Aquatic Veterinarian

Give medical care to water creatures, from goldfish to whales.
picture of Aquatic Veterinarian

Quick Stats


Salary Range
$50,000 – $145,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Aquatic Veterinarians do?

While Doctors work to keep humans healthy and disease-free, Veterinarians offer the same treatments for our animal friends. And just as Doctors specialize in dozens of different areas, some Veterinarians concentrate on specific species. Aquatic Veterinarians focus on fish, invertebrates, and marine mammals.

As an Aquatic Veterinarian, you may or may not spend your days in and around water. Some Aquatic Veterinarians offer to treat goldfish (and others) in addition to their regular Veterinarian duties. Other Aquatic Veterinarians take the scuba plunge to evaluate animals in their natural habitat, at an aquarium, or in the zoo.

Of course, your skills are put to great use at a marine animal rescue facility, where you treat animals injured by passing boats, predator attacks, or natural disasters. You might deal with a massive disease outbreak at a fishery, or tend to a pod of dolphins following an oil spill. Imagine treating the wounds of a massive, yet gentle, manatee! Closer to home, you could focus on koi fish, or offer immunizations to little Tommy’s pet aquatic community.

Whoever and wherever the patient, it’s your job to offer preventative medicine, give care-giving advice, and even recommend policy changes that affect aquatic populations. You give immunizations, suggest dietary changes, help endangered species repopulate, and stifle the spread of disease. This might be done at zoos, aquariums, pet stores, aquaculture farms, fisheries, or the examination room in your own clinic.

Should I be an Aquatic Veterinarian?

You should have a doctoral degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Trustworthy: You are known for your personal integrity and honesty.
  • Logical Thinker: You take a step-by-step approach to analyze information and solve problems.
  • Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.

  • How to become an Aquatic Veterinarian

    Most Aquatic Veterinarians have a Doctorate. Start by getting your Bachelor's degree. Chart?chd=s:aaaaa9&chl=|||||doctorate+%28100%25%29&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,0,100
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