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Fish Hatchery Manager Job Description, Career as a Fish Hatchery Manager, Salary, Employment

Definition and Nature of the Work, Education and Training Requirements, Getting the Job

Education and Training: Varies—see profile

Salary: Median—$47,680 per year

Employment Outlook: Good

Definition and Nature of the Work

Fish hatchery managers direct and coordinate the activities of fish hatchery workers. Fish hatcheries and marine farms trap and spawn fish, incubate eggs, and rear fish according to management and fish culturing techniques. Managers determine, administer, and execute policy relating to the administration, facility maintenance, and standards of hatchery operations.

Managers must also be familiar with the latest techniques for collecting, fertilizing, incubating spawn, and treatment of spawn and fry (recently hatched fish). They oversee the transfer of mature fish to lakes, ponds, streams, or commercial tanks. They consult with biologists and other fishery personnel concerning feeding, rearing, and environmental requirements.

Education and Training Requirements

A growing number of management positions in the aquaculture and fish hatchery industry require a bachelor's degree in aquaculture science or a related field. However, some positions do not require a bachelor's degree, instead requiring some college combined with at least two to four years of experience in the field. There are a few positions that require a high school diploma combined with advanced on-the-job training and several years of experience.

Getting the Job

The majority of managers are promoted from positions as fish hatchery workers or a related job. They prove their skills on the job and have experience managing people. Apply directly to fish hatcheries, marine farms, commercial fishing establishments, and aquaculture firms.

Advancement Possibilities and Employment Outlook

Fish hatchery managers can transfer from small to large operations or can open an aquaculture business of their own.

Fish hatchery managers oversee the operation of hatcheries where fish are bred in controlled environments. Technicians conduct research on breeding to increase egg numbers and fish quality. (USDA.)

There will be new employment opportunities for workers in the aquaculture industry through 2014. With growing concerns over the depletion of some wild fish species, the number of fish hatcheries and marine farms will increase, especially those that raise shrimp, salmon, trout, and catfish. The public demand for seafood continues to grow, and that will provide opportunities in this field.

Working Conditions

Fish hatchery managers spend a great deal of time outdoors exposed to all weather conditions. They are also around water, both outdoors and inside commercial tanks. They may be exposed to unpleasant odors and contaminants. It can be a physically demanding job, but there is also time spent doing administrative tasks in a comfortable, climate-controlled office.

Where to Go for More Information

American Fisheries Society
5410 Grosvenor Ln.
Bethesda, MD 20814
(301) 897-8616

National Aquaculture Association
111 W. Washington St., Ste. 1
Charles Town, WV 25414
(304) 728-2167

World Aquaculture Society
143 J. M. Parker Coliseum
Louisiana State University
Baton Rouge, LA 70806
(225) 578-3137

Earnings and Benefits

The median salary for fish hatchery managers is $47,680 per year. Benefits usually include health and dental insurance and paid vacation and sick days.

Additional topics

Job Descriptions and Careers, Career and Job Opportunities, Career Search, and Career Choices and ProfilesAgribusiness, Environment, and Natural Resources