Fish farm managers run one or more fish farms where fish are raised in ponds, tanks or cages in the water. Most fish such as salmon, trout or shellfish are farmed for food, but some are bred for angling or for ornamental ponds.
You could be:
- managing breeding and harvesting schedules and monitoring the health of the fish
- recruiting, supervising and training the staff who feed fish and clean holding tanks and nets
- making sure hygiene standards are high, to prevent disease
- checking that the water quality and oxygen levels are right for the fish
- keeping records of the numbers and size of fish
- ordering equipment, chemicals and fish feed
- keeping financial records, planning budgets and carrying out a range of administrative duties
- arranging for stock to be sold
- carrying out research into fish farming.
The figures below are only a guide. Actual pay rates may vary, depending on:
- where you work
- the size of company or organisation you work for
- the demand for the job.
Salaries for fish farm managers in Scotland are in the range of £18,000 to £35,000 a year or more. Some employers offer bonuses for meeting set production targets. You may also be provided with accommodation rent free or at reduced rate.
- In most cases, you would have to live in a rural or remote area, close to water.
- You might have to travel to different sites.
- Working hours can be unsocial, including evenings and weekends, and you may have to work alone at times.
- You would work in an office but also outdoors in all weathers.
- The conditions are often wet and cold.
- You might have to do heavy lifting.
- You would need to be able to cope with the sight of blood, and you would have to wear protective clothing.
Workforce Employment Status
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- Entry is competitive and there is no single entry route.
- You may be able to work your way up from being a fish farm worker.
- In many cases, however, entrants have a relevant Higher National Certificate (HNC) or Higher National Diploma (HND), or a degree in a subject such as aquaculture, aquatic science, marine and coastal resource management or marine biology. Qualifications in other biological or environmental subjects or in chemistry may also be acceptable.
- Entry requirements for an HNC or HND are usually 1-2 Highers plus 5 subjects at National 5 including English and Maths. Entry requirements for a degree are usually 4-5 Highers, including Maths or science subjects.
- There are also relevant postgraduate courses available at the Universities of Aberdeen, Heriot-Watt, St Andrews, Stirling and the Highlands and Islands.
- Previous work experience in a fishery is helpful.
- A driving licence is usually required.
- You must be fit enough to do physical work.
You could work for a variety of different organisations, including commercial fish farms, private estates and angling organisations. Vacancies in fish farming are often advertised in Fish Farmer magazine's recruitment section. The magazine is available online.
Workforce Education Levels (UK)
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Job Outlook Scotland
Job Outlook Scotland
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What Does it Take?
You need to be:
- interested in fish farming
- willing to take responsibility
- a good organiser
- able to manage and train staff
- able to plan budgets and keep accounts
- interested in science and technology.
You need to have:
- a knowledge of the science involved in fish farming
- good business sense
- good IT skills
- excellent attention to detail
- practical skills
- excellent communication and negotiation skills.
- You would train and gain experience on the job.
- You need to keep up to date with developments in fish health, nutrition and water management.
- You would be able to study part time for relevant qualifications or upgrade those you already have.
- There is a Scottish Vocational Qualification (SVQ) at SCQF Level 9 in Aquaculture Management.
- You can also study by distance learning for a Certificate or Diploma in Fisheries Management from the Institute of Fisheries Management. The diploma course takes two years to complete.
- The Ornamental Aquatic Trade Association (OATA) in Wiltshire offers distance learning packages, the Advanced Diploma and four individual Certificate courses.
- You may start as assistant manager of a fish farm and move on to manager after sufficient training and experience.
- With further experience you could become manager of a large group of fish farms.
- If you have the right qualifications, you might be able to move into scientific or technical work, such as research.
- Fish farming is a growing industry throughout the world, so there may be opportunities to work abroad. There are possible openings in parts of Europe including Norway, as well as Asia, Australia and South America.
The following organisations may be able to provide further information.
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