Fish Hatchery Manager: Job Description & Career Info

Mar 07, 2019

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.

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Career Definition for a Fishery Manager

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.

Education Bachelor's degree in fisheries science or fisheries management, plus experience in a fishery or hatchery
Job Skills Managerial aptitude, organizational and decision making skills, and detailed knowledge of the fishery business
Median Salary (2017)* $46,570 (first-line supervisors of farming, fishing and forestry workers)
Job Growth (2016-2026)* 2% (first-line supervisors of farming, fishing and forestry workers)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Required Education

Experience in fish farming is crucial, but a bachelor's degree in fisheries management or fisheries science 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 $46,570 as of May 2017. BLS stated that a two percent increase in the number of positions for these managers was expected from 2016 to 2026.

Alternate Career Options

Similar career options in this field include:

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 8% from 2016-2026 for water transportation workers and reported a median annual wage of $55,590 in 2017.

Fishing and Hunting Workers

Between 2016-2026, the BLS anticipates an 11% increase for these jobs that involve catching fish and wildlife for food, bait, or other uses. No formal education is required, and a median annual salary of $28,530 was noted for these workers in 2017 by the BLS.

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