Oyster Farmer

Raise and gather oysters to sell for food.
picture of Oyster Farmer

Quick Stats


Salary Range
$29,000 – $107,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor


What do Oyster Farmers do?

An Oyster Farmer leases from the government a plot of coastal land for the purpose of growing and harvesting oysters, which are edible mollusks that live inside shells. You see, although most seafood is fished for — for instance, tuna for your sushi, and shrimp for your scampi pasta — not all of it is “caught.” Instead, some of it is farmed, like oysters.

The land that you lease when you’re an Oyster Farmer typically consists of mudflats where rivers meet the sea, as oysters grow best in the brackish water — part salt water, part fresh water — that is characteristic of estuaries. Although most people would rather have a white-sand beach, you know that your three acres is far more delicious — if not aesthetically, then certainly economically, as oysters are considered a delicacy, which means people often will pay a premium for the privilege of eating them.

Of course, satisfying people’s oyster cravings requires more than acquiring land. It also requires farming it, which involves acquiring oyster “seeds,” or larvae, from a hatchery, then placing them in tanks with recycled oyster shells, to which the seeds attach themselves. Next, you move them to containers suspended just above the sea floor, where they’ll spend up to four years growing to the proper size.

During that time, it’s your responsibility as an Oyster Farmer to monitor the water for optimal salinity and temperature, and to protect the oysters from predators. Ultimately, you collect the mature specimens at low tide, and sell them to individuals, restaurants, and markets.

Although you’re a Farmer by name, you’re more like a culinary treasure hunter than a traditional farmhand, scouring salt water for one of nature’s tastiest treats!


Should I be an Oyster Farmer?

You should have a bachelor's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Persistent: You keep pushing through, even when faced with tough obstacles.
  • Detail Oriented: You pay close attention to all the little details.
  • Logical Thinker: You take a step-by-step approach to analyze information and solve problems.

  • Also known as: Oyster Aquaculturist, Oyster Cultivator

    How to become an Oyster Farmer

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