Aquaculture Engineer Jobs

The details of aquaculture are not just biological in nature. The ability to grow fish, shrimp or other aquatic species also relies on the ability to manage their environment. For this reason, engineers serve significant roles in the aquaculture industry. Go to our JobBoard an search for hatchery jobs. Fish farming is constantly changing and adapting, with new technologies and methods arising each year. The engineer is essential to take this technology and apply it to practical situations.

Hands sorting and pointing at a variety of yellow and blue Legos

Aquaculture engineers are generally required to ensure an entire aquatic species farming operation functions as it should. Persons with engineering skills are necessary to keep systems running as they should or improve them to maximize efficiencies and therefore, profits.

The most common function for the engineer is to maintain or improve operations at existing facilities. Engineers are the focal points for determining either why current systems are not functioning as they should or developing new procedures for resolving existing issues. For example, maintaining optimum water quality in certain environments may be difficult for a fish farm. The engineer would be called upon to analyze the current situation and design a new process. S/he would be involved in all phases of the project, whether it involved maintaining existing pumps or filtration systems or preparing a budget for a new capital project. Managing the installation and startup of the new equipment would also be part of the engineer’s responsibility.

Another role for the aquaculture engineer is the development of actual production facilities, such as ponds, tanks and raceways to internal hatcheries. Optimizing the construction of these facilities requires sound engineering principles, so the engineer is generally heavily involved from the project inception and design, all the way through to startup.

Most aquaculture engineers need to have a bachelor’s degree in an engineering-related field from an accredited institution. While specific training in aquaculture is the most pertinent, it is by no means necessary. Engineering practices from a wide range of disciplines, such as civil or agricultural, can be applied to the aquaculture field when combined with experience in many general engineering backgrounds. Fluid mechanics, electrical engineering or physics are common examples.

In addition to the schooling and experience, most companies require professional engineering certification.

Beginning salaries for aquaculture engineers compare quite favorable to other roles in the industry. A beginning engineer with the appropriate schooling can expect to earn between US$50,000 and US$75,000, with increases to over US$100,000 possible based on experience, responsibility and location.

Many engineer positions involve a variety of working conditions. There is the physical fieldwork of observing current practices, running trials and recording data at active aquaculture operations. Some locations may be located across the globe, so the ability to travel and work with a diverse audience is required. And there is a fair amount of office work, from designing projects to preparing cost estimates.

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