Ocean Environmental Management Career Information

Mar 07, 2019

An ocean environmental manager oversees efficient and sustainable management of ocean systems, given such 21st-century challenges as international laws and pollution. Read on for more information about ocean environmental management.

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Career Definition for an Ocean Environmental Manager

Ocean environmental managers work to protect ocean systems, including critical area lands, waters and beaches. They report on business developments and monitor causes of ocean pollution. Ocean environmental managers propose innovative alternatives for business and coastal management. They also initiate policies to preserve ocean water quality and ecosystems.

Education Master's degree in marine biology or related field
Job Skills Business management, communication, problem solving, marketing
Average Salary (2017) $69,400 (all environmental scientists and specialists)
Job Growth (2016-2026) 11% (all environmental scientists and specialists)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Required Education

Ocean environmental managers typically earn at least a master's degree in marine biology or oceanography, and a minor in business or management is highly recommended. Ocean environmental management students learn about policies and laws governing international waters, economics and environmental policies.

Required Skills

Ocean environmental managers must possess strong business and written and oral communication skills. They should be familiar with marketing and personnel management techniques. Ocean environmental managers also should have firm knowledge of fishery policies and laws.

Career and Economic Outlook

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment opportunities for environmental scientists, including ocean environmental managers, are expected to increase by 11% between 2016 and 2026, which is faster as average for all U.S. occupations. About 23% of environmental scientists are employed by state, local or federal government agencies. In May 2017, the BLS also reported median annual earnings for environmental scientists of $69,400.

Alternate Career Options

Those pursuing careers as ocean environmental managers may consider a variety of related occupations, including environmental protection and hydrology.

Environmental Science and Protection Technician

With at least an associate's degree in a field related to the environment or public health, these techs often work with environmental scientists and specialists to investigate pollution sources. The BLS expected employment of environmental science and protection technicians to increase faster than average, with 12% growth anticipated from 2016-2026. The BLS also noted an annual median salary for environmental science and protection technicians of $45,490 as of May 2017.


Usually needing a master's degree in the natural sciences, hydrologists work toward solving water supply and quality issues by studying the movement of waters on and through the earth. In 2017, they earned an annual median wage of $79,990, per the BLS, and can expect faster than average employment growth of 10% from 2016 through 2026.

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