Fish Hatchery Manager: Job Description & Career Info

Fishery managers direct and oversee fish farm and fish hatchery activities, working to improve production and profits by applying innovative science and business management skills. Read further to learn more about entering this profession.

Career Definition

Fishery managers trap, spawn, and raise fish as cash crops or for release into bodies of fresh or salt water. Their responsibilities include tracking fish life cycles and growth rates and controlling disease. The biggest challenge for fishery managers is integrating innovative methods of breeding and trapping fish that are environmentally conscientious and economically profitable. Fishery managers also supervise workers and prepare budget reports required by state and federal law.

How to Become a Fish Hatchery Manager

Required Education

Experience in fish farming is crucial, but a bachelor's degree in fisheries science, hatchery management, or hatchery maintenance also will prove useful as the industry expands. Since fishery managers are primarily managers, administrative skills and scientific and practical knowledge of the processes and operations of fish hatcheries are essential for success. Thus, future fishery managers should start as fish hatchery workers or gain practical experience as interns on fish farms.

Required Skills

Fishery managers must have strong analytical, research, business management, and administrative skills. Also, because many of their business decisions rely on cooperation with biologists and other experts, fishery managers need superb oral communication skills.

Career and Economic Outlook

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual salary earned by first-line supervisors of farming, fishing, and forestry workers was $43,660 as of May 2012. States with the highest-paid supervisors included Michigan, New York, and Wisconsin, with averages above $50,000. The BLS stated that a two percent decline in the number of positions for these managers was expected from 2012 to 2022.

Alternate Career Options

Water Transportation Worker

These workers transport people and cargo on vessels, between both domestic and foreign ports. Training requirements vary depending on the type of job, but most supervisory positions, like engineers and officers, require a bachelor's degree. Most jobs require a Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) and a Merchant Marine Credential (MMC). The BLS projected average employment growth of 13% from 2012-2022 for water transportation workers and reported a median annual wage of $48,980 in 2012.

Fisher and Related Fishing Worker

During the 2012-2022 decade, the BLS anticipated a 5% decline for these jobs that involve catching marine life for food, bait, or other uses. No formal education is required, and a median annual salary of $33,430 was noted for these workers in 2012 by the BLS.

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