Marine biologists living in the US earn as much as $51,727 per year, while a marine biologist working in Australia can make a yearly salary of AU$55,241 ($40,565). The marine biologist salary in Canada is at C$50,884 ($38,235) each year. Meanwhile, Switzerland’s marine biologists earn CHF88,981 ($89,061) per year, and Norwegians earn NOK655,083 ($79,870) annually.
In the United Kingdom, by contrast, marine biology remains a research position within the university, which means that students will have to live off low graduate stipends and faculty salaries, averaging out to a meager £29,172 ($38,088) per year. In this guide, we will cover everything that goes into making the salary of a marine biologist.
Marine Biologist Salary Influencers
Working as a marine biologist the salary will vary considerably from region to region. Read on to find out what factors come together to influence the salary for this professional. We will discuss the various aspects of the industry, geographical location, and local economy, as well as the necessary experience for becoming a marine biologist.
There are far fewer marine biologist jobs available than there are marine biologists, making the job market difficult. Sometimes, government positions are available from federal or state governments. Other times, local governments may have the need for marine biologist work. Outside of the public sector, marine biologists must find employment at various private museums or aquariums, fisheries or wildlife facilities, academic jobs at colleges or universities, or privately owned research laboratories.
The higher amount of pay is earned by those with a Ph.D., who can earn tenure at a university or another comparable position. The vast majority of marine biologists, however, have undergraduate degrees.
2. Geographical Area
|Marine Biologist Salary||US||Canada||UK||Australia||Switzerland||Norway|
|Hourly Wage||$19.20||C$25.00 ($18.79)||£14.02* ($18.32)||AU$23.40 ($17.19)||CHF43 ($43.06)||NOK315 ($38.45)|
|Annual Wage||$51,727||C$50,884 ($38,262)||£29,172 ($38,123)||AU$55,241 ($40,560)||CHF88,981 ($89,111)||NOK655,083 ($79,956)|
*The hourly wage was extrapolated from the annual salary.
Marine Biologist Salary in the US
In the United States, marine biologists make a median salary of $51,727 a year, with salaries ranging from $31,057 to $98,917 per year. Hourly rates range from a starting salary of $9.97 an hour to a senior level salary of $48.00 an hour. On average, marine biologists get paid $19.20 per hour.
Marine Biologist Salary in Canada
In Canada, marine biologists typically get paid C$50,884 per year, with an entry-level salary starting somewhere around C$30,136. Canadian marine biologists get paid about C$25 an hour. They also receive a bonus of around $1,000 each year.
Marine Biologist Salary in the UK
The median yearly salary for a marine biologist in the United Kingdom is rather low, at £29,172. While the average hourly rate is £14.02 per hour. Researchers will also receive a bonus of around £1,700 per year. After that, the total salary runs between £17,687 and £61,530 each year.
Marine Biologist Salary in Australia
In Australia, marine biologists make about AU$55,241 per year. This professional earns an hourly rate from AU$15.21 to AU$44.38 per hour with an AU$7,750 bonus. While the total yearly salary ranges between AU$31,422 and AU$100,984.
Marine Biologist Salary in Switzerland
In Switzerland, marine biologists make CHF88,981 every year, earning an hourly pay of CHF43. The entry-level salary for a marine biologist in Switzerland starts at CHF63,280, with senior level marine biologists earning as much as CHF109,679. They also receive bonuses of around CHF1,931.
Marine Biologist Salary in Norway
In Norway, marine biologists make NOK655,083 per year, while the hourly pay is at NOK315, with a NOK14,215 bonus at the end of the year.
With the exception of the United Kingdom, becoming a marine biologist only requires a bachelor’s degree in fields like Marine Biology, Ecology or Oceanography. A degree in Geology can also be useful. If you cannot find specialized courses in Marine Biology, a degree in Botany, Zoology, or Environmental Science can also be quite good.
The beginning wage for a marine biologist varies from country to country. In the United States, the entry-level salary tends to be about $49,000 per year. It’s slightly more in other countries, with Australia paying the most at $71,241. Canada pays marine biologists only slightly less than the United States, offering an entry level payment of $44,000. In Norway, the beginner’s salary stands at NOK467,167, while the senior level salary is of NOK809,712 per year.
Marine biologists tend to spend anywhere from 8 to 10 hours per day in the office, and they can also sometimes work during the weekends. Moreover, when in the field for research working hours can be as much as 12 to 15 hours per day, 7 days a week. As per week, the working hours can range anywhere from 40 to 50 hours. Most people will need to put extra hours into their research.
Bonuses & Benefit Packages
In the United States, a marine biologist will receive a package with medical benefits, including healthcare coverage, as well as paid vacations, sick leave, and a 401k plan. Outside of the United States, healthcare, and paid vacations are guaranteed to every citizen as a constitutional life, as are paid sick leaves.
While European countries have the added benefit of paid maternity leave, a right guaranteed by law to all of its citizens. Australia offers paid maternity leave to both parents, meanwhile, the United States is one of three countries in the world that does not offer paid maternity leave.
Marine biologists working in the US make bonuses between $196 and $20,134 per year. Annual bonuses are highest for marine biologists working in Australia, ranging as high as $7,750 each year, while those in the United Kingdom are the lowest, with £1,700 per year.
Becoming a marine biologist in the United States is a good possible career choice, and in places like Australia, it can be quite lucrative. In the United Kingdom, however, marine biologists tend to make very little for long hours of research, making it comparable to any other career in academia.
In Europe, although marine biologists do rather well, the positions are often difficult to come by. For those wishing to move to Europe, however, the lingua franca remains English in the workplace, making it possible to study abroad. It’s difficult to land jobs as a marine biologist, so be aware that there will be steep competition.
While marine biologists can earn a decent living in Australia and Europe, and even more in the United States, the jobs are often scarce and hard to come by. This means that marine biologists will face stiff competition and even unemployment. In the United Kingdom, marine biologists sign up for a long and tedious academic career involving stiff competition for minimal employment opportunities. You can also look at the biomedical engineer salary.