Are you looking for a job as a marine biologist?

Marine biologists are people who study life within saltwater environments.

Some of the responsibilities of marine biologists include observing marine plant and animal life and investigating the physiological processes and behavior of marine life, studying about environmental conditions and diseases that affect marine species, collecting marine specimens, performing laboratory-based experiments and compiling data, studying the migration patterns of marine animals, evaluating the impact of human activities on marine life, and so on.

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), marine biologists jobs are expected to grow by 5% in the period between 2018 and 2018.

It is good to note, however, that the BLS doesn’t collect data that is specific to marine biologists. Instead, data about marine biologists is collected under the umbrella term of zoologists and wildlife biologists.

According to the BLS, people in jobs within this umbrella term earn a median pay of $63,420 per year, or about $30.49 per hour.

With a five percent growth rate over the next decade, and with most marine biologist jobs being in government and university research laboratories, there is greater supply of marine biologists than available demand, and therefore, there is a lot of competition for these positions.

If you want to snag one of these jobs, you need to take steps that will give you an advantage over the competition, and this starts with making sure that you have a great, well-written marine biologist resume.

In this guide, you are going to learn how to do exactly that. I will show you some examples of well-written marine biologist resumes, and then teach you everything you need to know about creating a similar resume.

You will learn what recruiters are looking for in a marine biologist resume, the best format to use for a marine biologists resume, as well as guidelines on how to write each section of a marine biologist resume.

If you don’t want to create your resume from scratch and are looking for a tool that will automate the process of building your marine biologist resume, you should check out our resume builder.


To give you a good idea of the results we will be trying to achieve, let us start by looking at some examples of great marine biologist resumes.

Highly Experienced Marine Biologist Resume Sample


Entry Level Marine Biologist Resume Sample



Marine biology is a very diverse career. As a marine biologist working in a university, your main work will involve out research, both in the field and in a laboratory.

In government agencies, your work will probably involve research and the formulation of policy around marine environments.

In NGOs, your work will probably entail coming up with ways to conserve marine environments. In an aquarium shop, your job will probably involve taking care of marine life and advising clients on the best marine flora and fauna for their tanks.

With such a wide variety of tasks associated with a marine biology position, it is not easy to pinpoint the exact requirements an employer might be looking for, since the exact requirements will depend on the position you are applying for.

That said, there are some general requirements that any potential employee will be looking for in a marine biologist resume, regardless of sector in which you are applying for.

First, recruiters will be looking for someone with a strong knowledge and understanding of the marine world, someone who can predict the impact of natural and man-made changes on the marine ecosystem.

Recruiters for marine biology positions will also generally be looking for someone with excellent scientific research skills, people with good observation and analytical skills, as well as strong communication skills and good interpersonal skills.


Picking the right resume format for your marine biologist resume is very important. Recruiters and hiring managers do not have a lot of time to go through resumes, therefore you want to use a resume format that makes it as easy as possible to find what they are looking for in your resume.

The best resume format to use in a marine biologist resume is the reverse chronological resume format. This format gives a timeline account of your education and experiences, starting with the most recent to the earliest. The great thing about this resume format is that it allows the recruiter to easily determine your current level of experience.

While there are other popular resume formats, such as the functional resume format and the hybrid resume format, these are not ideal for a marine biologist resume.

Aside from using the reverse chronological resume format, you also need to make sure that your resume is properly designed to ensure that the important information stands out easily. The design of your resume also helps portray your personality to the recruiter or hiring manager.

A well designed marine biologist resume should have bold, clearly visible headers for every section, and should use professional resume fonts, such as Garamond, Georgia, Cambria, Calibri, or Helvetica. Everything should be well spaced, and you should also utilize lots of white space to ensure that the content in your resume stands out easily.

If you find it hard to come up with a good design for your marine biologist resume, remember that you can always use our resume builder, which gives you access to tons of professionally designed resume templates.

Finally, try to keep your marine biologist resume to one page. Even if you have lots of experience and career achievements, don’t go beyond two pages. A recruiter pressed for time and with hundreds of resumes to go through is unlikely to waste their time reading a four page resume.


When your resume lands on a recruiter’s desk or inbox, the first thing they want to know is who you are and what you do. Therefore, this is the information that should be at the top of your resume.

Start with your official name, written in bold to ensure it stands out. Avoid any names or nicknames that do not appear in your driver’s license or other official identification document. Your name should be followed by your professional title.

This quickly lets the recruiter know what position you are applying for (remember, the same company might have several open positions).

After your name and professional title, you need to include your contact information, including a telephone number that you can be reached on at all times, a professional looking email address, and a physical address (optional). If you decide to include a physical address, don’t write down your full address.

Your city and state is enough. If you are applying for a job outside the country, write your city, state, and country. If you have an active, professional LinkedIn profile, you can include a link to the profile in this section as well.

Below is an example of a well written personal information section.

Personal information

Marine Biologist
Miami, Florida
Telephone: 614-236-5645



Recently, a trend has come up where job seekers include their photo in their resume. So, should you do the same in your marine biologist resume?

Unless the job application instructions require you to include your photo, do not include your photo in your marine biologist resume.

Recruiters don’t like dealing with resumes that contain photos, since this could make them vulnerable to anti-discrimination and labor laws.


Recruiters want to know whether you are a good fit for the job as quickly as possible.

Instead of having them go through your entire resume to determine whether you are qualified or not, make their job easier by including a resume summary or objective to give a quick overview of yourself. From this overview, the recruiter will then decide whether to continue reading your resume.

If you have a lot of experience, you should use the resume summary. The resume summary should state your years of experience, your key strengths or skills, and your greatest achievements in your career so far.

Below is an example of a well written professional summary:


Top-rate marine biologist with over 8 years of experience in marine flora and fauna studies. Highly passionate about the study of marine environmental issues, and committed to excellence in research and analysis of research work. Very knowledgeable in oceanic climate change and highly skilled in handling marine specimen.


If you don’t have a lot of experience (2 years of experience or less), go for the resume objective. Since you don’t have much experience to write about, the resume objective should focus on your passion and your skills. Basically, it should let the recruiter know what you will be bringing to the table, since they can’t judge this from your experience.


Your experience plays a very significant role in getting you hired in a marine biologist position.

Therefore, you need to be very careful when writing this section. Since marine biologist positions are highly practical, make sure to highlight experience that demonstrates your practical skills. For each entry in your professional experience section, use result-oriented bullet points, with numbers and figures to quantify your achievements.

Below is a good example of how to write the experience section of your marine biologist resume:


Marine Biologist, International Marine Life Research Institute
Aug 2016 to present

  • Studied, observed, and performed 100+ experiments involving various marine animals, plants, and other sea life.
  • Managed a database containing all the research work and experiments carried out by the institution.
  • Supervised the study of 50+ scientific reports on marine life.
  • Made 10+ presentations on marine life to important international organizations, including the United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP), Friends of the Earth International and International Ocean Institute.
  • Supervised the mapping of 200+ kilometers of coral reef off the East African coast.



Potential employers will want to know whether you have the academic qualifications required for a job in marine biology, which is why the education section is very important in a marine biologist resume.

Most employers will expect you to have at least a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field, such as Coastal Ecology, Marine Biology, Ocean and Earth Science, Marine Science, Oceanography, and so on.

When writing the education section of your marine biologist resume, include the name of the school you attended, the years you attended the school, and the academic qualification you attained.

You can choose to include your GPA or leave it out. Generally, you should only include your GPA if it impressive, otherwise just leave it out.

Below is an example of a well-written education section:


2012 – 2014:
University of California, Berkeley
Master of Science in Marine and Aquatic Biology
GPA 3.78

2006 – 2010:
University of South California
Bachelor of Science in Aquatic Research and Management
GPA 3.75

2004 – 2005:
University of California, Berkeley
Diploma in Environmental and Marine Science
GPA 3.73



In most cases, marine biologist positions require someone with specialized skills, such as boating skills, scuba diving skills, familiarity with specialized tools and equipment, knowledge of various data analysis software, and so on. If you show in your resume that you have the skills that the employer is looking for, you will have given yourself a huge advantage over the competition and increased your chances of getting invited to the job interview.

I mentioned earlier that marine biology is a very diverse field. The responsibilities of a marine biologist under one employer could be totally different from the responsibilities under another employer.

Therefore, don’t google marine biologist skills and rush to list them in your resume. Most of them could be worthless to the employer.

What you should do instead is go through the job posting, identify the skills the employer is looking for, and then include these in your resume, provided you have the skills.

If the employer is looking for a certain skill that you do not possess, it is best to leave it out, rather than have the interview panel discover you lied during the job interview.

When listing your skills, use the same keywords used in the job posting. Doing this will increase the chances of your resume getting past an Applicant Tracking System (ATS).

Below is an example of a well written skills section:


  • Highly proficient in the use of MS Office applications, including MS Excel and MS Access.
  • Qualified in the handling of technical recordings collected from marine trenches.
  • Conversant with handling of important laboratory tests and experiments.
  • Conversant with the handling and use of various technical instruments and equipment used in the study of marine life.


  • Exceptionally good understanding of marine climatic change, as well as its outcomes and impacts.
  • An expert in handling issues surrounding marine flora and fauna.
  • Very strong interpersonal and communication skills.
  • Good at handling marine research work.

Some of the skills you might want to include in a marine biologist resume include:

  • Research skills
  • Adaptability to minimalist environments
  • Teamwork and collaboration
  • Observation skills
  • Attention to detail
  • Strong interpersonal skills
  • Data analysis skills
  • Critical and analytical thinking
  • Physical and emotional stamina
  • Ability to work in challenging environments
  • Boat handling and crewing
  • Risk assessment skills
  • Use of seismic and acoustic technology


Some of the extra sections you might include in your marine biologist resume include:

Licenses And Certifications

If you have any relevant licenses and certification, these could be the one thing that gets you hired over an equally qualified and experienced candidate who lacks the licenses or certification.

Certifications act as verifiable proof of your skills. Here, simply write down the certification or license you have, the issuing body, and the date you attained the certification.


Have you won any special awards that are related to marine biology? Use them to further show your brilliance in this field. There is nothing wrong with tooting your own horn.

Professional Memberships

If you are a registered member of any professional bodies related to marine biology, include them in your resume. Including your professional memberships is a proof of your commitment to your career.

However, make sure your membership is up-to-date, since some employers will actually confirm whether you belong to these bodies.


That’s it!

If you follow the instructions shared in this guide, the result will be an enviable marine biologist resume that will have recruiters inviting you to job interviews and hiring managers looking forward to the opportunity to work with you. Of course, you also need to be prepared to knock off their socks during the job interview.

Finally, take some time to proofread your marine biologist resume before submitting to ensure that it doesn’t have any mistakes or grammatical errors that could cost you the job. If everything looks good, you can go ahead and submit your resume, accompanied by a well-written cover letter.

Remember, if you find it hard to create your marine biologist resume from scratch, you can always use our proven resume builder to automate the process.

Marine Biologist Resume: Sample And Complete Guide

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