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Job Description


This job is part of our sustainability series:  > See more sustainable job ideas > Find out more about sustainable careers

Marine Biologists research the sea and study its life forms and their interaction with land, atmosphere and ocean floor which enables them to predict changes to the earth's infrastructure and encourage environmental protection. 

Entry Requirements

To become a Marine Biologist you will usually need a degree in one of the following subjects:

  • Marine Biology
  • Marine Science
  • Oceanography

If you are unsure if Marine Biology is for you,  you could keep your options and consider doing another science based course which will allow you to learn about aspects of Marine Biology and give you transferable skills which would allow you to focus on Marine Biology in a master course or research for a doctorate (Ph.D)

  • Biological Sciences
  • Environmental Science 
  • Ecology

To get started you will need to get the best possible GCSE results, the subjects you will need are the sciences (Biology, Chemistry and Physics), English and maths.  Other GCSE's that would be helpful are ITC, Geography and Foreign Languages.

Qualifications required for university can vary but most will require 3 A levels or equivalent including science or maths subjects 

Entry without a degree is possible as a technician or in a scientific support role, you will still need good GCSE and A-level results but these posts can be good beginner posts for those who want to take a vocational route rather than an academic one.

Career Path and Progression

There are many marine biologist roles in the public and private sectors.  Private sector roles could include working in the energy industry, mining industry and doing environmental impact assessments.  Public roles could include working for the Environmental Agency, the Fisheries Committee or the Waterways Board.

Career Tips

Consider doing some work experience or an internship at an institute that specialises in Marine Biology such as a laboratory or university.  Volunteer at a zoo or aquarium.  Get involved in local beach cleans and rock-pooling rambles along the coast, this will allow you to acquire useful skills and knowledge.

You could join the Marine Biological Association

Required Skills

  • An understanding of marine animals and coastal plant life
  • Enthusiasm and commitment to issues such as climate change and coastal protection
  • Good communication and IT skills
  • Experience in areas such as scuba diving and boat handling would be a distinct advantage

Salary Range

£14,000 to £45,000

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