Aquaculture farmers raise aquatic stock such as fish and shellfish. Work involves operating a hatchery, breeding and harvesting aquatic animals.

Where aquaculture farmers are employed

They usually work outside, either on or in the water, and at shore-based facilities. Fish farms are generally located in sheltered waters. Most aquaculture farmers are expected to work overtime, particularly in the harvesting months. Some farming operations may require a diving qualification and/or a licence to operate a barge.


Full-time aquaculture farmers in South Australia generally earn between $600 and $799 per week but can earn more than $1,600 per week.

Graph of pay scales for aquaculture farmer

Job prospects

The demand for fresh seafood is increasing in Australia and overseas, so employment opportunities in aquaculture are good. The industry is affected by increases and decreases in exporting and environmental factors affecting production. In 2011 there were 224 people employed full-time as aquaculture farmers in South Australia, compared with 300 in 2006.

How to become one

Usually you need a vocational education and training qualification in aquaculture.

You can also do a traineeship in aquaculture farm hand or aquaculture technician. For more information see traineeships. Ask your career adviser about the possibility of starting this training in school.

See courses related to this occupation.

You can also do a degree in science majoring in aquaculture or marine biology. At school consider doing biology and maths. For information on course admission requirements and how to apply to the universities and TAFE in South Australia, visit the South Australian Tertiary Admissions Centre (SATAC).

Check South Australian Universities at The University of Adelaide, Flinders University and University of South Australia.

For information about Australian universities visit Quality Indicators for Learning  and Teaching (QILT).

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Career information has been sourced from government publications, see data sources for more information.

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