Aquatic Biologist Job Description, Skills, and Salary
Get to know about the duties, responsibilities, qualifications, and skills requirements of an aquatic biologist. You can use our job description template in this article to produce your own. We also provide you with information about the salary you can earn as an aquatic biologist.
Who is an Aquatic Biologist?
Aquatic biologists are professionals that study freshwater organisms in rivers, lakes, and wetlands. This environmental work may be done in the laboratory or the field, depending on the employer and the type of project the aquatic biologist is working on.
For this profession, a bachelor’s degree is required, and many institutions prefer applicants with a degree in aquatic biology. Careers in this field are available in government agencies, non-profit organizations, private companies, and educational institutions.
Resource management can be an aspect of an aquatic biologist’s work. Some of these biologists are involved in sports, navigation, and environmental health. They regularly check monitoring sites, take water samples, and if any problem is discovered, they assess the situation and decide whether changes need to be made.
Aquatic biologists are also involved in pure research. They may study plant and animal life in different environments and learn about interconnected ecosystems. Some of them study the impact of human activities on the aquatic environment. They may also work on topics such as habitat restoration and rehabilitation, protection of endangered species, and identification of different types of ecosystems.
In the field, aquatic biologists may take samples of water, plants, and animals. Many take photographs, while others use scientific instruments to measure and record environmental data. Some have permanent equipment to monitor the evolution of different aquatic plants while others continuously measure rainfall and atmospheric pressure. These instruments allow them to monitor the progress of their experiments and observations.
Aquatic Biologist Job Description
Below are the aquatic biologist job description examples you can use to develop your resume or write a job description for your employee. Employers can also use it to sieve out job seekers when choosing candidates for interviews.
The duties and responsibilities of an aquatic biologist include the following:
- Conducting field research on desirable aquatic ecosystems
- Collecting appropriate samples for field and laboratory analysis.
- Observing the health and behavior of plants and animals in the area.
- Analyzing the data collected and drawing conclusions
- Producing a detailed report on different experiments carried out in the laboratories.
- Participating in aquatic science conferences and presenting the results of the research.
- Preparing grant proposals for research funding
- Developing and researching the relationships between organisms in the aquatic environment
- Studying the characteristics of animals in the aquatic environment, including species interactions, diseases, and migration patterns.
- Analyzing the impact of human activities on marine ecosystems.
- Collecting biological data and samples for analysis
- Monitoring and managing populations of wild and aquatic animals and plants.
- Writing papers and articles describing research results
- Developing conservation plans and recommendations for policymakers and the public.
- Carrying out water and environmental sampling for chemical analysis of contaminants and algae.
- Conducting research on the ecology of the marine environment, including the study of ocean currents, water quality, and marine life.
- Studying the impact of terrestrial activities on aquatic ecosystems, including agricultural and urban runoff, pollution from oil spills and chemical waste, and habitat loss from deforestation and development projects.
- Studying the life cycle of aquatic animals such as fish, mollusks, and amphibians.
- Observing and studying the behavior of aquatic animals in their natural environment and artificial environments such as aquariums and zoos.
- Researching the effects of global warming on aquatic ecosystems, for example by studying changes in water temperature and acidity.
- Designing and carrying out experimental projects to study the effects of environmental factors on aquatic organisms
- Analyzing data and testing hypotheses using statistical methods.
- Teaching aquatic biology to university and professional students
- Reviewing water management plans for public and private water bodies
- Monitoring the status of aquatic ecosystems
- Proposing modifications to existing management plans if necessary
- Developing conservation measures for threatened aquatic species.
- Collecting and analyzing biological data on fish populations using acoustic telemetry, satellite tracking, and other methods.
- Evaluating the effectiveness of fisheries regulations
- Coordinating research projects with other scientists from academia, government, and industry.
- Advising managers on the conservation of aquatic resources.
- Developing and managing educational programs on aquatic resource management.
- Conducting surveys of recreational boat users to collect data on water quality and safety.
- Assessing and monitoring changes in aquatic ecosystems due to human activities such as development, pollution, and the introduction of alien species.
- Developing and implementing awareness programs on the importance of aquatic ecosystems.
- Participating in scientific or policy committees dealing with water resources.
- Preparing field manuals or other educational materials for students, researchers, or professionals in the field
- Writing technical documents and grant proposals
- Coordinating with other agencies responsible for water resources management, pollution control, or fisheries.
- Participating as a technical expert on aquatic ecosystems in regulatory and advisory bodies.
- Performing other related tasks as required.
Aquatic biologists generally need the following qualifications:
Most employers expect aquatic biologists to have a bachelor’s degree in biology, marine biology, or a related field. Some employers also accept applicants with a master’s degree in biology or marine biology.
Many aspiring aquatic biologists choose to double major in biology and chemistry or marine biology and ecology. These biologists also benefit from courses in biology, chemistry, and ecology
Training and Experience
Aquatic biologists learn about the ecosystems and organisms they will study in their careers. They also learn about the tools and methods they will need to conduct their research.
Aquatic biologists also receive on-the-job training to become familiar with the specific projects they will be responsible for. Employers may provide training in the use of the equipment and the analysis of data collected.
Qualifications and licenses
Aquatic biologists do not require a license to practice. However, if an aquatic biologist works with certain animals, such as marine animals, a license may be required.
These are some of the skills that can be applied when working as an aquatic biologist.
- Data analysis
Aquatic biologists can acquire a large amount of data through their research. With this skill, data can be compiled and analyzed to draw meaningful conclusions.
Aquatic biologists often work in the field and can use mapping and GPS technology to determine the size, extent, and location of a particular wetland. The results can also be mapped out and used to share the findings with other scientists.
- Experimental procedures
Many jobs in aquatic biology require some form of research. You may use technology to analyze water samples and also develop theories based on the data.
- Biological principles
To work with many species of aquatic plants and animals, you must have a solid understanding of biological principles. You must be able to understand how animals, plants, and biological systems work in nature.
As an aquatic biologist, you must be able to present your findings to various stakeholders through reports and oral presentations. Depending on your role, you may engage university students, advise government officials on recommended legislation or inform other scientists of your findings and persuade them to collaborate with you on different projects.
Aquatic biologists may need to keep track of large amounts of data for each research area. Organization skills can help them to remember and carry this out during their research.
In many jobs, aquatic biologists may advocate for nature based on their research and findings. They may need to advocate for important laws and regulations or for best research practices.
Aquatic biologists often work outdoors and must adapt to changing weather conditions. They also work with a variety of people, including other biologists, engineers, managers, and the public. This means that they must be flexible in their communication style and approach to working with others.
- Technical skills
Aquatic biologists use technical skills to collect and analyze data, set up experiments, and record results. As a result, technical and computer skills are needed to prepare presentations and reports and to enter and retrieve data. They also use these skills to design and build equipment and structures for research.
- Teamwork skills
Teamwork is an important part of an aquatic biologist’s career. Much of their work involves collaborating with other biologists, engineers, environmentalists, and other professionals to complete projects. They also work to educate the public about the importance of the environment and how to protect it.
How to Become an Aquatic Biologist
The following five steps will help you start your career as an aquatic biologist.
- Obtain a bachelor’s degree.
To start your career as an aquatic biologist, you only need a relevant bachelor’s degree. Since the job of an aquatic biologist requires thorough scientific knowledge, a degree in a scientific discipline such as biology or chemistry can help you to acquire the necessary knowledge. For example, you can learn important principles related to the biological and chemical properties of organisms, as well as research and analytical skills.
- Go for postgraduate studies
Once you have completed your undergraduate degree, you can pursue postgraduate studies. Aquatic biologists usually have at least a master’s degree, but a doctorate may allow them to continue their research. Students often get degrees in areas such as aquatic science or marine biology. It is also possible to undertake a postgraduate research project in a specialized field before graduation.
- Involve yourself in internships and laboratory work
During your studies, you can further your career by undertaking an internship or laboratory work. Not only can you develop important research skills through this, but you can also deepen your knowledge by challenging yourself in research. You can work as a member of a relevant research team or seek funding for individual research. If possible, you can publish your work and distinguish yourself in your field. Although you may accept certain projects and opportunities as part of your academic program, you can always explore additional opportunities within your program or with other institutions.
- Choose a field of work
When preparing to enter a professional field, you should think about the section in which you want to work.
Aquatic biologists often work for government agencies and support water conservation efforts. In these roles, they may conduct research, advise management professionals and advocate for important laws and regulations.
Aquatic biologists may also be involved in conservation and collaboration work in zoos, aquariums, museums, and other non-profit organizations. They may also use their expertise in the biotechnology sector to work on teams developing vaccines, drugs, sustainable materials, and fuel sources. Many aquatic biologists may work in academia. In these roles, you can conduct research in your area of expertise and contribute to significant achievements in academia. Many academic roles also involve mentoring students. You should consider these opportunities before choosing the career field that interests you.
- Apply for jobs
Once you have chosen the field you are interested in, start looking for a job in that field. To do this, use the professional networks you have built up during your studies. For example, if you volunteered in a research laboratory during your studies, you can ask your mentor if he or she knows of any vacancies in the research field. You can also make inquiries from your friends and teachers.
The job search process may vary depending on your field of study. For example, if you want to work in the engineering field or industry, you can look for jobs in companies you admire and see if they have any vacancies. You can also attend job fairs and industry networking events. Once you have found a job, you should send your CV and a cover letter describing your education, work experience, and field of study. You can also prepare to present your qualifications when invited for a job interview.
Where to Work as an Aquatic Biologist
Aquatic biologists work in a wide range of environments, including laboratories, field, and office environments. They may work for government agencies, private companies, or non-profit organizations.
In many cases, their role may involve working in a combination of these three environments.
To access their field of study, aquatic biologists may live and work in close proximity to the aquatic areas concerned. As they can work with both freshwater and saltwater ecosystems, they do not necessarily have geographical boundaries when conducting field research.
Aquatic biologists working for the government can deal with issues such as nature conservation, balancing claims on natural resources, and protecting national heritage. Employees of non-profit agencies often work for environmental groups interested in freshwater habitats. In private companies, an aquatic biologist may work on topics ranging from controlling algae in ponds to ways to effectively control freshwater pollution.
Aquatic Biologist Salary Scale
The salary of aquatic biologists in the United States ranges from $10,054 to $243,665, with a median salary of $43,993.