Underwater Career

A career in studying animals that live in oceans.

Marine Biologist

Branch of Science

Life science is also known as biological science, in this field people study animals and their habitats. Life patterns and changes are some of the focuses within the field. For example marine biologists would study fish such as this puffer fish while living in their environment.

Education Path

To become a Marine Biologist you will need a Bachelors (or higher) degree. This means you will go to college for 4 years, with the option to continue on to complete your Masters, or Doctorate. Helpful high school classes for this career would include two years of English, Math, Science, and Social Studies. Some colleges require a second language. While other required classes from high school are, Advanced Biology, Biology, Chemistry, English Composition, Physics, and Pre-Calculus. The college courses needed for this job are: Ecology, Evolution, Systematics, and Population Biology. These are classes mainly in the biological science branch. Overall this major will give you enough information to accurately study animals and the ocean environment, while rebuilding damaged habitats.

Training School and College

One of the leading schools for this major is Hawaii Pacific University, which is located in Honolulu, Hawaii. I chose this college because of its great reputation, I have always wanted to visit Hawaii, and Hawaii is surrounded by water. With an education from this university I will be able to get a job after graduation. The university is in an urban area which means in the city. This is a private university and has 4 year degrees up to Doctorate Degrees. The student to faculty ratio is 15:1 and with a class size of about 8000 students, it has some larger classes.


For Hawaii Pacific University the average GPA to get into this school is 2.5. Also both an ACT and SAT test must be completed and their test averages would be similar to the Wisconsin State Schools, no specifics were listed.

About the Job

A marine biologist would have to keep detailed reports and graphs about their studies. Also would be comfortable in water and deep sea diving. Need to be environmentally friendly by helping re-populate coral reefs. Typical long hours are required due to sunlight and the necessary study time afterwards. Typical work is done in oceans, on ships and in labs.

What Factors Affect Employment for this Job?

Wisconsin has about the same amount of openings as compared to other states. However this job is highly focused on water, so states with large ocean coastlines are the best picks for applying nationally.


Wisconsin salaries vary from $33,400 to $87,290 whereas the National salaries vary from $38,780 to $102,300. This shows that Wisconsin’s average salary is lower than the National Salaries.


Marine biologists are often employed by the government or large marine centered organizations. Some examples would be:

Walt Disney Parks & Resorts Careers

Lake Buena Vista, FL

Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology

Honolulu, HI

Marine Biology is a very interesting career, that I could see myself doing someday. However, the largest challenge would be that the demand for marine biologists is low, so it would be very difficult to get a job. Also as I would like to have a family I would not be around them as much as I would like because of research at sea. There are many positives to a career like this. If I were going to pursue this, I would enjoy living in Florida, and get to spend my whole day doing what I love. Also as tourist and fisherman damage, or kill, entire coral reefs, I could have a positive impact on reefs by re-growing the damaged coral.