American Oceans

Jobs You Can Get With a Degree in Marine Biology

Biological and biomedical sciences are some of the most highly awarded degrees in the country, just below business and humanities.

marine biology expert studying samples on jobs

Among these biological sciences is the science of marine biology, or the study of the ocean and its living inhabitants: here are some exciting career paths that can be accessed with a degree in marine biology. 


Microbiologists study microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, algae, and fungi as well as some types of parasites.

microbiologist study samples of microorganisms in laboratory

Microbiologists in the marine biology field may specialize in observing these kinds of organisms as they are found in oceans or saltwater lakes

Research Technician

Research technicians assist scientists during experiments by conducting lab tests independent of the scientist’s authority.

research technician experiments life samples in lab

They also take care of housekeeping in the laboratories by cleaning, sanitizing, and organizing.

A research technician in the marine biology field may assist with collecting and testing samples found in the ocean that may provide an insight into plant and animal life. 

Environmental Planner

An environmental planner is someone who assesses the environmental impact of construction projects.

environmental planner in field assesses construction projects

These people can apply their legal knowledge and make recommendations to construction companies to ensure construction can be conducted in a sustainable way.

An environmental planner trained in marine biology may be focused on coastal communities and construction projects based near the sea or any body of saltwater. 

Marine Biologist

A marine biologist is a scientist who specializes in the study of marine wildlife. Marine biologists can work in the field conducting behavioral research or can take water and plant samples for testing in a laboratory environment.

marine biologist conducting behavioral research of marine wildlife

A marine biologist may also specialize in a specific subgroup of marine wildlife, like marine mammals, fish, or cephalopods. 


An aquarist is a person who keeps and maintains an aquarium environment, often engaging in animal husbandry and rigorous caretaking.

aquarist maintains spaces for an aquarium

A background in marine biology is important if not necessary to maintain a career as an aquarist.

Aquarists can work at large aquarium spaces as well as museums, educational institutions, and even rescue and rehabilitation centers for marine creatures. 

Stranding Response 

Someone who specializes in stranding response is capable of rescuing stranded marine life, most notably marine mammals such as seals, whales, dolphins, and sea lions.

responsible stranding response specialists rescuing marine life

These people are responsible for recording the health states of wild animals and actively working to ensure the livelihood of stranded and injured wild animals. 

Marine Archaeology 

Maritime or marine archaeology is the study of past human cultures with an emphasis on how humankind interacted with the world’s oceans.

marine archaeology study oceans for past human cultures

This includes diving at shipwrecks, studying historic texts, and becoming immersed in old coastal communities in order to find and report historically significant information. 

Natural Resource Technician

A natural resource technician monitors the overall quality of natural resources like land, water, and air.

natural resource technician collect samples of water resources

With a background in marine biology, a natural resource technician can collect samples and analyze how local natural resources like the ocean are impacted by businesses and energy consumption.

These people may focus on conservation and spreading awareness about protecting bodies of saltwater. 

Environmental Consultant

An environmental consultant advises businesses and other major organizations about how to minimize their environmental impact and footprint.

environmental consultant identify environmental impact and footprint sustainability

With training in marine biology, an environmental consultant can identify tasks to be done to sustain maine health especially regarding the impacts of businesses amongst coastal communities or in communities that rely heavily on the oceans for livelihood. 


A scientist is a professionally trained researcher who relies on research, experimentation, and factual evidence to reach conclusions about the living world.

marine biology scientist taking samples for laboratory

A scientist specialized in marine biology may gather data by working in the field, observing living behavior, or taking samples to be used in a laboratory setting.

A scientist can conduct experiments on their own or collaborate with other scientists on experiments and research papers. 

Are Marine Biology Jobs in High Demand?

The short answer is yes. There are hundreds of jobs that can be done and enhanced by having a degree in marine biology, even if there is little to no exposure to marine environments.

As a marine biologist, job opportunities can be found in government, the private sector, consulting, industry, and academia.

Environmental science careers can be incredibly lucrative as well as beneficial to the overall health of the planet. 

How to Earn a Marine Biology Degree

Many colleges all around the country have prolific marine biology programs – most coastal colleges have research departments that specialize in marine sciences and studies.

Any four-year college will offer a bachelor’s degree in marine biology and will most likely offer graduate programs for students to advance with a master’s degree and even a PhD. Carefully selecting a university is the best way to obtain a degree in marine biology.

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