Marine biologists are one of the happiest careers in the United States.

At CareerExplorer, we conduct an ongoing survey with millions of people and ask them how satisfied they are with their careers. As it turns out, marine biologists rate their career happiness 4.1 out of 5 stars which puts them in the top 7% of careers.

To put this into perspective, we compared how happy marine biologists are to similar careers in the industry. Take a look at the results below:

Salaries and satisfaction ratings in similar careers

Career Satisfaction Avg Salary
Wildlife rehabilitator
4.2
$28k
Animal trainer
4.2
$31k
Zoologist
4.1
$65k
Marine biologist
4.1
$32k
Aquarist
3.8
$28k

So what does it mean to be happy in your career? Let’s break it down into different dimensions:

  • Salary: Are marine biologists happy with their salary?
  • Meaning: Do marine biologists find their jobs meaningful?
  • Personality fit: How well suited are people’s personalities to their everyday tasks as marine biologists?
  • Work environment: How enjoyable are marine biologist’s work environments?
  • Skills utilization: Are marine biologists making the best use of their abilities?

Are marine biologists happy with their salary?

Marine biologists rated their satisfaction with their salaries 3.3/5. Few are explicitly unhappy with their salaries, with most marine biologists having generally positive views of their salary.

We asked marine biologists how fairly compensated they are for their work.
Their response was:

3.3 out of 5 stars

235 marine biologists

5 Star
25%

25% of marine biologists rated their compensation 5 stars

4 Star
20%

20% of marine biologists rated their compensation 4 stars

3 Star
27%

27% of marine biologists rated their compensation 3 stars

2 Star
14%

14% of marine biologists rated their compensation 2 stars

1 Star
15%

15% of marine biologists rated their compensation 1 stars

Do marine biologists find their jobs meaningful?

On average, marine biologists rate the meaningfulness of their work a 3.9/5. Unlike many careers, marine biologists have little difficulty finding meaning in their work, and it likely constitutes one of the main reasons people become marine biologists.

We asked marine biologists how meaningful they found their work.
Their response was:

3.9 out of 5 stars

241 marine biologists

5 Star
39%

39% of marine biologists rated how meaningful they found their career 5 stars

4 Star
27%

27% of marine biologists rated how meaningful they found their career 4 stars

3 Star
20%

20% of marine biologists rated how meaningful they found their career 3 stars

2 Star
9%

9% of marine biologists rated how meaningful they found their career 2 stars

1 Star
5%

5% of marine biologists rated how meaningful they found their career 1 stars

How well are people’s personalities suited to everyday tasks as marine biologists?

Marine biologists rated their personality fit with their work an average of 4.2/5. The majority of marine biologists find their personalities quite well suited to their work, with relatively few having complaints about their fit.

We asked marine biologists how well their personalities fit into their careers.
Their response was:

4.2 out of 5 stars

271 marine biologists

5 Star
50%

50% of marine biologists rated their career fit 5 stars

4 Star
30%

30% of marine biologists rated their career fit 4 stars

3 Star
14%

14% of marine biologists rated their career fit 3 stars

2 Star
5%

5% of marine biologists rated their career fit 2 stars

1 Star
2%

2% of marine biologists rated their career fit 1 stars

How enjoyable is a marine biologist’s work environment?

As a whole, marine biologists rated their enjoyment of their work environment 4.2/5. A solid majority of marine biologists enjoy their work environment, probably contributing to overall higher satisfaction with working as a marine biologist.

We asked marine biologists how much they enjoyed their work environment.
Their response was:

4.2 out of 5 stars

265 marine biologists

5 Star
49%

49% of marine biologists rated their work environment 5 stars

4 Star
28%

28% of marine biologists rated their work environment 4 stars

3 Star
16%

16% of marine biologists rated their work environment 3 stars

2 Star
5%

5% of marine biologists rated their work environment 2 stars

1 Star
2%

2% of marine biologists rated their work environment 1 stars

Are marine biologists making the best use of their abilities?

Former marine biologists on CareerExplorer have rated their skills utilization 3.9/5. Most marine biologists surveyed find that they manage to use their abilities to their fullest as a marine biologist, which helps contribute to higher career satisfaction in the long term.

We asked marine biologists how well their abilities were used in their careers.
Their response was:

3.9 out of 5 stars

262 marine biologists

5 Star
37%

37% of marine biologists rated their how well their skills were utilized in their career 5 stars

4 Star
29%

29% of marine biologists rated their how well their skills were utilized in their career 4 stars

3 Star
19%

19% of marine biologists rated their how well their skills were utilized in their career 3 stars

2 Star
13%

13% of marine biologists rated their how well their skills were utilized in their career 2 stars

1 Star
2%

2% of marine biologists rated their how well their skills were utilized in their career 1 stars