Fish farmer

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Aquaculturist

Fish farmers work in small teams to breed and rear fish and shellfish, and harvest them for market.

Salary Range: £13,000 to £35,000

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You can get into this job through:

  • a college course
  • applying directly
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You could take a college course to give you some of the skills and knowledge needed for the job.

Courses are usually offered by land-based and agricultural colleges and include:

  • Level 1 Certificate in Fisheries Management
  • Level 2 Diploma in Fish Husbandry
  • Level 2 Diploma in Land and Wildlife Management (Fish)

Entry requirements

You’ll usually need:

  • 2 or fewer GCSEs at grades 3 to 1 (D to G), or equivalent, for a level 1 course
  • 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D), or equivalent, for a level 2 course
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Volunteering and experience

Paid or voluntary work in related areas can be useful. Examples include taking part in environment and water monitoring with river trusts, ecological surveys or being a member of an angling club.

Direct application

You could apply to fish farms for permanent or seasonal work. There are no set qualifications required, although experience is useful.

Some jobs are in remote areas of the country, so you may need access to a vehicle.

More information

Further information

You can find out more about working in the fisheries industry through the Institute of Fisheries Management.

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Skills and knowledge

You’ll need:

  • knowledge of biology
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • maths knowledge
  • the ability to work well with others
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • the ability to use your initiative
  • leadership skills
  • business management skills
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

Restrictions and requirements

You may need a full driving licence to travel to work, collect feed and equipment, and make deliveries to local buyers.

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Day-to-day tasks

Your day-to-day duties could include:

  • breeding or buying in stock
  • feeding and monitoring fish health
  • grading and moving fish as they grow
  • maintaining buildings, equipment and habitats
  • treating used water
  • harvesting and selling stock

Working environment

You could work on a farm.

Your working environment may be physically demanding and outdoors in all weathers.

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You could move into areas like fisheries management, biological science or environmental research by taking a degree qualification.

On a larger farm, you could progress to supervisor or manager.

You could start your own fish farm.