Marine Biologist Salary in South Africa

Marine biologists study marine organisms and biological oceanography and monitor the behaviors and interactions of marine species with the environment. Marine biologists in South Africa are in demand because they work for research institutions and government agencies.

Occupation:Marine Biologist
Monthly Salary Range:R 22933 – R 78558
Average Monthly Salary:R 50745.5
Description:A marine biologist is a professional who studies marine organisms and biological oceanography.
Minimum Qualification:Bachelor’s degree in marine biology

This guide will discuss marine biologists’ salaries in South Africa, salary variations based on professional experience, and other relevant factors. We will also shed light on the professional responsibilities of marine biologists and what the average marine biologist can get while serving in South Africa. Let’s start with the guide below without wasting any more time.

Overview of Marine Biologist Salary

Marine biologists are in high demand in South Africa because of their research in oceans and the underwater environment. They can earn an average monthly salary of approximately R 49,383, which becomes R 592,600 annually. Although these are the average salaries, let me tell you that they vary based on experience, location, skill, and gender.

Moreover, the median salary of a marine biologist is R 641,900. That means 50% of the marine biologists in South Africa earn more than this middle value, and 50% earn less than this median value. Let’s look at the salary structure and variability of salaries based on experience level, educational level, and gender.

Salary Structure

Not every marine biologist has the same salary. The wage varies based on several factors. Some of them are mentioned below so you can know how marine biologists can earn the most.

Salary Variability Based on Professional Experience

Entry-level marine biologists working in South Africa and those with less than two years of experience make up an average amount of R 308,300 per year. Then come the mid-level professionals with 2 to 5 years of experience in the field. Those with up to 5 years of knowledge in marine biology can get an average salary of R 413,900 per year.

Moreover, there are skilled professionals with ten years of experience or more than that. Those with ten years of experience can make up an average of R 610,100 annually. Furthermore, professional marine biologists with more than ten years of experience can easily make up R 814,100 annually.

Salary Variability Based on Educational Level

The salaries of marine biologists also vary based on their education. Those with bachelor’s degrees in marine biology can earn an average yearly wage of R 353,600.

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Alternatively, those with master’s degrees can make up an average yearly salary of R 553,400. Furthermore, Ph.D. holders earn more than 931,900 South African Rands per year.

Salary Variability Based on Gender

A male marine biologist can make an average income of R 626,800 annually, whereas a female marine biologist can earn only 599,000 annually. This means male marine biologists earn comparatively more than female marine biologists, and this ratio is approximately 12%. So, male marine biologists make 12% more than female marine biologists in South Africa.

Responsibilities of Marine Biologist

Here is the list of professional responsibilities that marine biologists have to fulfill. Pay attention so you can know what marine biologists must do.

  • Marine biologists are responsible for researching and developing the results on the relationship between the marine environment and organisms.
  • They are responsible for analyzing the effect of human activity on the underwater ecosystem.
  • Marine biologists also collect biological data and take specimens to analyze and conduct several types of research.
  • They also study the characteristics of marine animals, their species interactions, diseases, patterns, movements, and everything related to them.
  • Marine biologists monitor life and population and manage invasive animals and plants underwater.
  • They develop plans and suggest advantageous tips to the public and policymakers to help marine life.


Can you be a marine biologist in South Africa?

Yes, you can work in different organizations as a marine biologist in South Africa. You have the opportunity to work in the private sector and work for government agencies. Moreover, you can also work in research institutions and provide consulting services for businesses related to marine life.

Which university is best for marine biology in South Africa?

I recommend attending the University of Cape Town, Nelson Mandela University, University of Kwazulu, or Cape Peninsula University of Technology to study marine biology. All these universities provide education related to marine biology, and you can get your degrees from them quickly.

Which subject is best for marine biologists?

When choosing the right subject for your future, if you are interested in marine biology, always go with biology, as it is one of the most crucial science subjects you should take. You should also opt for chemistry, geography, computing, and psychology, which will help you later in your field.

Article Modified on October 28, 2023. The data in this article is written and collected by multiple authors. Learn how we research on About Us.