Step by step guide to becoming an aquarist
What does an aquarist do?
An aquarist could perform any of these tasks:
- monitor and treat fish diseases
- ensure life support systems are functioning, such as pumps, heaters, and filters
- monitor water quality
- observe for any anomalies in fish tanks
- clean the inside of the fish tanks and up-keep the underwater habitats
- feed and administer vitamins to sea life
- create habitats that will delight visitors
- mentally stimulate some species with toys or challenges
In some cases, an aquarist will travel to various locations to collect specimens from lakes, rivers, and oceans. The specimens they collect must be safely extracted and transported back to the facility. The job of an aquarist is sometimes very physical, as transporting animals from one tank to another takes a lot of physical strength.
What kind of skills are required?
When contemplating a career as an aquarist, take a quick inventory of your personal traits. An aquarist must have great listening and monitoring skills to understand what others are saying or to identify solutions to problems by observing the situation with a keen eye. Time management is also a critical element to the success of an aquarist. Most importantly an aquarist must be comfortable with the animals and be passionate about the general well-being of the animals.
- Earn a Bachelor’s Degree (most candidates pursue a major in environmental engineering, veterinary science, biology, etc.)
- Gain experience through an internship
- Get a job in the field
- Keep up to date with certifications