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What is the job outlook for marine biologists?

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Quick Answer

Although the employment of biological scientists was expected to grow rapidly at an estimated rate of 21 percent between 2008 and 2018 according to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the growth rate and job outlook for marine biologists in particular are much lower due to this specialized field's small size. Competition is fierce for coveted positions working with marine mammals such as whales and dolphins.

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Full Answer

Overall, the job outlook for marine biologists is highly competitive with the supply of marine biologists being much higher than the demand. The number of government jobs available is quite limited. Other employers in this field include local governments, colleges and universities, museums and aquariums, consulting firms and private research laboratories. To gain a competitive edge a potential marine biologist should have a strong background in computer skills and advanced mathematics as well as coursework in the aquatic and animal sciences. More universities are starting to offer coursework in wildlife management or fisheries which will be helpful to the potential marine biologist. The salary range for a marine biologist is between about $40,000 for an entry-level marine biologist to more than $110,000 for one with an advanced degree and significant experience. Salaries are highest in Florida and California, according to PayScale.com.

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