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.
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 HNC (SCQF Level 7) or HND (SCQF Level 8), or a degree (SCQF Levels 9-11) 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.
With an aquaculture qualification at SCQF Level 7 and two years of experience, you could go into the Modern Apprenticeship in Aquaculture Management Technical at SCQF Level 9.
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.
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.