Job description

Aquacultural managers supervise staff by coordinating, directing, monitoring and supporting fish hatchery production for businesses, cooperatives and public departments or agencies. Their primary task is to ensure that fish and shellfish are grown as cash crops and released into freshwater or saltwater by utilising output and environmental data.

Duties

    • Collect data and record growth, production and environmental data
    • Monitor the trapping and spawning of fish, egg incubation and fry rearing
    • Train and supervise aquaculture and fish hatchery support employees
    • Administer and implement production policies put forward by operations administration
    • Determine the right measures to maintain standards relating to facility maintenance
    • Manage the transfer and release of mature fish into commercial tanks, lakes, ponds and streams
    • Perform routine inspection of stock examinations to potentially locate diseases or parasites
    • Scuba dive to learn about the efficacy of sea farm operations
    • Meet biologists and fish pathologists, to gather opinions relating to fish habits, diseases and food
    • Design and erect floating stations, fences and pens for sea farms
    • List various techniques for fish fertilisation, spawn incubation and treatment
    • Maintain brood stock
    • Write reports and propose solutions to boost fish hatching and growth rates
    • Conduct basic accounting to manage purse strings and disburse funds
    • Compose papers to outline operations, budget and other compilatory data for government agencies

Skills, qualities and knowledge

Critical thinking
Communication
Leadership
Numerical
Negotiation
Problem-solving
Organisational
Teamwork
Interpersonal
Physical stamina

Working hours and environment

Average working hours

50hweek

Typical schedule

Full Time

Long and irregular hours

The work of an aquacultural manager is physically demanding. In addition to walking and standing for long stretches of time, they typically handle up to 20 pounds of machines, equipment and tools in varying conditions, from very hot to very cold. Their work is mostly done outside at public or private fish hatcheries and commercial aquatic farms. Overtime work is common, and they may need to visit the site on weekends.

Salary

Bottom 10%

$35k

Median

$68k

Top 10%

$140k

Annual salary estimates are based on percentile wage data collected through the Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) survey of US workers.

Qualifications and training

Education level

Undergraduate

DVM / VMD degree

Study time

4years

Although not essential, a bachelor’s degree in marine biology, fisheries and aquatics or another science-related field is becoming increasingly important among employers. That said, many employers will hire candidates with at least a high school diploma.

Job outlook

Projected growth
The projected growth rate of employment in the US from 2016 to 2026, based on data collected through the BLS Employment Projections (EP) programme. The national average growth rate for all professions is 7%.

-1%

No of new jobs
The number of jobs projected to become available in the US between 2016 and 2026, based on data collected through the BLS Employment Projections (EP) programme.

-8k

Automation risk
The probability of computerisation, based on data published in ‘The Future of Employment’, a 2013 working paper by Carl Benedikt Frey and Michael Osborne.

4.7%

Career progression

To succeed in this career, you must attain an incredible amount of work-related skills, knowledge and expertise. Upon entry into this field, you will generally perform a lot of heavy-duty tasks before moving on to more intricate responsibilities. Eventually, with enough experience, you can progress to a more senior position such as research coordinator. You also go on to become a Recirculating Aquaculture Systems Specialist or aquaculture professor.