What Specialty Careers Exist for Marine Biologists?

A wide range of options await marine biology graduates

What does a marine biologist do? Marine biology is the study of marine life—plants, animals, and other living organisms that live on or near the oceans and other saltwater areas. There are a number of different career paths for marine biologists, including several specialties in marine biology that you can consider.

While it is possible to get a job as a marine biologist with just a bachelor’s degree, some specialty careers may require advanced degrees.

what does a marine biologist do
Marine biologists study saltwater organisms of all kinds.

Marine Biotechnologist

From medical treatments to cosmetics, marine biotechnologists use marine resources to develop new technologies. Marine biotechnologists also conduct pharmaceutical research and development to produce new treatments using marine life.

Aquaculture, or fish farming, is another aspect of marine biotechnology that provides many jobs in the field, both in managing the farming and coming up with new techniques that can produce more product with fewer resources, or in healthier ways.


Mammalogists study mammals, and marine mammalogists study marine mammals like whales, dolphins and seals. Many marine mammals have become endangered species and need special study and protections, which mammalogists are uniquely qualified to provide. Marine mammalogist jobs often require travel to conduct field research.

what does a marine biologist do
Even Antarctica offers opportunities to study marine life.


This branch of marine biology studies fish particularly, including the history of fish, their behavior, growth patterns, and the importance of fish to marine ecosystems. While landlocked states may have only a few hundred ichthyologists, states with more coastline—California, Washington, Oregon and Florida—have thousands of jobs available.


You can become a veterinarian that specializes in marine animals by getting a marine biology degree and then going on to veterinary school. Many aquariums, wildlife sanctuaries, and universities that research marine life may need veterinarians that can provide medical care for their animals and keep them healthy.

Aquarium Manager/Aquarist

While aquarium managers supervise employees, plan programs and exhibits, and secure funding for aquariums, aquarists act as educators and animal trainers, having more direct contact with marine life that resides there.

Environmental Consultant

Protecting the environment and taking care of marine environments are of utmost importance to many scientists and researchers. Consultants may provide assessments, ensure compliance with environmental regulations, or testify on a company’s behalf. Environmental consultants also conduct research, both in the office and in the field, to maintain their knowledge base. They interpret data and provide reports that even those without expertise in marine biology can understand.

Many of the most current topics in marine biology are related to marine environmental science, including using algae to create alternative and renewable forms of energy, sustainable methods of using marine resources, and conservation efforts to preserve marine habitats.

Florida Tech offers marine biology degrees that can lead to these and other marine science jobs. We are in a unique location with miles of coastline to explore that are filled with marine life. Learn more about our marine biology degree and all it can offer you.


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