What lies under the surface of the sea fascinates everybody. This is the job of marine biologists and oceanographers: to explore the world and the life that not many people are destined enough to see.

Doesn’t this sound like an interesting job prospect? It sure does to me! After taking science, going for engineering or MBBS are not the only options. So many people take up different kinds of research. Some become physicists, some become biochemists and what not, but not many people consider Marine biology because it is not as popular as the other options.

The job of marine biologists and oceanographers is very interesting. They observe all aspects of marine life: They are interested in the numbers of marine organisms and how these organisms develop, relate to one another, adapt to their environment, and interact with it. They also cover topics like ecosystems, ocean circulation, plate tectonics and the geology of the sea floor, and the chemical and physical properties of the ocean. Biological oceanographers and marine biologists study plants and animals in the marine environment.

Should I Become a Marine Biologist?

Marine biology is a beautiful profession but it really is not a profession that will make you a lot of money. If you’re into this, you have to be in it because of the passion and interest, because despite not being a very lucrative option, there is still quite a lot of competition when it comes to marine biology. The average annual salary of a marine biologist was calculated to be $51,289 as of January 2016.

It includes many different sub-disciplines and, consequently, an array of potential career directions. Would you like to be a microbiologist, an aquarist, a behavioural ecologist, a system analyst, a geneticist, a professor, or perhaps some combination of these? There are many roads to choose from and many organizations that hire marine biologists, so having a fairly precise idea of what you would like to do is an important first step in the right direction.

How to Work Towards It? 

Becoming a marine biologist needs a whole lot of educational qualifications. After getting a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree, it is essential to have a Ph.D. in Marine Biology.

Bachelor’s degree programs specifically in marine biology usually have required courses in general biology, cell biology, ecology, and evolution. Elective courses, which allow students to concentrate on specific areas of interest, might include marine mammal biology, vertebrate zoology, tropical ecosystems, and fish ecology. Even if a biology program is not specifically focused on marine biology, students can emphasize this aspect by choosing appropriate elective courses.

Students who plan to go on to graduate school might complete undergraduate electives in aquaculture, biotechnology, environmental biology, molecular biology, toxicology, and species-specific biology. Additionally, they might take part in volunteer work or an internship to develop valuable practical skills.

Some schools offer combined bachelor’s and master’s degree programs in marine biology, allowing students to earn both degrees in less time. The curriculum typically covers research and lab methods, research equipment, and professional science writing. Courses at the graduate level also cover niche topics like shark biology, Pacific coral reefs, and plankton ecology. By the end of a master’s degree program, students should have established their specialization through electives, independent study classes, and a thesis.

Most independent research and teaching positions at the postsecondary level, however, will require a Ph.D. Topics studied in a doctoral program in marine biology might include phycology (study of algae), fisheries science, and marine microbiology.

Just attending school is not enough to excel in this field, one must volunteer whenever they get the chance, and do a lot of research personally on the subjects by going on the internet and reading a lot of books. Attending conferences and workshops, visiting universities, museums, and research institutions, meeting experts in your subject area and asking questions, being part of email list serves in your topic of interest are just some of the things to pursue.

This might not be a career that would make you float in money, but I’m here to tell you that if this is something that you are interested in, it is feasible and it will help you earn a living while doing what you love. So, really, just go for it!