What Types of Jobs Are There Within Marine Biology?


Job possibilities for students who graduate with a degree in marine biology are broad and range from working directly with animals in an aquarium setting to gathering data from the ocean in order to study the various physical and chemical components of the sea.

Aquarium Jobs

  • Working at an aquarium is a popular way in which people exercise their skills in this field. You might wind up working as a research biologist, where you could spend days at sea analyzing various species and specimens that are collected during the journey. Other types of hands-on opportunities exist, too. For example, you could work in helping train whales, take care of dolphins or help train other animals for shows.

Marine Mammal Science

  • Whales are not the only type of mammal in the oceans. Seals, sea lions, porpoises and dolphins also fall into that category. Marine mammal scientists focus particularly on the development, relationships, dynamic, structure and needs of those populations. In addition, they also look at the evolution of marine mammals, which helps them to understand and create important connections between these creatures and the ones that roam on the land and in the air. You could work at an institution, aquarium or other type of marine study center that performs research on these species.

Whale Biology

  • While some of the jobs involve more general components of marine biology, others zero in on one specific type of sea creature. As a whale biologist, you'll be required to be out on the boats and go on scuba trips to get an up-close look at these creatures. You'll take photographs of whales in order to identify different types, collect skin samples so that you can perform analysis and even record the sounds they make. Both aquariums and private researchers, as well as some government agencies, hire individuals in such a field.


  • Schools, research institutes and government agencies hire oceanographers. This field places a large focus on the physical composition of the ocean, although there are sectors relating to marine life. There are four different categories of oceanography: physical oceanographers who study how the ocean works and how it interacts with the world; chemical oceanographers who study the chemical compounds in the ocean; geological oceanographers who study the formations of the ocean floor; and biological oceanographers who study the relationships among the sea creatures.

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