At least a bachelor's degree in marine biology is required for a career in the field. Students learn chemistry, physics, zoology, mathematics and statistics, and most programs also place a strong focus on English, as marine biologists often write and publish their scientific findings.
Many marine biologists specialize in certain areas, such as fishery biology, oceanography and ichthyology, with some going on to complete master's degrees and doctorates in their areas of specialty. Other key areas of study include ethology, an animal behavior discipline, and social sciences courses that help professionals better deal with the public. As of 2015, typical starting salaries for entry-level marine biologists are approximately $33,000, while mean salaries are $55,000. Professionals working within the private sector may earn between $80,000 and $103,000, while professionals working with the government or nonprofits typically earn between $60,000 to $70,000.