Employment Prospects


Aquarists most often work in zoos, public aquariums, or in research jobs with marine science institutes.

Starting Out

Full-time jobs for aquarists can be scarce, especially for those just starting in the field. Part-time or volunteer positions with zoos, aquariums, science institutes, nature centers, or even pet stores could provide valuable preliminary experience that may eventually lead to a full-time position.

Advancement Prospects

The usual career path for an aquarist progresses from intern/volunteer through part-time work to full-fledged aquarist, senior aquarist, supervisor, and finally, curator. Each step along the path requires additional experience and often additional education. Curators generally are expected to have a Ph.D. in a relevant marine science discipline, for example. The career path of an aquarist depends on how much hands-on work they like to do with animals. Other options are available for aquarists who are looking for a less "down and dirty" experience.

Tips for Entry

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Conduct information interviews with aquarists and ask them for advice on preparing for and entering the field.

Land a volunteer position or a part-time job at a zoo or aquarium to learn about the field and make valuable industry contacts.