Ichthyologist

Learn all there is to learn about fish.

Quick Stats


Salary Range
$36,000 – $93,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor


What do Ichthyologists do?

The job title “Ichthyologist” is an umbrella term that refers to all types of workers who study fish. An Ichthyologist might travel the globe discovering new species, gather samples from the local pond, or use a microscope in the lab.

As an Ichthyologist working at a university, you might spend time in the research facility or teach classes in biology and ecology. Or you could work at an aquarium, studying fish environments, breeding, or behaviors. In the lab, you dissect fish, study organs, evaluate environmental factors, or work to understand how different anatomical parts benefit the fish.

Outside the lab, you don a wetsuit and dive to the depths of rivers, lakes, and oceans to gather samples and observe behaviors. In a museum, you work to identify, classify, and preserve fish for display and historical record. For environmental or government agencies, you perform research and work to preserve species. And at fish hatcheries, you study fish environments, work to increase reproduction, and identify and treat diseases.

This job requires a love of the outdoors coupled with an analytical mind. With such a wide range of positions available, you can build a career in the field starting as a Research Assistant, Lab Assistant, Field Assistant, or Fish Hatchery Technician. And as you gain more experience and obtain higher education, you can move into such positions as Fish Hatchery Manager, Fish Culturist, or Biologist. With a little luck and a lot of research, you might even discover a new breed of fish for the record books.


Should I be an Ichthyologist?

You should have a master's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Trustworthy: You are known for your personal integrity and honesty.
  • Outside the Box Thinker: Your creative brainpower gets a workout as you come up with innovative ideas.
  • Detail Oriented: You pay close attention to all the little details.

  • Also known as: Fish Biologist

    How to become an Ichthyologist

    Most Ichthyologists have a Master's degree. Start by getting your Bachelor's degree. Chart?chd=s:aaa59b&chl=|||bachelor%27s+%2848%25%29|master%27s+%2852%25%29|doctorate+%281%25%29&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,0,52
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