How Do I Become a Fish Biologist?

A fish biologist is a scientist who investigates the lives, populations, and ecological interactions of different fish species. This broad scientific career option may be ideal for someone with a strong scientific mind, a passion for fish, and a willingness to put in a lot of time and effort. Education, practical experience, and career path selection are all required to become a fish biologist. A person who wishes to become a fish biologist should have a genuine and abiding interest in the aquatic world, as well as the willingness to devote many years to obtaining the necessary training to work in the field.

Education is perhaps the most important requirement for anyone who wants to work as a fish biologist. Students interested in this field may want to take advanced or additional biology, chemistry, or natural science classes. Training for this career path can begin as early as high school. Future fish biologists must major in a related field such as biology, ecology, oceanography, or marine science in college. To get the best possible preparation, college classes should be tailored to focus on fish and aquatic biology studies. Following completion of an undergraduate program, post-graduate studies in water ecology, fisheries biology, or another related field may be beneficial.

In order to become a fish biologist, it is critical to begin a practical education during high school and college. Young students may be able to gain hands-on experience and training in their chosen subject volunteering at local aquariums or water conservation programs. College students can apply for research internships with laboratories or wildlife conservation organizations to hone their skills in collecting and analyzing data on fish and aquatic habitats. While some practical experience opportunities may be available as part of coursework, many biology students may also choose to work as research fellows or assistants during their summers and school breaks.

Because fish biology is such a broad field, it might be a good idea to focus education and training on a specific aspect of the subject. Students in college, for example, may begin to tailor their courses to focus on freshwater or marine fish biology. Working with national parks or governments to improve wildlife protection, analyzing and maintaining natural and commercial fisheries, researching ancient fish species to better understand evolution and progression, or teaching biology to a new generation of eager students are all possibilities. Even after completing formal education, it may be necessary to seek out advanced, specific training courses in order to become a fish biologist in a specific career.