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How Do I Get a Job at a Fish Hatchery?

Dan Cavallari
Dan Cavallari

In order to maintain supplies of fish for the consumer market throughout the year, a fish hatchery may produce finfish or shellfish that is not raised in the wild. Various types of jobs at a fish hatchery exist, some of which will require college degrees and extensive training. Apprenticeships and volunteer opportunities may also be available. If you want to work in such a hatchery, you have several options, but you will need to research each option to figure out which is the best for you. Be prepared to undergo extensive training or education if you want to build a career in this field.

Research scientist and biologist positions are the most common, and some of the most important, positions in a fish hatchery. These professionals will monitor the operations within the hatchery and make necessary adjustments to tanks and fish wildlife. Researchers may perform experiments or collect data that will be useful in developing new fishery techniques or genetic modifications of various types of fish. Other experiments may take note of various external stimuli and how they affect fish populations within the fish hatchery. Biologists will also conduct such research, though they are more likely to be concerned with maintaining the health of fish populations within the hatchery.

Salmon are often bred in fish hatcheries.
Salmon are often bred in fish hatcheries.

Support staff within the fish hatchery may include clerical workers such as secretaries. Office managers and other types of managers within the company are also likely to be present on site, and while these professionals may be required to have specific education or experience in scientific fields, they may be more likely to have training or education in business or management fields. Accounting professionals and even lawyers may be hired by a fish hatchery to maintain regular business operations and to ensure the business runs efficiently and legally.

Maintenance personnel are often on hand in a fish hatchery as well. These workers may be responsible for maintaining the cleanliness of the facility by using cleaning chemicals and tools. Maintenance personnel may also be responsible for troubleshooting, diagnosing, and repairing various types of machinery commonly used within the hatchery facilities. Such professionals will generally need to undergo mechanical training, though a college degree is often unnecessary. Specific certifications or licenses, however, may be necessary, which means post-secondary training may also be necessary in some cases.

Volunteer opportunities and internships are sometimes available at hatcheries as well. Internships in particular are fairly common, as high school and college students are afforded the opportunity to learn more about the industry and the science behind it.

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    • Salmon are often bred in fish hatcheries.
      By: Witold Krasowski
      Salmon are often bred in fish hatcheries.