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HomeArticlesIchthyologist Job Description | Career, Skill, Salary

Ichthyologist Job Description | Career, Skill, Salary

Ichthyologist Job Description. Few individuals are familiar with the field of ichthyology or the duties of an ichthyologist when we discuss it. The duties of an ichthyologist cover all facets of aquatic life, particularly fish, including their survival, traits, and the creation of favorable conditions for fish reproduction.

Researching various fish species and their natural habitat is one of the ichthyologist’s responsibilities in order to ensure their survival and advance their well-being.

The responsibilities of the ichthyologist cannot be overstated given the increasing amount of water in the world today. The ichthyologist collaborates closely with the appropriate authorities to make sure that fish and other marine endangered species can survive in our waters.

Additionally, they have responsibilities for other water safety sectors including museums and aquariums. You may read more about ichthyologists in this article, including information on their duties and educational requirements.

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Ichthyologist Job Description

What is Ichthyology?

Ichthyology is a branch of zoology that focuses on the study of fish and other aquatic organisms. In other words, a marine biologist who studies ichthyology. They are charged with the task of classifying and researching various fish species. Typically, fish are divided into three major groups, namely:

  • Bony fish
  • Cartilaginous fish
  • Jawless fish

The traits, origin, behavioral style, reproductive habitat, environment, and growth and flourishing of the numerous kinds of fish are all covered in the ichthyologist’s job description.

Both the public and private sectors are open to ichthyologists. A significant portion of them spend time in the field studying fish in their natural habitat, but their job description is not limited to the fields.

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Where Does an Ichthyologist Work?

Ichthyologists can find employment in government research facilities, academic institutions, zoos, museums, labs, and private marine businesses. By choosing a specific specie of interest and working with them for a protracted length of time, they become specialized.

An ichthyologist may choose to focus on one area of expertise, such as collection administration, instruction, or research.

Educational Requirements, Training, and Certification Required for Ichthyology 

You must have the required education, training, and certification in order to become an ichthyologist.

A degree in marine biology or zoology

Having a college degree in zoology or marine biology is a prerequisite for becoming an ichthyologist. Most people pursue a master’s degree to better their careers after earning a zoology degree from college.

A doctorate (Ph.D.) is required to work as an independent researcher, to teach at the university level, or to work for a research institute.

Academic Work

Anatomy and physiology, biology, chemistry, communication, statistics, and computer technology courses that are pertinent to the subject of biological sciences are frequently needed to pursue a career in ichthyology.

Animal science, the study of animal behavior, marine science, ecology, veterinary science, and agriculture (animal husbandry) are some additional academic topics that may also be required.


A marine internship is a fantastic opportunity to get the practical experience you need while you’re an undergraduate. Summer programs are offered by numerous research institutions, including the NOAA Fisheries, for prospective marine scientists. They also provide financial aid to prospective marine scientists.


To pursue a profession in ichthyology, one must obtain a number of prerequisite credentials. The open-water diving certification is one such license that is required.

The National Association of Underwater Instructors (NAUI Worldwide) offers this certification. Depending on the type of fieldwork you do as an ichthyologist, SCUBA certification may also be required.

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The job description of an ichthyologist is extensive and includes many aspects of fisheries and aquatic life. The ichthyologist investigates, examines, compiles information, and contributes to ocean conservation using a variety of methods.

An ichthyologist has the option of working independently or joining a group devoted to environmental and marine life preservation.

Here are some tasks and obligations you might have as an ichthyologist if you choose to pursue that vocation.

The Duties and Responsibilities of an Ichthyologist 

The duties and obligations of an ichthyologist are numerous. But it all relies on the kind of work he or she chooses to take on after finishing school. An ichthyologist may be responsible for the following tasks:

  • Species identification of the fish
  • Observing the fish’s behavioral threats
  • Ensuring that the tank’s water quality is good
  • Conducting and designing research
  • Gathering and analyzing data
  • Creating and publishing scientific papers
  • Attending seminars and other professional events
  • Aid in the conservation efforts for marine life
  • Contribute by giving talks and educating the public about biology, ecology, marine life, and other related topics.
  • Gathering information and presenting it to business executives

Privately conducted research by ichthyologists may be submitted to scholarly journals for peer evaluation. Professors who work in universities and colleges must publish regularly. It is a prerequisite for getting tenures as an expert more frequently.

Skill Set Required for Ichthyology 

Some of the abilities you must have to succeed in the quest as an ichthyologist include:

Research abilities

Field observation and sampling are covered by research skills, which can be used in tropical settings as well as extreme ecosystems like the arctic regions or the deep sea. The ichthyologist should be able to arrange, examine, and compile data for later use. He or she should also be prepared to work long shifts in the field or in the lab.

Experimental planning and execution expertise

The expertise needed to gather and conserve the various specimens is covered by experimental design and application. Certain ichthyology-related jobs call for understanding of specialized laboratory techniques such gel electrophoresis, microscopy, etc.

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Application of computers

For success in the field, one needs computer expertise in GIS and GPS.

Interpersonal communication ability

Since the job description also calls for working with scientists, biologists, and other industry participants as well as mentoring individuals at the public and university levels, interpersonal relationships are crucial. Success in ichthyology depends on having excellent communication skills and the ability to produce well-written reports and presentations.

Ichthyologist’s Salary Expectations

Ichthyologists frequently put in long days in the field and the lab with erratic schedules. Ichthyologists can find employment in research and tech organizations as well as the federal and state governments. For research and development, other organizations like engineering and life science centers might also need the services of an ichthyologist.

The pay of an ichthyologist might vary depending on a number of things. They consist of the sort of work, the ichthyologist’s level of academic preparation, the setting for their research, and any related responsibilities for their portfolio.

There is no specific information available from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics regarding the pay of ichthyologists, although it approaches the field as a subset of zoology and wildlife biology. As a result, the ichthyologist’s predicted wage range includes:

  • Median Yearly Salary: $66,350
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $106,320
  • Bottom 10% Annual Salary: $41,720

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Ichthyologist’s Job Openings 

According to the ichthyologist job description, there are opening in the following areas.

1. Fish hatcheries, aquariums, and historical sites

Ichthyologists are occasionally needed for aquariums and hatcheries. As an ichthyologist, one of your responsibilities may be to make sure that the environment and circumstances are ideal for the fish to thrive and match their natural habitat.

Additionally, you might be needed to perform a routine check to make sure the fish are healthy. Making the fish’s suitable nutrition and breeding schedule are additional duties.

Aquariums occasionally bring in a collection of unusual fish for viewing by the general public. So the ichthyologist is in charge of studying these fishes and getting them ready for public display.

An ichthyologist is also required by museums to identify various fish species and catalog the samples in accordance with their scientific nomenclature. Typical duties at the museum include preparing samples for public exhibition and maintaining correct records for historical reference.

2. Environmental organizations and government institutions

There are times when the government and other environmental organizations will need an ichthyologist’s assistance. They cover both research and the preservation of marine life.

This particular ichthyologist’s job description can include scuba diving training and experience. Since this position primarily needs more fieldwork and engagement with the natural habitat of many fish species, additional certifications, such as the NAUI certificate, may also be required.

The collecting of new and undiscovered species, study to determine the effects of pollution on aquatic life, and the subsequent effect, which is fish adaptability, are all part of the ichthyologist’s job description in this situation.

The ichthyologist is tasked with advising government and environmental organizations on how to combat pollution and its effects on marine life. Additionally, you can be performing various laboratory tasks, such as dissecting a specimen to learn more about its anatomy and behavioral style.

3. Educational establishments such as colleges and universities

In academic institutions, you may have the chance to work as a teacher or as a visiting lecturer. One of the things you can do is teach biology or ecology, or you can mentor and offer helpful advise to aspiring ichthyologists.

You could be required to write ideas and submit funding requests for university-sponsored research in academic contexts.

An ichthyologist will be needed by several colleges to provide research papers for publication in various scientific publications. In order to get feedback on their findings from other scientists, ichthyologists must also attend conferences and seminars.

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Ichthyologist’s Work Schedule

The majority of field ichthyologists operating in the field do not necessarily need to travel, yet there are some circumstances where the ichthyologist may be necessary to travel to other sites (locally and worldwide) to collect samples from various natural environments. As a result, many of them are able to keep up a regular 40-hour workweek.

Risks in the Work of an Ichthyologist

One of the biggest risks to working as an ichthyologist is how unpredictable the environment may be. To ensure that risk is kept to a minimum, it is crucial to ensure that the appropriate training and safety measures are performed.


An ichthyologist’s responsibilities might be demanding and may require several hours of fieldwork. Ichthyology does, however, provide some degree of fulfillment, just like other occupations.

Ichthyology offers a fantastic career path for those who have a concern for the environment, especially the conservation of aquatic life. It is an opportunity to help the ecosystem and marine life survive. There are numerous opportunities for people working in the area and potential candidates to be actively involved in having a beneficial impact on the environment as a subfield of zoology.

According to projections from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, job demand in the field of ichthyology will increase during the next few years. The first step in deciding if being an ichthyologist is the right career for you is to understand what that profession entails.

FAQs on Ichthyologist Job Description 

What are the responsibilities of ichthyology?

An ichthyologist, or fish scientist, researches different species of fish. They study their history, behavior, growth patterns, and ecosystems, collect and record field data, and write research proposals.

What is a person called that studies fish?

Studying any type of life would have helped me pursue these questions, but I discovered that I could try to answer them by studying fish and so I became an ichthyologist.

What is the difference between a marine biologist and a ichthyologist?

Ichthyology is the study of fishes, both freshwater and marine (salt water). Marine Biology is the study of all living organisms in the ocean, including fishes.

Who is the father of ichthyology?

Peter Artedi or Petrus Arctaedius (27 February 1705 – 28 September 1735) was a Swedish naturalist who is known as the "father of ichthyology".

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