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Where Marine Biologists Get Hired

If you’re exploring a marine career and are interested in working as a marine biologist, you may have wondered what types of organizations and companies will end up hiring you. While some colleges and universities that offer marine biology degree programs offer externships and internships for marine biologists that may end up turning into a job, many students have to head off on a job search right after graduation. Knowing what types of organizations hire marine biologists, and what types of jobs are available in your state or field of work, can help you make the most informed decisions about your career.

Employment of Marine Biologists

If you choose to get just a bachelor’s of science degree in marine biology, you will likely be employed as a technician, biologist, or take on some type of assistant role. If you complete a master’s degree or a Ph.D., you may be able to apply for a supervisor position or undertake various types of research projects. An increasing number of employers prefer marine biologists to have at least a master’s degree. Master’s degree programs give students a chance to develop their research and analytical skills, and many give the student a chance to complete fieldwork studies.

Examples of organizations that employ marine biologists include:

University research laboratories – many master’s degree students and Ph.D. students end up working for the same university that they studied in. University research laboratories hire marine biologists to conduct different types of experiments and undertake fieldwork projects.

Private companies – seaweed growing companies, fish hatcheries, and other private companies that work in this industry often employ marine biologists to conduct experiments and work with their research teams. They may hire marine biologists on a contract basis to work on a particular project or to solve a specific problem.

Zoos and aquariums – some zoos and aquariums that have onsite research centers hire marine biologists to carry out experiments and oversee research projects onsite. Marine biologists might also be responsible for maintaining a diverse collection of aquarium exhibits and for showcasing different types of marine and aquatic life. Aquarium biologists are very specialized roles and positions, and may require some advanced on-the-job training.

Government research laboratories – research labs and marine stations operated by the government also hire marine biologists – especially those who have advanced skills and training in a specialized area. Many government research laboratories look for marine biologists with advanced degrees and strong research backgrounds.

Non-profit environmental advocacy organizations – nonprofit organizations committed to conservation practices and protecting the environment may also turn to marine biologists for help. Some hire marine biologists full time to conduct experiment, provide reports on various types of research endeavors and outcomes, and analyze data.

From industrial research centers and eco-tourism companies, to aquariums and marine biology consulting companies, you can find a number of attractive jobs for marine biologists in a diverse set of settings. Whether you’re interested in conducting fieldwork experiments, working in a university research lab, or contracting with nonprofit environmental advocacy organizations, you’ll find many attractive job opportunities in this field for years to come.

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