The Average Salary of a Marine Biology Professor

Marine biology professors teach facts about undersea life.
Marine biology professors teach facts about undersea life. (Image: Jupiterimages/ Images)

Salary reported four recent listings in March 2011 for Assistant Professors of Biology and Marine Biology at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. The offered salaries ranged from $50,000 to $53,330 per year with the average salary being $51,094. A full professor of marine biology can make anywhere from $65,000 to $90,000 for the school year. A Ph.D. degree is a prerequisite for becoming a marine biologist and for teaching it.

Educational Requirements

To become a marine biologist, one must first obtain a Ph.D. degree in the discipline. This takes about six years in the United States, whereas it takes just three to four years in the United Kingdom or Australia. If one settles for a two-year Masters degree in Marine Biology, one is qualified to become a technician but not a marine biologist. Only with the doctorate can one obtain the title 'marine biologist' and become a professor of Marine Biology.

Salary Ranges for Marine Biologists reports that marine biologists have a nationwide annual salary range of $38,142 to $63,632. Salaries vary depending upon industry. A marine biologist involved in environmental research can earn a salary ranging from $36,929 to $67,957. Those involved in marine fishing make between $33,325 to $63,718 while marine biologists that practice as environmental consultants have salaries ranging up to $63,707. Marine biologists who work in marine facilities management and engineering earn $37,752 to $69,069, while those in government make $39,628 to $70,169.

Salary Ranges for Science Professors

A marine biology professor is a science professor and can be an assistant professor, associate professor or a full professor. An assistant professor of higher education makes a median annual salary $56,250, while an associate professor's median annual salary is approximately is $66,918. A full professor earns a median salary of $79,497. Median salaries increase with years of experience.

Salary Ranges by City

Marine biologist salaries differ from city to city. reports that marine biologists in San Francisco were highest paid, with annual salary ranges from $60,505 to $91,563 in March, 2011. A marine biologist in Miami, Florida made $43,729 to $81,313 annually. For professors at post-secondary institutions, those in Boston had the highest annual salary at $75,373 in March, 2011; New York came in second at $73,523 and Los Angeles third with a salary of $69,549.

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