If you enjoy visiting aquariums and studying underwater life, consider working as an aquarist. These animal science graduates oversee the upkeep and wellbeing of various sea creatures at different indoor facilities.
What is an Aquarist?
An aquarist is someone who takes care of the creatures in the aquarium. They also work at zoos or places that hold marine life. Aquarists are generally in charge of providing aquatic life with basic care needs, like preparing food, cleaning tanks and maintaining proper water quality for fishes and other sea creatures.
What does an Aquarist do?
Taking care of the creatures’ well-being
Aquarists are in charge of taking care of the plant and animal life living in the aquarium. They have strong knowledge of fish, mammals, and other life that lives underwater, as they are responsible for the wellbeing of all these creatures. This includes:
- Checking pumps, filters and heaters to ensure they’re operating properly
- Feeding the creatures the correct food and vitamins
- Stimulating the creatures with species alike toys and creatures
- Monitoring the health of sea creatures and diagnosing any illnesses or injuries
Excellent critical thinking abilities also help them come up with creative and beneficial activities for the animals to improve their mental and physical health.
The most vital part of an aquarist’s job is researching the creatures they look after. This research means that they can better understand how they should care for the animals. It also informs the intriguing facts and signs covering around the tanks, which help to educate everyone about these creatures.
A passion for underwater creatures and an interest in their habitats are crucial characteristics for being an aquarist as they need to observe the habit of all creatures to ensure their wellbeing.
Building unique, safe displays for fish to live in that look appealing to customers and also replicate the sea creatures’ natural habitats is also one of their tasks. Consequently, they capture valuable information that can help with conservation and our understanding of the oceans.
Designing exhibit site
Another part of an aquarist’s job is to design the exhibits that visitors will see. They do this by cleaning the viewing surfaces, deciding what kinds of plants and life work well together in specific areas and maintaining proper materials. This is where aquarists have room to be creative.
The average salary for an aquarist and other animal caretakers is about $29,000 per year. The demand for aquarists can grow by 22% over the next decade, which is faster than the average for many other jobs. As scientists continue to study underwater life, they will discover and locate more creatures for aquarists to care for and nurture in a stable environment, which increases the need for more aquarists.