Know the Ocean Conservation Jobs That Are Out There For YOU!

By December 5, 2011 October 23rd, 2013 Ocean Conservation Careers
Jobs in Marine Conservation

As part of Speak Up for Blue’s mission, we want people to be involved more in the Ocean Conservation field. So to help facilitate this mission, Speak Up for Blue would like to help you get a job in Ocean Conservation!

Jobs in Marine Conservation

3 Career Avenues You Can Take in Marine Conservation.

Last week, we gave you 3 tips to help you get jobs in Marine Conservation. The first tip was to have you focus on 2-3 specific job types within the Ocean Conservation field, so this week we are going to make you aware of the type of jobs that are available in Marine Conservation. We think this will help you discover the jobs out there in Marine Conservation:

Science/Research –For most young people discovering or getting interested in Ocean Conservation, they tend to think of becoming a Marine Biologist, as I did. I must admit, there is no better feeling than working out in the middle of the Ocean taking water samples to help understand what is happening to the Ocean and present the material to the public.

Where Can you Work

A science/research position can work in many areas including government, universities/colleges, non-profit organizations, and private consulting.

What Skill Set/Education Is Required

Typically, your education drives the type of science job you will do. To qualify for most positions, you require at least a Bachelor Degree from a 4 year honours program. A job with a Bachelor Degree will provide you with a technician position where you would be responsible for being in the field to collect samples (water, sediment, catch fish and other species, etc.). A Master Degree will allow you to become a junior project manager or a field manager depending on your interests. A PhD will qualify you for a manager position or a professor (with post-doc experience) where you have a good chance of driving your own research directions.

Policy/Advocacy – This type of Ocean Conservation job takes the science and research information and uses it to help amend old policies or create new ones. You will be working with scientists and politicians often acting as a liaison.

Where Can you Work

You will work with government, non-profit organizations, private consulting, and maybe at universities/colleges.

What Skill Set/Education Is Required

You will require a University degree in politics, policy, law, and/or geography with a marine science background along with experience working with politicians, scientists, and the community. The experience can be built through internships and volunteering or working with an organization at an entry level position.

Fundraiser/Grant Writer – This position drives Ocean Conservation! Ocean Conservation would cease to exist without money (and often many projects fail due to lack of funds) to support the people who dedicate the full time work towards this calling. So to work in this field of Ocean Conservation is extremely important.

Where Can you Work

You can work for government, non-profit organizations, and private consulting (you would be more of a salesperson working for a private consulting firm).

What Skill Set/Education Is Required

Many Universities/Colleges do offer fundraising programs; however, a business, marketing, and/or economics degree would fit the bill. You would also require a creative mindset and know about how to fundraise in a web 2.0 environment (more on this later). Also, scientists can be great grant writers as many fundraising streams are derived from grants. Grant writing is an art that requires a system and would be a great skill set if someone were to have this in their skill arsenal.

Executive Director or Program Director –Who wouldn’t want to be the head honcho at a large, medium, or small non-profit organization. It sounds glamorous doesn’t it? The Executive Director is responsible for working with the board of directors to guide the organization on its path set out by the board. Financials, fundraising, staff, research, and daily operations fall under the tasks of an Executive Director.

Where Can you Work

Executive Director positions are mainly found within the non-profit organization sector in the Ocean Conservation field; however, organizations within Universities/Colleges and government departments also have Executive Directors.

What Skill Set/Education Is Required

Many job postings for Executive Directors require a business and/or financial background with 10+ years of experience within the Ocean Conservation or Conservations field, which makes sense given their responsibilities.

Choosing which avenue you would like to pursue can help you narrow down on the number of jobs to which you apply and help you set up your education path before you start your career.

SUFB Wants to Know: Which Career Path Interests You?

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  • michelle says:

    Hi, I ran into this article because I am a marine biology major and I feel like I’m taking all these classes that I’m not good at. I want to get into conservation. That’s what I want to do. Can I ask you what you did to get into this field? I just feel like I’m failing… And I want to do well and I want to be a part of saving marine life. But I’m getting frustrated with all the chem, math, and bio that’s so difficult.

  • admin says:

    Hi Michelle,

    Keep working at those subjects. They are not easy, but you can find extra help through tutors and friends in the same class. I did not excel at every subject. In fact I had a tutor for Calculus and Physics in High School and University. If you have a passion for Ocean Conservation then you will find a way to succeed in these courses.

    With that said, there are other ways to get involved with Ocean Conservation. You can work on the marketing, communications, and/or fundraising side of Ocean Conservation.

    BUT, there are challenges in Ocean Conservation in every area including science…and in life in general. Once you are able to overcome these challenges and work through them then you will be able to feel more confident when future challenges come up.

    Just some advice to someone who is in Marine Biology and went through a similar situation.


  • Angel says:

    Hello, I am so glad that I came upon this article because I love Marine life and I care deeply about the environment. My major right now is Political Science with a minor in public administration and I would love to work with an Ocean Conservation. Im not sure what to get my masters in for next year so that I may get the opportunity to someday work with an ocean conservation. Could you possibly help me out?

  • Andrew Lewin says:

    Thanks for the comments Angel! I would love to help you out. A degree in Political Science with a minor in public administration is a great platform to go into Policy for Ocean Conservation (if that is what you like). If you are not sure what the duties in policy jobs are, then I would suggest you go on the Oceana website ( and look up some staff positions that are policy analysts to find out what they do in their daily responsibilities. I hope that helps!

  • Stephanie says:

    Hi! I recently graduated with a BA in marine biology and am having a difficult time finding work or even experience related fellowships. I would love to continue my education by obtaining a masters degree in marine conservation but that requires more experience and the lack of funding (meaning I would have to pay thousands to be a part of a research team, etc.) is becoming ridiculously frustrating. I’m willing to travel anywhere and do about anything at this point… help???

  • Andrew Lewin says:

    The first thing you need to do is sign up to our email list so that you can be notified when we release our online course on How to Build An Ocean Conservation Career (sign up in the list box in this article), which contains all of the information you will require to help you build a solid Ocean Conservation Career. The next thing you need to do is research what you would like to do within Ocean Conservation, i.e. do research, communications, marketing, work with a non-profit organizations, work for government, etc. Once you choose one or two career paths, then you can concentrate on which graduate program you need to take for your career path.

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