What Can I Do with a Marine Biology Degree?
Are you interested in working with and researching a wide variety of marine wildlife? If so, a degree in marine biology may be for you. Marine biology is the study of salt water organisms. If you've received a master's degree in marine biology, you are eligible to hold a career in one of the many subcategories of the marine biology field. A bachelor's degree is considered sufficient education to work in some entry-level positions and as an aquarist. Schools offering Anatomy & Physiology degrees can also be found in these popular choices.
Marine Biology Defined
Marine biology involves examining, observing, analyzing, protecting and managing a variety of marine organisms and their environments. You may study marine fish populations or manage a marine wildlife preserve, protecting the marine organisms that live there. Marine biology is a very broad category that encompasses many occupations and subcategories. After you graduate from a degree program in marine biology, you could find a job as a marine biologist, aquarist or oceanographer.
Receiving a master's degree or Ph.D. in marine biology is the most common way for you to become a professional marine biologist, although a few entry-level jobs might require only a bachelor's degree. As a marine biologist, you will work extensively with many different types of marine microbes, plants and animals. You will conduct research aimed at better understanding marine wildlife and the environmental factors that affect their populations. Since marine biology is such a broad field, you will typically select an area of specialization, such as a particular species or ecosystem, on which to focus your research. Several job positions that are commonly held by marine biologists include:
- Environmental consultant
- Fish and wildlife biologist
- Fishery management biologist
If you aspire to care for fish and other underwater creatures at an aquarium, a career as an aquarist may be right for you. As an aquarist, you would be responsible for feeding animals and observing them for any indication of illness or injury. You would also be in charge of keeping the water and tanks clean, presentable and at the right temperature to keep the aquatic creatures alive and thriving. You'll probably be able to find a job as an aquarist if you hold a bachelor's degree in marine biology, although you might also need to be a certified diver.
If you want to become an oceanographer, you may need to receive training in mathematics and chemistry along with your marine biology education. As an oceanographer, you'd study the chemical balances and other physical components of the ocean, such as the circulation of ocean water. Specialized branches in oceanography include the biological, geological, chemical and physical. Oceanographers tend to study the ocean as a whole, instead of just the animals living there.
To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below: