Do you want to work as an Aquaculturist?

READ: This page helps you to read about the career and the info you need to decide on whether this is indeed the career you want to follow.

RESEARCH: ​Learn about the skills required and minimum subjects to enter this career, as well as the places where you can study further after school.

PREPARE: If you want to plan and prepare for the career, then join the OZT Community! Members have access to tools, while chatting with other students and experts from around the world. Prepare to be amazed!

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1. What is an Aquaculturist?

An aquaculturist is in charge of the farming of aquatic organisms, including culturing and growing freshwater and marine fish, shellfish, and aquatic plants.

Ancient history?

Aquaculture has been around for more than 4,000 years

Fish farming?

There is an estimated 12 million fish farmers around the world

2. What does an Aquaculturist do?

Career Categories

The aquaculturist career can be found within the following OZT career categories:

  • Animal Care
  • Health
  • Farming & Livestock Management
  • Marine Conservation

What does an Aquaculturist focus on?

Aquculturist work to bring a variety healthy fish, lobsters, crabs etc. to our dinner table from aquatic environments

What are the daily tasks of an Aquaculturist?

  • Assist with all aspects of fish husbandry including feeding, fish grading, fish movement, water quality monitoring and fish inventory control
  • Grow fish and shellfish as cash crops or for release into freshwater or saltwater
  • Supervise and train aquaculture and fish hatchery support workers
  • Collect and record growth, production, and environmental data
  • Conduct and supervise stock examinations to identify diseases or parasites
  • Sort different types of breeding stock in order
  • Handle incubation and short-term rearing of fish in net pens or small ponds
  • Conduct routine maintenance of your facility and equipment
  • Oversee operation and maintenance of freshwater and/or seawater aquaculture systems
  • Provide insight into planning facilities and construction of new aquaculture systems
  • Manage automated building and equipment control systems
  • Provides technical support for various projects with researchers and universities
  • Assist those interested in aquaculture in the development of commercially viable aquaculture systems and processes
  • Design, supervise and implement biological studies on aquatic resources
  • Assess fish population in various bodies of water
  • Compile, analyze and interpret biological data and compile technical reports.
  • Identify and treat diseases found in fish populations
  • Manage fish inventory and production in a hatchery
  • Administer and execute policies relating to operations, train, supervise and assist hatchery workers
  • Provide leadership for delivering education, training and information to a variety of audiences that may farmers, educators, agency personnel and citizens
  • Work to find ways to improve spawning, setting, growth rates and disease prevention in hatcheries

3. Working conditions of an Aquaculturist

Where does an Aquaculturist work?

Environment

Aquaculturists work indoors, mainly within the hatchery, which can be completely enclosed, or partially open to allow sunlight and fresh air into the hatchery.

Places of Employment –

They find employment at hatcheries, research institutions, universities, fish conservation organizations, and government.

What is the average annual salary of an Aquaculturist?

On average the income per year is around $55,000. This will differ from country to country.

Can an Aquaculturist be promoted?

Promotion to senior levels are available in most animal caretaker careers. The levels of each promotion might differ from organization to organization, but generally are the following:

Intern Aquaculturist -> Aquaculturist -> Manager

What kind of difficulties can an Aquaculturist face?

The most difficult part is working with eggs and small fish that can be extremely fragile. They may also work shifts, long hours and over weekends and holidays.

​Future growth and Possibilities

The average yearly growth of new positions is around 5%, which is below the global job availability average, and causes some competition for new jobs. Possible new opportunities might open as privately owned hatcheries increase in an effort to ensure that the stock level of fish in nature remains stable.

4. Which Skills are required by an Aquaculturist?

The skills required for a career as an aquaculturist can be divided into two very important groups. The first is the group containing life skills, which are the core skills that are necessary or desirable for full participation in everyday life. The second group is career skills, or the specific skills required to allow a person to enter and operate effectively within a specific career. Some or maybe even all of the life skills can assist in strengthening the career skills, and they might even be the same for specific careers.

Life Skills

  • Self-awareness
  • Empathy
  • Critical thinking
  • Creative thinking
  • Decision making
  • Problem Solving
  • Effective communication
  • Interpersonal relationship
Life Skills
40%

Career Skills

  • ​Good business knowledge
  • Good animal care and handling
  • Basic customer service skills
  • Good health and physical fitness
  • Excellent computer literacy
Career Skills
60%

5. Which Subjects must I have at School to help prepare for this career?

The subjects you choose at school are important as they lay the foundation for further studies at college or university. While still at school, it’s also important to learn more about the animals you will work with, as well as gain some experience.

OZT has a list of various tertiary institutions where you can study further, after school. Each of these institutions also have their own Group page on OZT where you will find the exact subjects they require of you to have passed in school. Keep these requirements in mind, and discuss it with your school, guidance counselor and parents to ensure that you are prepared!

6. What will I need to Study to become an Aquaculturist?

Minimum educational requirements

​To become a Fish Hatchery Technician doesn’t require formal training, but many do go on to study a College Diploma.

Study Focus

Major –

Further studies help to secure management positions, or entry into a more advanced career. Major can include biology, marine sciences, animal husbandry or aquaculture.

Short Courses –

As this career evolves, there will always be new short courses on topics, such as hatchery methods and the use of technology.

Study Duration

The duration of Bachelor’s Degrees can be up to 3 or 4 years. Short Courses are usually between a few weeks and a year.

Possible Career Preparation Paths

If this is your dream career that you want to pursue, then it’s important to plan the way forward.

Why is planning important?

​To ensure that you understand the requirements for your career, and that you are always prepared for the next step on the road towards your dream. A Preparation Path is like your road map to where you want to be.

Possible Paths:

Possible Combined Career Paths

It is possible to sometimes combine two or more related careers. This normally happens when you study and practice a specific main career, but the knowledge and experience gained also help you to have a paying hobby or secondary income career.

Possible Alternatives (there are a lot more):

Training and apprenticeship

Even though it is important to study to get into some of the animal careers, most of the skills you will need as an aquaculturist will be acquired through practice. This means that you will learn how to perform some of the daily tasks by actually doing it a few times and learning the steps.

In some cases entry level positions require training sessions even before you are allowed to actually perform your job duties. These sessions are offered by the place of employment, after you have successfully applied.

Apprenticeship is also possible where you need to learn skills from a more senior technician or biologist.

Join the Aquaculturists Group to learn more and even interact with the educational institutions that will help you secure your dream career!

Average level of educational qualification people had when entering the Career

High School Certificate 0%
Diploma or Short Courses 0%
Degree or Higher Studies 0%

7. Licenses, Registration, Certification and Professional Associations

Certain animal careers require some form of legal certification to prove that you can indeed do the work, and work with the necessary equipment.

Although not required by law, certifications may help workers establish their credentials and enhance their skills.

Learn more about requirements by joining OZT

Professional Associations

8. Where can I study further?

All of the above information will help you understand more about the Career, including the fact that there are different paths to take to reach it. But if you are almost done with High School (Grades 11 or 12), you also need to start thinking about further studies, and WHERE you will study.

See the List of Universities, Colleges and Online Training Academies who offer courses towards fish breeding.

Do you want to contribute to the career information? Please click on the red beetle to learn about being an OZT mentor or contributor.

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JOIN the OZT community

Join us as a special member and learn more about becoming an aquaculturist.

Members of the Platform have special access to:

  • Info on the best places where you can study (colleges, universities and online)
  • Expertly designed advice to prepare you for the career, and links to places where you can gain valuable experience. For some career experience is necessary, otherwise you wont get the job!
  • Top notch info on each of the different species you will work with
  • Make friends around the world and share knowledge
  • Compete and win points, badges, games, prizes and certificates. Be the best of the best, while you learn and prepare!

If you have decided on being an aquaculturist, please click on the JOIN GROUP button. Members will be directed to the Group, while non-members will be assisted to register first.

If this career is NOT the career for you, then you may return to the MAIN CAREER menu, and search for something different.

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