Fisheries Biologist Degree

Through examination of fish life cycles and habitats, a fisheries biologist is responsible for protecting and improving natural environments. These biologists typically work in a cooperative effort with a team of conservation scientists. Some fisheries biologists work in natural settings while others conduct research in laboratories.

While fisheries biologists primarily evaluate and monitor aquatic habitats and fish populations, their reasons for doing so vary. One fisheries biologist may focus on controlling specific fish populations while another focuses on developing conservation programs for educational purposes. Fisheries biologists are often employed by federal, state and tribal agencies or special interest groups.

Fisheries biologists may be responsible for any of the following tasks:

  • Conduct studies related to conservation and different species of fish
  • Observe and control fish populations.
  • Collect samples and compile statistics.
  • Document research to assist with developing and revising regulations.
  • Work cooperatively with a team of scientists.
  • Oversee protection of natural habitats for fish.
  • Partner with other conservation organizations and agencies to educate the general population about conservation.

Fisheries Biologist Degrees

A bachelor’s degree in a biological science is typically required to step into this profession. A graduate degree could improve job and advancement opportunities. Fisheries biologists desiring to conduct and document research are often required to hold a Ph.D.

With many federal, state and local government agencies, such as the forestry service, fisheries biologists operate on grade levels. A higher grade level translates to more opportunities and a greater salary. Grade level is directly related to degree level and experience.

Fisheries Biologist Salary*

The median salary for wildlife biologists, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), was $55,290 in 2008.

*Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

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