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Average yearly salary for a marine biologist

If you’re interested in pursuing a career as a marine biologist, it’s important to consider your salary options.

Don’t let the low starting salary scare you away because that is typical for most jobs, and if you stay in it long enough, your income most likely increase. Other things to consider are the size and type of company for which you may work, as these things also influence your salary potential.


In most careers, the more experience you have if the field, the higher your potential salary. This observation holds somewhat true with marine biologists. As of April 2010, veteran marine biologists with 20-plus years of experience have a salary range of £39,195 to £60,190 and those with 10 to 19 years of experience have a salary range of £31,460 to £53,625. Oddly, of the reported salaries on, marine biologists with less than one year of experience have a salary range of £25,220 to £63,180.


Marine biologists with higher levels of education generally have higher salaries than those with a lower level; just like with many other careers.

According to PayScale, those with a Master of Science (MS) in Biology have one of the highest and largest reported ranges of £29,900 to £65,325. Those with a general MS have a significantly lower range of £24,700 to £30,810 and those with a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Biology have a salary range of £22,100 to £32,110 as of April 2010.

Employer Type

Job positions for marine biologists are available in many different types of companies.

Those working for private practices or firms have the largest range in salaries, giving them both the highest and lowest potential salaries.

According to PayScale, salaries for marine biologists in private practices can range from £20,605 to £65,000 as of April 2010. Those working for the federal and state or local governments have a salary range of £24,050 to £47,905 and £27,105 to £46,735.

Employer Size

Salaries for marine biologists may vary based on the size of the company for which they work.

Of the reported salaries, marine biologists working for larger companies generally have higher salaries. For example, as of March 2010, those working for companies with 10 to 49 employees have a salary range of £19,305 to £42,900 while those working for somewhat larger companies with 600 to 1,999 employees have a range o f$39,300 to £72,800 according to PayScale.


Marine biologists often receive benefits along with their salary options. Some of these benefits include a 401K, life and disability insurance, paid holidays and vacation time, paid sick leave and/or a cell phone allowance. Many marine biologists may also have the perk of working in a casual atmosphere and also dressing casually. According to PayScale, the most common benefits given to marine biologists include paid holidays and vacation, and paid sick leave.