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How To Become An Aquarist? Career, Duties, Salary

(Last Updated On: December 25, 2022)

An Aquarist is a person who takes care of the marine life in aquariums by upholding living environments with practical interactions with aquatics and a similar job. Responsible for the care of fish and marine mammals kept in aquaculture. Aquarists have a wide variety of responsibilities primarily focused on caring for marine animals and maintaining an environment for living for these animals.

The majority of aquarists have at least hold a bachelor’s degree in zoology, marine biology, or a closely related discipline. Students who want to stand out from the competition might check for internships at nearby aquariums.

Scuba diving certification is required of aquarists before they can care for aquatic creatures. Additionally, while working with persons who submerge themselves, aquarists should be trained in CPR. Senior aquarists may require prior deep-sea diving training to view specimens in the field.

An undergraduate (Bachelor’s) degree in (marine) biology or ecology, aquatic biology, animal science, zoology, botany, or conservation biology is often required for careers as marine biologists. Many also accept degrees in allied fields like geology, environmental science, or oceanography.

The major duty of an aquarist is to take care of the fish and other invertebrates housed in the Aquarium’s several exhibits. This involves providing food for the animals and caring for their environment to make it as natural as possible.

An aquarist must be familiar with marine biology, anatomy, and a variety of tools and equipment, including veterinary equipment, boats, forklifts, and tank plumbing.

How To Become an Aquarist? Career, Duties, Salary

An aquarist is a person who is aware of marine life in aquariums in order to maintain a living environment and interact with the animals.

What is an Aquarist?

Aquarist jobs may perform different functions depending on their exact location. Many are directly involved in caring for marine life while maintaining the quality of their habitat. They can be fed by feeding animals, providing activities for more intelligent animals, or taking care of catching sick animals so they can be seen by a pet. They can arrange aquarium displays by cleaning and cleaning the tank’s temperature, cleaning the environment, or fixing damaged equipment. In addition, they can provide exhibitors or design exhibition presentations for the aquarium.

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Where Does An Aquarist Work?

Most aquarist job in aquariums, educating the public on the private facilities where fish and other marine life are held in captivity. Although the profession spends a lot of time with marine life, they can also work in their own office environment when designing presentations for visitors. Aquarists may also have to perform fieldwork outside, which means they will have to travel to other locations to collect samples used in the aquarium. This career path often requires a great deal of physical activity and spending on water.

An aquarist’ primary job and duties include monitoring the quality and temperature of the water, cleaning the tank, repairing equipment, designing displays, educating the audience, monitoring animal behavior, providing behavioral enrichment activities, and preparing and distributing daily. Some positions may include resistant animals for veterinary treatment, capturing, and quarantining sick animals, or stock breeding replacements for aquariums.

In some cases, an aquarist may be required to travel to various pirates (often both domestic and international destinations) to collect samples of seas, rivers, or lakes. These captured samples must then be safely included and transmitted back to the aquarium. Open water diving skills and certification work are required for this sort. International travel requires a passport.

Aquarist carriers often require vigorous physical activity, costly time to get out of scuba gear, and the use of tools and equipment to complete essential tank maintenance tasks.

Most work part-time schedules and irregular hours are common, many animals demand 24-hour care. Extensive field trips and overtime hours may be required.

Education and training

Aquarists must have (at least) a Bachelor of Science degree in marine biology, zoology, aquaculture, or closely related areas. Scuba diving certification is also required as first aid and a certification course in CPR to ensure that aquarists can safely perform their duties (so that a significant amount of time spent underwater can be included).

It is wise for accidental pirates to run marine internships to gain valuable experience in the field. There are many salaries and unpaid opportunities to work with marine mammals, turtles, fish, and other marine life. Volunteering at the local aquariums and zoos will also bolster the career seeker’s resume.

Professional groups

Many aquarists choose to be members of professional groups related to marine animals. These groups provide networking opportunities, educational information, and other support to the Aquarist community.

One of the most prominent groups for aquarists is Zoos & Aquariums Association (AZA). AZA is a company that recognizes zoology and aquariums that meet conservation, science, and education standards. AZA’s private membership is available to employees of the zoo, aquarium, related facility, or organization designated as a conservation partner.

There are also many international, regional, and state groups that can provide information and support to professionals and hobbyists levels.

What is the average Aquarist salary?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) does not separate individual salary information into separate categories in their salary surveys, but they do include careers as part of the more general caffeine veterinarian’s general department. In 2017, BLS reported a median salary of $ 22,950 per year for nonresident animal caregivers.

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Role in Supervision Experienced Aquarists earns significantly higher salaries, often in the $ 40,000 to $ 50,000 range. New Aquarists should expect more of a starting salary in the $ 18,000 to $ 20,000 range. Of course, the total compensation may also vary depending on the geographical area, the size of the aquarium, the area of ​​specialization of the aquarist, and specific job responsibilities.

The other source says aquarists earn an average of $ 19,970 per year, with the highest 10% earning about $ 32,500 and the lowest 10% earning around $ 16,490.

Most aquarists are employed in private aquariums, but others may work for nonprofit or state benefits.

What are the job demands for aquarists?

Aquarists’ job demand is expected to grow 15% over the next 10 years, faster than the average across all professions. Higher occupation turnover is expected in locations that require more maneuverability tasks, while more advanced positions will increase due to increasing interest in conserving the environment and oceans.

What Does an Education Aquarist Need?

Most aquarists have a bachelor’s degree in marine biology, zoology, or other related fields. Students looking to have an edge in the job market should pursue an internship at a local aquarium. Because most of the workday is around and involved in water, everyone who pursues this field must hold scuba diving certifications, as well as certifications in CPR. Field progress usually depends on work experience.

What kind of Aquarist are societies and professional organizations?

Aquarists and those who wish to enter the field can browse through these companies and societies for valuable resources:

Zoos & Aquariums Association (AZA) – This non-profit organization is dedicated to providing many resources for aquariums, especially when it comes to conservation, scientific research, and education. They have a variety of resources for updating aquarists on the latest news on conservation and public education. This resource can be especially useful for those who work in an educational capacity. It can be helpful to find open Aquarist locations.

Most other aquarist societies are location-specific. You can probably find it easily by searching in your local state or region.

Career options

Various companies can provide jobs for aquarists, including aquariums, zoos, theme parks, laboratories, and research facilities. The position exists primarily with private businesses but may be available with the government department.

Experienced aquarists may advance the role of supervisor and manager as curator positions within the aquarium. It is also possible to branch out to other related positions such as a marine mammal trainer, veterinary technician, or marine biologist.

Career Outlook

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) survey found that careers for non-livestock caregivers will increase by 22 percent from 2016 to 2026, which will increase at a much higher rate than the average for all workers, and this should also reflect growth rates for Aquarist positions. There is also a particularly high turnover rate for aquarist positions, as they are often used by other marine personnel as an entry-level stepping stone.

Related: Key Skills Employers will Look for in Resume for Fresher

Positions working with marine mammals can be the most difficult, as people who wish to work with marine mammal species such as dolphins, seals, and whales have a special level of interest. Those interested in the Marine Mammal Aquarist position should have significant experience in strengthening their resume through internships, there are usually many applicants for each available position.

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