How Do I Start a Career in Fish Hatchery Management?

Lori Kilchermann

You can start a career in fish hatchery management by placing your application with a fish hatchery. A degree in fish hatchery management or fish biology will help in your quest to enter the field. In most cases, you will be required to enter the hatchery at the lowest position and gain experience before being appointed to a role in fish hatchery management. Many hatcheries employ workers who will eventually work their way into a management position without a college degree by progressively learning the necessary operational methods while performing lesser jobs in the hatchery.

Salmon are often bred in fish hatcheries.
Salmon are often bred in fish hatcheries.

A fish hatchery is a place where fish are spawned artificially and raised to a size that will allow them to endure life in the wild. Many operations exist in the hatchery, from testing wild waters to hosting information seminars at local schools and sport show events. You may wish to begin your steps toward a career in fish hatchery management by attending a college in pursuit of a bachelor's degree in hatchery management, fish biology or a comparable outdoor science. Some future managers also work part-time in a hatchery in order to gain valuable knowledge about the role of a hatchery in the community.

Fish from a hatchery.
Fish from a hatchery.

While a college degree is not necessarily required in order to enter fish hatchery management, experience in the workings of an actual hatchery is. Regardless of degree, most managers of a hatchery have experience of some type in a lower position. Should you wish to forgo the education route, you might simply apply at a fish hatchery with the goal of working your way to a managerial position. You should excel in all matters assigned to you and volunteer for as much extra duty time as you can to not only gain knowledge of all the inner workings of the hatchery, but to show enthusiasm and dedication to the hatchery.

Hatcheries that promote from within typically require four to five years of experience in order to be considered for a management position. Even when accompanied by a college degree, you must typically have three years experience as an assistant manager in order to be considered for a fish hatchery management position. You can increase your odds of becoming a manager by working very hard and making a name for yourself within a hatchery. If possible, you can improve your standing by taking college courses on management techniques and employee relations courses while you put your time in as an assistant or another type of hatchery employee.

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