Types of Degrees Marine Science Majors Are Getting
The following table lists how many marine science graduations there were in 2018-2019 for each degree level.
|Education Level||Number of Grads|
What Marine Science Majors Need to Know
In an O*NET survey, marine science majors were asked to rate what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important in their occupations. These answers were weighted on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the most important.
Knowledge Areas for Marine Science Majors
Marine Science majors often go into careers in which the following knowledge areas are important:
- English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
- Biology - Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
- Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
- Law and Government - Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
Skills for Marine Science Majors
The following list of skills has been highlighted as some of the most essential for careers related to marine science:
- Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
- Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
- Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
- Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
- Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Abilities for Marine Science Majors
As you progress with your marine science degree, there are several abilities you should pick up that will help you in whatever related career you choose. These abilities include:
- Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
- Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
- Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
- Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
What Can You Do With a Marine Science Major?
People with a marine science degree often go into the following careers:
|Job Title||Job Growth Rate||Median Salary|
|Climate Change Analysts||11.1%||$71,130|
|Clinical Research Coordinators||9.9%||$123,860|
|Environmental Restoration Planners||11.1%||$71,130|
|Environmental Scientists and Specialists, Including Health||11.1%||$71,130|
|Geoscientists, Except Hydrologists and Geographers||14.1%||$91,130|
|Molecular and Cellular Biologists||8.0%||$79,590|
|Natural Sciences Managers||9.9%||$123,860|
|Remote Sensing Scientists and Technologists||6.8%||$107,230|
|Water Resource Specialists||9.9%||$123,860|
|Zoologists and Wildlife Biologists||7.7%||$63,420|
Who Is Getting a Bachelor’s Degree in Marine Science?
At the countrywide level, the racial-ethnic distribution of marine science majors is as follows:
|Race/Ethnicity||Number of Grads|
|Black or African American||1|
|Hispanic or Latino||26|
Americans aren’t the only ones with an interest in Marine Science. About 1.4% of those with this major are international students. The most popular countries for students from outside the country are:
How Much Do Marine Science Majors Make?
Bachelor’s Degree Starting Salary
The median starting salary of students who graduated in 2015-2017 with a bachelor’s degree in marine science was $28,200 per year. These stats come from the U.S. Department of Education. During this timeframe, most salaries fell between $28,200 (25th percentile) and $28,200 (75th percentile).
Note that some of these people may have jobs that are not directly related to a marine science degree.
Salaries According to BLS
Marine Science majors often go into careers where salaries can range from $76,990 to $110,090 (25th to 75th percentile). This range includes all degree levels, so you may expect those with a more advanced degree to make more while those with less advanced degrees will typically make less.
To put that into context, according to BLS data from the first quarter of 2020, the typical high school graduate makes between $30,000 and $57,900 a year (25th through 75th percentile). The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $45,600 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,600 and $125,400.
Amount of Education Required for Careers Related to Marine Science
Some careers associated with marine science require an advanced degree while some may not even require a bachelor’s. Whatever the case may be, pursuing more education usually means that more career options will be available to you.
How much schooling do you really need to compete in today’s job market? People currently working in careers related to marine science have obtained the following education levels.
|Education Level||Percentage of Workers|
|Less than a High School Diploma||0.3%|
|High School Diploma - or the equivalent (for example, GED)||1.1%|
|Post-Secondary Certificate - awarded for training completed after high school (for example, in agriculture or natural resources, computer services, personal or culinary services, engineering technologies, healthcare, construction trades, mechanic and repair technologies, or precision production)||1.2%|
|Some College Courses||0.1%|
|Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree)||1.0%|
|Post-Baccalaureate Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Baccalaureate degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees carrying the title of Master.||3.7%|
|Post-Master’s Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Master’s degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees at the doctoral level.||1.3%|
|First Professional Degree - awarded for completion of a program that: requires at least 2 years of college work before entrance into the program, includes a total of at least 6 academic years of work to complete, and provides all remaining academic requirements to begin practice in a profession.||0.6%|
Online Marine Science Programs
In the 2018-2019 academic year, 21 schools offered some type of marine science program. The following table lists the number of programs by degree level, along with how many schools offered online courses in the field.
|Degree Level||Colleges Offering Programs||Colleges Offering Online Classes|
|Certificate (Less Than 1 Year)||1||0|
|Certificate (1-2 years)||1||0|
|Certificate (2-4 Years)||0||0|
|Doctor’s Degree (Research)||6||0|
|Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice)||0||0|
|Doctor’s Degree (Other)||0||0|
Is a Degree in Marine Science Worth It?
The median salary for a marine science grad is $83,600 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.
This is 110% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $874,000 after 20 years!
Top Ranking Lists for Marine Science
Explore Major by State
District of Columbia
Majors Related to Marine Science
You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to marine science.
|Major||Number of Grads|
|Other Multi/Interdisciplinary Studies||37,392|
|Biological & Physical Science||29,278|
|Peace Studies & Conflict Resolution||1,310|
|Human Computer Interaction||1,272|
|Science, Technology & Society||1,171|
|Mathematics & Computer Science||1,105|
|Multicultural & Diversity Studies||424|
|Classical & Ancient Studies||303|
|Cultural Studies & Analysis||227|
|Accounting & Computer Science||71|
*The racial-ethnic minorities count is calculated by taking the total number of students and subtracting white students, international students, and students whose race/ethnicity was unknown. This number is then divided by the total number of students at the school to obtain the racial-ethnic minorities percentage.
- College Factual
- College Scorecard
- National Center for Education Statistics
- O*NET Online
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
- Usual Weekly Earnings of Wage and Salary Workers First Quarter 2020
- Image Credit: By Daderot under License
More about our data sources and methodologies.
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