Marine Biologist Salary In USA

Marine Biologist
Marine Biologist Salary In USA (Image Source: Payscale)


A marine biologist studies oceans and their organisms. They protect, observe, or manage marine organisms or animals, plants, and microbes. Marine biologists can hold many titles and specializations. For instance, they can manage wildlife preserves to protect aquatic organisms. They may also study fish populations or test for bioactive drugs. They also write scientific reports from their findings and get them published to educate others. In this article, we have mentioned the details about Marine Biologist Salary, their educational qualifications, their entry and average salary and many more.

Marine Biologist
Marine Biologist

How to become a marine biologist?

A minimum of a bachelor’s degree is required to become a marine biologist. However, many employers prefer applicants to have a master’s degree specializing in marine biology and aquatic studies, and it is also becoming more common that employers want candidates to have a doctorate degree.

Many universities and colleges offer marine biology programs; however, degrees such as biology, zoology, fisheries, ecology, or other animal sciences are common. Coursework usually includes classes in biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics, and statistics. Additionally, there may be training in laws and public policies.

Organizations such as the Association of Zoos & AquariumsMarineBioAmerican Fisheries Society, and the Society for Marine Mammology are great places to start to explore this career field. 

Also, finding internships, volunteering, or part-time work at local aquariums, environmental organizations-if you live near marinas, beaches, lakes, or oceans, or even fisheries can be beneficial when entering this career field. 

Marine biologist Skills Photo
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Types of marine biologist

  • Marine ecologist and dive operations manager
  • Reef restoration project manager
  • Marine biology technician
  • Research assistant
  • Fishery data manager
  • Environmental engineer
  • Professor in marine ecology
  • Postdoctoral fellow
  • Oil spill response specialist
  • Consultant in marine ecology
  • Marine biotechnologist
  • Marine policy expert.

Marine Biologist Skills & Competencies

General skills marine biologists need to be good at the work they do include the following:

  • Critical and analytical thinking: Drawing conclusions requires sound scientific methods, which requires questioning and testing everything.
  • Observational skills: Studying marine life, especially animals, requires the ability to recognize the slightest changes in behavior and any changes in environment that might have led to those changes.
  • Physical and emotional stamina: Fieldwork can be physically demanding, especially if it is done in or under water, and it also can be emotionally demanding if it requires the researcher to alone in an environment with only native marine life.
  • Teamwork: Much research is done as part of a larger team. Students still working toward advanced degrees especially are expected to cooperate with other team members if they are assisting a professor or other team leader with research.

Top Skills:

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we’ve found all of the skills you’ll need so even if you don’t have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 22.1% of marine biologists listed ecology on their resume, but soft skills such as communication skills and emotional stamina and stability are important as well.

  • Ecology, 22.1%
  • Wildlife, 15.8%
  • Data Analysis, 10.9%
  • Habitat, 9.1%
  • Animal Care, 4.4%
  • Other Skills, 37.7%
Top Skills Marine Biologist
Top Skills Marine Biologist

How much does a Marine Biologist make?

The average Marine Biologist in the US makes $71,006. The average bonus for a Marine Biologist is $1,693 which represents 2% of their salary, with 99% of people reporting that they receive a bonus each year. Marine Biologists make the most in San Francisco at $106,120, averaging total compensation 49% greater than the US average.

Quality of Life for Marine Biologist

With a take-home pay of roughly $4,954/month, and the median 2BR apartment rental price of $2,506/mo**, a Marine Biologist would pay 50.59% of their monthly take-home salary towards rent.

Average base salary


Annual base salary

Top-level marine biologist earnings begin at:

$34.40per hour

$71,561per year

Senior-level marine biologist earnings begin at:

$21.52per hour

$44,755per year

Mid-level marine biologist earnings begin at:

$15.46per hour

$32,159per year

Junior-level marine biologist earnings begin at:

$12.68per hour

$26,377per year

Salary of Marine Biologist
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Starting level marine biologist earnings begin at:

$11.62per hour

$24,166per year

Salary Potential

Top companies

Top companies
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How much tax will you have to pay as a Marine Biologist?

For an individual filer in this tax bracket, you would have an estimated average federal tax in 2018 of 22%. After a federal tax rate of 22% has been taken out, Marine Biologists could expect to have a take-home pay of $59,445/year, with each paycheck equaling approximately $2,477.

Highest paying cities 

Highest paying cities 

Frequently asked questions About Marine Biologist Salary:

How much does a Marine Biologist make in India?

A Marine Biologist in India earns an average of ₹7,54,300 gross per year, which is about ₹40,860 net per month. Everything you need to know about the salary of the Marine Biologist updated to 2022.

What is the starting salary for a Marine Biologist in India?

The starting salary of a Marine Biologist in India is around ₹1,32,800 gross per year.

What is the highest salary for a Marine Biologist in India?

The highest salary of a Marine Biologist in India can reach and exceed ₹30,00,000 gross per year.


While marine biologist careers vary significantly, at its basic level, this type of scientist specializes in the living organisms in bodies of water. Most marine biologists salary have an area of specialty – some study mammals, or fish, single celled organisms like plankton, or plants and coral. While duties do vary from job to job, but the list below includes job duties that one typically encounters as a marine biologist:

Marine Biologist
Marine Biologist
  • Review research and literature relating to current discoveries in the field
  • Collect field and control samples of biological samples and non-living media in order to perform analyses
  • Research the behaviour and relationships among organisms in the marine environment
  • Analyze the evolution and distribution of organisms and their environment in the ocean
  • Use and maintain instrumentation used to track organisms and measure the properties of the environment
  • Analyze the diversity and health of various components of the marine environment
  • Consult and work to rebuild damaged marine ecosystems
  • Use computer modelling to build predictive data for the marine ecosystem
  • Consult with stakeholders regarding programs to monitor pollution
  • Advocate for and monitor environmental compliance
  • Provide assistance to fisheries management and coast guard units as required

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