Every single person in South Africa who loves the ocean has considered the career of a marine biologist for themselves. However, picking a career solely on interest without taking the range of salary and annual earnings into consideration is a foolish mistake.
On average, a marine biologist’s salary in South Africa is ZAR 33,262 per month. It may not seem like a lot, but with time, there will be an increase in this amount, after a few factors are taken into consideration.
If you want to find out about the factors that influence the salary of a marine biologist in South Africa, you will find it discussed in detail below. You will also find other valuable information such as the salary range of a marine biologist, a comparison with salary in the USA, and many other things.
Marine Biologist Salary
Currently, the salary of a marine biologist is ZAR 33,262 per month. This makes the annual salary of a marine biologist in the country around ZAR 399,152. However, there is a difference based on the location of the company.
Those who are working in Port Elizabeth are making around ZAR 36,000 on average per month. Therefore, their annual earning is around ZAR 431,981.
However, the salary level in Johannesburg is higher than anywhere else in the country. In Johannesburg, the average salary of a marine biologist per month is around ZAR 472,240 per year, so, their salary per month is approximately ZAR 39,353. Those who have more than 20 years of experience in the field can even make more than ZAR 60,000 per month in Johannesburg.
However, the salary at smaller research levels is quite low. In 2021, those who had no experience earned around ZAR 7880 per month which is very low, even according to the standard of South Africa national salary. They earned a total of ZAR 94,560 per year.
On average, the salary of a marine biologist was around ZAR 13,540 per month and ZAR 162,500 per year. The experienced individuals made ZAR 26,400 per month and ZAR 316,800 per year.
If we do a quick comparison of the salary of a marine biologist in South Africa to those who are working in the USA, there is a staggering difference. In the USA, a marine biologist makes $7101 per month on average. This amount makes ZAR 136,627.
This makes their annual earning around $85,218, which converts to ZAR 1,639,645 in South African currency. There is a huge difference between the salary of a marine biologist in the USA and marine biologist in South Africa.
When the job of a marine biologist is mentioned, automatically a person floating in the ocean in full gear comes to mind. However, that is not all there is to the job of a marine biologist. There are many responsibilities that fall upon the shoulders of a marine biologist.
The first major responsibility is environmental impact assessment, they need to assess how humans are impacting marine life. They are also in charge of finding ways to make life better for marines.
One of the major responsibilities of a marine biologist is research and data collection. They are in charge of conducting research underwater in different regions. From coastal areas to the ocean, a marine biologist needs to conduct thorough research and find data about every living thing that thrives in the water.
They are also in charge of identifying different species of creatures living in the water. One misconception about marine biologists is that they only observe and collect data about the fauna living in the water, while the truth is that they are also in charge of collecting information about the marine floras i.e., the plants present and thriving in the ocean.
What Does The Salary of a Marine Biologist Depend Upon?
There are multiple factors that are taken into consideration when it comes to the salary of a marine biologist. Similar to other jobs from various fields, the salary of a marine biologist depends upon a handful of factors which includes the experience level at the top of the list. Those who enter the job field straight out of university, with zero work experience are offered a very basic salary.
This salary is even lower than the average salary in South Africa. However, as the years go by, and the person remains working in the field, their salary keeps growing as well. Those marine biologists that have more than 15 to 20 years of experience backing them up can even make from than ZAR 400K per year.
Another thing that the salary of a marine biologist depends upon is the location of the job. This goes without saying that if a person finds a post as a junior-level marine biologist in a smaller region of the country, their salary will be lower than those who are working in the major regions of the country, even if they are in the same position.
The type of company also plays a role in determining the salary of the marine biologist in South Africa. Working at bigger companies and research centers will guarantee a higher salary than those who are working at smaller research centers.
The last factor that often gets ignored is also important, i.e., the demand for specialization in the country. If a person specializes in a specific area such as marine mammal research or research about coral reefs, and it is high in demand, they will get paid higher salaries than other marine biologists.
Do marine biologists in South Africa earn different salaries based on their experience level?
Yes, the salaries of marine biologists in South Africa differ quite a lot based on the experience level of the individual. Those with no experience earn a meager amount as compared to those with years of experience backing them up.
Is marine biology a good career in South Africa?
Yes, marine biology is a good career in South Africa, if we look at it from the perspective of research. However, the salary of a marine biologist is not as well paying in South Africa, as many other jobs.
Are there specific regions in South Africa where marine biologists tend to earn higher salaries?
There are parts of South Africa, where a marine biologist can get paid higher salaries. These regions include Johannesburg, Cape Town, and other larger parts of the country.
Do marine biologists in South Africa have opportunities for career advancement that can lead to higher salaries?
Yes, similar to other jobs in South Africa, a marine biologist also has the opportunity for career development that can get them higher salaries. These opportunities will come with more experience in the field, along with a level of education.
What qualifications are typically required to become a marine biologist in South Africa?
The most basic thing that is required to become a marine biologist in South Africa is a Bachelor’s degree in the field. With a Bachelor’s degree, a person gains the title of marine biologist. They can also continue their studies along with research.
Are there government agencies or research institutions in South Africa that employ marine biologists?
Yes, marine biologists can find multiple government agencies and research institutions offering them job lucrative opportunities. They can easily pick whichever they desire.
Can marine biologists in South Africa work in both research and conservation positions?
In South Africa, marine biologists have the option of working in both research and conservation positions. They can pick any one of the two that fits their interest the most.
Are there part-time or freelance opportunities for marine biologists in South Africa?
The possibility of finding part-time or freelance opportunities as a marine biologist in South Africa is quite slim. Even if a person is able to find such a position, it will not pay well as compared to other part-time posts in the country.
Do marine biologists get bonuses?
Yes, there is the option of bonuses for marine biologists in South Africa apart from their fixed income. However, the bonus highly depends upon the position at work as well as the employer.
The job of a marine biologist may not be as well-paying as many others in South Africa, but it is very fulfilling. The article above lists all the information that I could find about marine biologist salaries in South Africa. I hope you found it helpful and the information presented above guided you in making the right decision for your career.