Marine biology is the field of study concerned with ocean life in all of its biological manifestations. Areas of study include systematics, ecology, anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, pathology, parasitology, reproduction and development, mariculture, ocean farming, pollution biology, energy resources and conservation. Marine biologists must be able to conduct research, analyze data, and have good written and oral communication skills and a scientific curiosity. Marine biologists identify, catalogue, and analyze different kinds of sea life. Marine biologists often use computers and statistical analysis in their research.
A bachelor's degree is the minimum requirement for entry-level positions in marine biology; however, competition is keen and positions are typically obtained by those with more advanced degrees. Since marine biology is a combination of many life sciences, the more specialized training or experience one has, the more competitive one becomes. For college or university teaching, a Ph.D. is a necessity. The two best universities for getting a degree in marine biology on the West Coast are; the University of Washington in Seattle, Washington, and Scripts Institute of Oceanography in San Diego, California.
Only a small number of openings occur in this field each year. In many cases employers prefer expertise in a specialized area. In other cases, general training or interdisciplinary training is preferred. Salaries will vary by size and type of employer, geographic location. Biologists receive different amounts of pay at the entry level, it varies on the type of job, job expertise and the industry in which you work. Marine Biologist "number one" in Washington, one year of experience and a BA degree earns $2,327-$2,950 per month. A "number two" Marine Biologist with two years of experience and a BA earns $2,807-$3,504 per month. A "number three" Marine Biologist with three years of experience and a BA working for the city of Tacoma earns $4,147-5,044 per month.