies, again the list goes on.

What about salary? The salary scale is wide and varied. Initially, you may work for a while struggling to keep your head above water. But that's ok. I call that character building and learning life skills. In time you'll rise up the pay scale, perhaps even earning in the six figure category, especially if you're in the world of environmental consulting.

Despite the naysayers, there is a wide scope of jobs available, and a range of income possibilities across the broad field that is marine biology.

You May Also Like

Marine Science

Why Marine Science?

Lindsey Ray, Marine Science Enthusiast

Like many people, my fascination for the ocean began on vacation. Born and raised in Colorado, vacations almost always entailed going to the beach. Whether it was snorkeling in the Bahamas, swimming with sea turtles in Maui, or watching the Shamu show at SeaWorld, every time we visited the coast, I became increasingly captivated by the ocean and the organisms it housed.

marine science, conservation, education, ocean literacy

Ocean Issues are Everyone's Issues

Marlee Glasgow, Ocean First Education Advocate

Climate change is very much a young people issue. Worrying stats such as, “by 2050, fish stocks will effectively disappear” has a real affect on our lives. It has me thinking about what my dinner menu will look like when I am nearing retirement age.

conservation, marine ecology, education, STEM, research

Ecology Boosts Math, Reading (and More)

Catherine E. Christopher, Ocean First Education

How many blue whales are there? Where do they go in the winter? What happens if the plankton population they rely on for food is depleted?