Aquarists are individuals with different personalities. They have a passion for the animals they look after and take great care to make sure they live excellent lives in captivity. Just like a zoo needs zookeepers to look after the animals, aquariums also need people to look after the fish and aquatic animals.
An aquarist’s primary responsibilities include water quality and temperature monitoring, tank cleaning, equipment repair, and show design. They educate visitors by giving informative presentations, studying animal behavior, conducting behavioral enrichment activities, and preparing and distributing food on a daily basis. Some positions may also involve restraining animals for veterinary treatments, capturing, and quarantining sick animals, or breeding replacement stock for the aquarium.
An aquarist may be needed to travel to different areas to gather specimens from seas, rivers, or lakes in some circumstances. After that, the specimens must be carefully confined and returned to the tank. For this type of employment, open water diving abilities and certifications are required. International travel necessitates the use of a passport.
Aquariums, zoos, theme parks, labs, and research institutions are just a few of the places where aquarists can work. Positions are accessible mostly with private enterprises, although they may also be offered with government divisions.
Aquarists with more experience can progress to supervisory and management positions inside the aquarium, such as curator jobs. It is also possible to branch out into other related positions such as marine mammal trainer, veterinary technician, or marine biologist.
A bachelor’s degree in marine biology, zoology, aquaculture, or a closely related field is required for aquarists. To guarantee that the aquarist can safely carry out their tasks, scuba diving certification is also necessary, as is a certification course in first aid and CPR.
Groups of Aquarists
Many aquarists opt to join professional organizations dedicated to marine creatures. These organizations provide the aquarist community with a range of networking opportunities, educational material, and other resources. Individual memberships in this kind of group are available to employees of zoos, aquariums, related facilities, or organizations designated as conservation partners.
Aquarist pay data is divided into its own category in their wage survey, although it is included in the larger category of nonfarm animal caregivers. Nonfarm animal caregivers had a median annual wage of $22,950. Experienced aquarists in managerial positions make substantially more money, often between $40,000 and $50,000 per year. Plus, starting salaries for new aquarists should be in the region of $18,000 to $20,000.
It might be the ideal job for you if you enjoy caring for aquatic species, developing new habitats, and working with like-minded experts in an aquarium. In the long term, an aquarist degree may be beneficial if you are prepared to put in the time and work required.