Okay so… do all marine biologists have to know how to scuba dive?
Whilst scuba diving is incredibly helpful and can aid in the job, knowing how to scuba dive is not a definitive requirement for anyone wanting to become a marine biologist.
How do marine biologists explore the water if they don’t know how to scuba dive?
If you’re wanting to go into this type of career but have no interest in learning how to scuba dive, then fear not! There are multiple other ways that you can explore the underwater world without strapping oxygen tanks to your back. These include:
- Shallow diving
- Scuba from a boat
As a marine biologist, you will frequently need to collect samples of aquatic life from the water surface all the way down to the seabed. In this process, some aquatic life can be misplaced or lost if they are not collected properly.
Freedivers have been known to spear fish on the seabed, but that isn’t legal everywhere so first check local laws before trying! Kayakers can also assist with collecting by drifting over an area and using a dip net.
For many people in this line of work, their favorite option is snorkeling since it gives them complete freedom both in terms of movement in the water column and being able to explore shallow waters, without having to lug around all of the equipment required for scuba diving.
How do you become a marine biologist?
I’m sure this could be an article in of itself (and I’ll definitely be making one because it’s such a fascinating topic), however I just want to briefly outline the process of this career and why you’d want to check out this career if you love diving and the water!
The first step to becoming a marine biologist is receiving a bachelor’s degree in marine biology or a related field. Many employers require applicants to have at least one year of experience in the field, but competition for jobs is tough and many people with bachelor’s degrees are not able to find work as entry-level biologists.
After receiving your bachelor’s degree, you’ll need to go on to graduate school if you want to become a supervisor of marine biologists, such as a marine biologist that manages an aquarium or researchers that do field studies.
To be qualified for this career path, you will need at least a master’s degree and previous research experience. Some organizations also require doctoral degrees and several years of experience.
Once you’ve received your education and gained some valuable experience working under another scientist, you can apply for jobs as a marine biologist. If you want to work in research, your options include technical writing or laboratory work instead of field studies.
Most people start out as technicians and move up to the position of marine biologist through hard work and experience. Marine biologists may be required to travel frequently, so this is not an ideal job for those who prefer to live in one place all the time.
Other benefits of this career include working in an exciting and stimulating environment, working with others who share your interests and making a difference by protecting the marine ecosystem.
For many, the last point on marine protection and conservation is the main one in choosing this kind of career. It’s incredibly rewarding and, if you love exploring and the underwater world, then it’s definitely the type of career to check out!
Some cool resources to check out if you do want this type of career: