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
People with careers related to marine science were asked what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important for their jobs. They weighted these areas on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the highest.
Knowledge Areas for Marine Science Majors
This major prepares you for careers in which these 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
A major in marine science prepares you for careers in which the following skill-sets are crucial:
- 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
Marine Science majors often go into careers where the following abilities are vital:
- 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|
Students from other countries are interested in Marine Science, too. 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
Data from the U.S. Department of Education shows that marine science students who graduated in 2015-2017 with a bachelor’s degree made a median starting salary of $28,200 per year. During this timeframe, most salaries fell between $28,200 (25th percentile) and $28,200 (75th percentile).
One thing to note here is that not all of these people may be working in careers related to marine science.
Salaries According to BLS
Average salaries range from $76,990 to $110,090 (25th to 75th percentile) for careers related to marine science. This range includes all degree levels, so the salary for a person with just a bachelor’s degree may be a little less and the one for a person with an advanced degree may be a little more.
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 degrees associated with marine science may require an advanced degree, while others may not even require a bachelor’s in the field. In general, the more advanced your degree the more career options will open up to you. However, there is significant time and money that needs to be invested into your education so weigh the pros and cons.
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!
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|
- 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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