Marine Biologist Salary Guide & Career Outlook

A marine biologist career shows that they conduct research on aquatic life and publicize the findings of their research in both academic and popular articles. In the United States, they can expect a salary of $50,930 while in Canada the salary is lower at C$42,000 ($31,381). In South Africa, these professionals earn R720,000 ($56,434) and in Australia the salary is similar at AU$55,320 ($42,192). After reading this marine biologist salary guide you should have a better understanding of the salary ranges in 7 different countries. That includes the impact of industry and experience on their pay, the job benefits, bonuses, and working schedule, as well as the marine biologist career outlook.

That includes the impact of industry and experience on their pay, the job benefits, bonuses, and working schedule, as well as the marine biologist career outlook.

How Much Does a Marine Biologist Make per Year by Country?

Marine Biologist Salary US Canada UK Australia New Zealand India South Africa
Hourly Pay $19.21 C$20.19* ($15.09) E14.46* ($15.71) AU$30.00 ($22.88) NZ$28.84* ($20.30) Rs 126.92 * ($1.95) R346.15* ($27.13)
Annual Pay $50,930 C$42,000 ($31,381) E30,086 ($32,680) AU$55,320 ($42,192) NZ$60,000 ($42,239) Rs 264,000 ($4,057) R720,000 ($56,434)

*These figures are estimated based on the other pay information given. This assumes a 40 hour work week.

what is the marine biologist salary

Marine Biologist Salary Influencing Factors

Marine biology is a specialization within the wildlife and zoology concentrations of biology. All of the pay information given in this article comes from Payscale. With the exceptions of New Zealand, India, and South Africa, the pay ranges are from strictly marine biology careers. In those countries listed above, the pay is from a general biology job.

1. Location

How Much Does a Marine Biologist Make in the US?

Marine Biologist Salary US Per Year Per Hour
Minimum  $30,280  $9.88
Maximum  $96,188  $41.22
Bonus  $20,273  No additional pay
Overtime  $1,660  $98.81
Total Pay  $29,320 – $97,056

How Much Does a Marine Biology Make in Canada?

Marine Biologist Salary Canada Per Year Per Hour
Minimum  C$29,90  $14.375
Maximum  C$101,806  $48.94
Bonus  No additional pay  No additional pay
Overtime  No additional pay  No additional pay
Total Pay  C$28,906 – C$82,434

How Much Does a Marine Biologist Make in the UK?

Marine Biologist Salary UK Per Year Per Hour
Minimum  E14,191  E6.82
Maximum  E71,015  E34.14
Bonus  No additional pay  No additional pay
Overtime  No additional pay  No additional pay
Total Pay  E14,426 – E181,505

How Much Does a Marine Biologist Make in Australia?

Marine Biologist Salary Australia Per Year Per Hour
Minimum  AU$32,500  AU$30.00
Maximum  AU$87,500  No additional pay
Bonus  AU$7,750  No additional pay
Overtime  No additional pay  No additional pay
Total Pay  AU$31,418 – AU$82,642

How Much Does a Marine Biologist Make in New Zealand?

Marine Biologist Salary New Zealand Per Year Per Hour
Minimum  NZ$60,000  NZ$28.84
Maximum  NZ$60,000  NZ$28.84
Bonus  No additional pay  No additional pay
Overtime  No additional pay  No additional pay
Total Pay  NZ$60,000

How Much Does a Marine Biologist Make in India?

Marine Biologist Salary India Per Year Per Hour
Minimum  Rs 720,000  Unavailable
Maximum  Rs 720,000  Unavailable
Bonus  No additional pay  No additional pay
Overtime  No additional pay  No additional pay
Total Pay  Rs 720,000

How Much Does a Marine Biologist Make in South Africa?

Marine Biologist Salary South Africa Per Year Per Hour
Minimum  R181,2017  R87.11
Maximum  R309,141  R148.62
Bonus   R5,500  No additional pay
Overtime  No additional pay  No additional pay
Total Pay  R181,308 – R315,378

2. Experience

The pay in Australia stays consistent regardless of the experience level reported. In Canada, the pay increases significantly for experienced marine biologists at an average of 90 percent above the median. Those working in the United States will start approximately 3 percent below the median and finish their career 24 percent above the median.

The most common data for experience in Australia, the United Kingdom, the United States were those professionals with 1 to 4 years of experience. In Canada, the most frequent salary data was from those with 10 to 19 years of experience.

3. Industry

The vast majority of marine biologists will work for a university, nonprofit agency, or the government. A small number of them will work for aquariums and museums. The industry that pays the highest wage for marine biologists in the United States is the federal government. The median salary there is $80,710 while in universities this salary is $65,460.

This is an industry that is highly dependent on grants and external sources of funding in order to conduct a research agenda. In addition, it is also dependent on government programs in order to continue the research. In different political climates they will say more or less support depending on current policies. The highest proportion of marine biologists work in Florida, Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Maryland, and California. This is logical as these states are all along the coast.

Schedule & Working Hours

The working schedule for marine biologists varies based on what they are doing at that point in their career. For example, when they are writing information about their results or attending a conference, they may follow a more typical work schedule. But when they are in the field, 10 to 13 hour days are not unusual. Therefore, a 40 hour work week is often the baseline for the number of hours they work.

Their schedule also varies based on if they are traveling or not. They have the potential to be on a ship or in some other fashion studying the sea for several months at a time. This schedule can be hard on a family.

Bonuses & Benefits

Marine biologists have a very exciting job and get to research one of the most amazing places on the planet. This could be the perfect position for someone who likes to travel and does not like to work strictly in an office. This is because marine biologists get to research in the field and go to different locations.

Other benefits of working in this position include working in a lab on a research team. In addition, you can contribute to major scientific breakthroughs. The specific job benefits such as retirement, flexible spending accounts, or tuition assistance will depend on the company or university that the marine biologist works for.

The table below shows healthcare coverage by country. The (–) indicates that there was no data available for that particular country.

Country United States Canada United Kingdom Australia New Zealand India South Africa
Medical 75 75 57 43 50
Dental 47 25 14 0
Vision 42 25 14 0
None 22 25 43 57 50

Career Outlook

In New Zealand, the job opportunities for marine biologists is expected to be average. This is due to the small number of job openings and the level of qualified applicants for these positions.

The job opportunities for marine biologists in the United States are expected to be extremely competitive. This is due to a couple of reasons. First, job creation is often tied to the government or grant funding and thus is dependent on the spending patterns of these organizations. Second, there are more applicants than there are job openings. Even qualified applicants will have a hard time finding a job. To stand out in the field, a student should aspire to achieve multiple internships and show interest in volunteering at their local zoo.

The gender ratio for this field changes based on the country. In Australia and the United Kingdom the profession is male-dominated at 67 and 75 percent, respectively. Whereas, in the United States, the field is 52 percent female and in South Africa it is 50 percent male and 50 percent female.

Conclusion

Marine biologists have a really fascinating and valuable job. They help keep our oceans healthy and study the vast amount of life that truly thrives within the ocean. For the amount of education required and the variation in job openings, their salary is relatively low. However, if you love the ocean and taking care of our environment, then this job could be perfect! Much like veterinarians, you must have a love for creatures and want to protect their life.

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