Marine Biology Salaries

The field of marine biology is fairly broad and encompasses several areas of oceanography and ocean sciences. Marine biologist salary information is typically not disclosed until the final stage of the interview process but candidates can do some research to find out what the range of marine biologist salaries is in their area, and learn about the average marine biologist salary for positions of interest. Marine biologists do have an opportunity to work their way up in their careers and earn an attractive salary as a scientist, researcher or professional in their field. If you're considering a career in marine biology, take some time to learn about marine biologists' salaries and the pay scale for various positions in this field.

Average Marine Biologist Salary

The average marine biologist salary in the United States ranges from $31,000 to $71,000 for biologists who have a bachelor's degree in the field. Marine biologist salaries are dependent on a number of factors including:

  • Location and type of education completed at marine biologist school
  • Number of years of experience
  • Location of the employer or research facility
  • Actual position
  • Specialized education experience

The higher range of marine biologist salaries is earned by those who have a doctorate (PhD) in marine biology and serve as researchers, professors or biology scientists in their field. The highest earners in this field can earn up to $250,000 or more per year depending on the employer and the number of years of experience they have. Most marine biologists earning the higher end of the average marine biologist salary with a bachelor's degree or a Master of Science (MS) degree have between one to four years of experience in the field. Less than 10 percent have more than 20 years of experience.

Range of Marine Biology Salaries

The range of marine biologist salaries with different types of degrees is as follows:

  • $31,000 to $71,000for those with a bachelor's degree
  • $29,000 to $255,000 for doctorate degrees (PhDs)
  • $30,000 to $70,000 for Bachelor of Science (B/BSc) in Biology degrees
  • $32,500 to $80,000 for Master of Science (MS) in Biology degrees
  • $30,000 to $80,000 for Master of Science (MS) in Aquatic Biology degrees

These salary ranges don't take any medical benefits or other benefits into account. Many employers do offer extensive benefits packages including medical insurance, dental insurance, vision insurance and other benefits. Some may be invested in their employee's continuing education and can offer tuition reimbursement and cover the costs of training. Very few marine biologists work on a commission basis but some may be eligible for profit sharing incentives when they have accumulated a few years of experience with a specific company. Bonuses may be awarded on a quarterly or annual basis for certain positions.

While the average marine biologist salary for entry-level positions is fairly low compared to science-related professions, there are many opportunities for advancement. Marine biologists can expect to earn higher than average salaries with a master's degree or PhD and also when they specialize in a certain field.