How to Become a

Fish Hatchery Manager

The complete career guide to be a Fish Hatchery Manager: salary, job growth, employers, best schools, and education you may need to get started.

Why We Love It

  • $69,880
    Potential Avg. Salary
  • -1.9%
    Job Growth Rate
  • Don't Take Work Home
    Career Attribute
  • Flexible Hours
    Career Attribute

A fish hatchery manager supervises activities related to hatchery management and fish production, specifically at fish farms and fish hatcheries. The purpose of this role is to maximize production and profit margins through smooth operation and business management.

Recommended Schools

What is a Fish Hatchery Manager?


The duties of a fish hatchery manager include the following points:

  • Assess and execute administrative policies, hatchery operation standards and the regular maintenance of facilities on the premises.
  • Ensure the spawning and trapping of different extensive and intensive culture of warm and cool fish species, incubating the eggs, and applying other fish culture methods.
  • Keep up to date with industry trends such as advanced techniques and treatments for collecting, fertilizing and incubating fish spawn.
  • Collaborate with other fishery professionals such as fish management staff and internal partners to collect statistics pertaining to food, rearing and habitat needs.
  • Closely monitor aspects such as fish health and nutrition, aquatic vegetation and water quality, to improve productivity efficiency.

Day In The Life

During a typical work day, you will start bright and early to take a look at fish and beds to assess diseases as well as track the growth rate of fish and their quality. As someone overseeing all operations at the hatchery, you will frequently record the quantity and types of fish or shellfish spawned, reared, harvested and eventually sold. Monitoring the facility and fish production related responsibilities will require you to initiate the writing of development projects, consolidating and tracking budgets, purchasing supplies to assist with fish rearing and spawning activities.

You will also specify duties for workers as per a daily or weekly schedule, which includes harvesting shellfish beds, spawning, feeding and transferring fish. Coordinating with other managers and making key decisions plays a significant part of most days, whether it is figuring out best times for planting seed or techniques to use for cultivating, feeding and harvesting fish as well as shellfish.

Work Schedule

As a fish hatchery manager, you will work for more than 40 hours per week, and be mostly outdoors in varied weather conditions. Depending on the size of the facilities, you will be required to travel in between facilities that the role oversees. The job is often physically demanding depending on production demands, and requires you to be near water, inside commercial tanks and contaminants. You may also have to complete administrative tasks in a standard environmentally controlled office environment.

Growth Of The Job

Fish hatchery managers often move from small to large scale operations, while others start their own aquaculture business. Employment opportunities for those in this sector are expected to rise due increasing concerns about the world’s depleting natural resources, including fish species. The number of fish hatcheries and marine farms are expected to rise in number, especially those growing catfish, trout, salmon and shrimp. This profession will also supplement the increasing demand for seafood.

Typical Employers

Fish hatchery managers work at fisheries that are vertically integrated or operations that supply to smaller hatcheries or large seafood companies. Typically, recruiters are looking for candidates that have previous leadership experience in coordination or management of more than two people, as well as a solid foundation in fish culture, i.e. fish production, health, history and aquaculture diseases. You will be offered a competitive benefits package as a full-time employee in this area, which will include medical insurance, annual leave, paid holidays and retirement benefits.

Employers that are interested in currently hiring for such roles include the State of Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources for the Governor Thompson Fish Hatchery, Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Fitchburg Fish Hatchery, and Great Salt Lake Brine Shrimp Cooperative, Inc.

Recommended Schools

How To Become a Fish Hatchery Manager

You need to possess at least a bachelor’s degree in a relevant subject area such as animal science, fish hatchery management, aquaculture science, etc. to join a coveted managerial position. But completing some college coursework in fish or wildlife management, with two to three years of on-the-job experience in fish or wildlife resource management, can also be a stepping stone in this industry.

You will also require a valid driver’s license to carry out functions like touring the facility or participating in outreach work. Working upwards from an entry-level role at a hatchery, you can work your way up the ladder to a supervisor’s position. This job is a great fit for individuals with a passion for working in aquaculture, who have a high comfort level with taking on responsibilities for large-scale management.


Fish Hatchery Manager Salary Data

We’ve provided you the following to learn more about this career. The salary and growth data on this page comes from recently published Bureau of Labor Statistics data while the recommendations and editorial content are based on our research.

National Anual Salary

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National Hourly Wage

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How do Fish Hatchery Manager salaries stack up to other jobs across the country? Based on the latest jobs data nationwide, Fish Hatchery Manager's can make an average annual salary of $69,880, or $34 per hour. On the lower end, they can make $45,930 or $22 per hour, perhaps when just starting out or based on the state you live in.

Salary Rankings And Facts

  • #200 Nationally for All Careers

  • Above Average Salary Nationally

Highest Education Among Fish Hatchery Managers

  • 0.9%   Doctorate
  • 3%   Masters
  • 18.3%   Bachelors
  • 9.1%   Associates
  • 19.8%   College
  • 36.9%   High School
  • 12%   Less than High School

Job Growth Projections and Forecast

2014 Total Jobs


2024 Est. Jobs


Job Growth Rate


Est. New Jobs


How does Fish Hatchery Manager job growth stack up to other jobs across the country? By 2024, there will be a change of -18,100 jobs for a total of 911,700 people employed in the career nationwide. This is a -1.9% change in growth over the next ten years, giving the career a growth rate nationwide of Above Average.

Growth Rankings And Facts

  • #651 Nationally for All Careers

  • Above Avg. Growth Nationally

What Companies Employ The Most Fish Hatchery Managers

Industry Current Jobs New Jobs Needed % Increase
Self-employed workers 657,700 8,500 9%
Crop production 152,000 -18,900 -19%
Animal production and aquaculture 105,600 -7,800 -8%

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