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Become A Fishery Observer

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Working As A Fishery Observer

  • Documenting/Recording Information
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work
  • Interacting With Computers
  • Processing Information
  • $80,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Fishery Observer Do

Biological technicians help biological and medical scientists conduct laboratory tests and experiments.

Duties

Biological technicians typically do the following:

  • Set up, maintain, and clean laboratory instruments and equipment, such as microscopes, scales, and test tubes
  • Gather and prepare biological samples, such as blood, food, and bacteria cultures, for laboratory analysis
  • Conduct biological tests and experiments 
  • Document their work, including procedures, observations, and results
  • Analyze experimental data and interpret results
  • Write reports that summarize their findings

Most biological technicians work on teams. Biological technicians typically are responsible for doing scientific tests, experiments, and analyses under the supervision of biologists or other scientists who direct and evaluate their work. Biological technicians use traditional laboratory instruments, advanced robotics, and automated equipment to conduct experiments. They use specialized computer software to collect, analyze, and model experimental data. Some biological technicians collect samples in the field, so they may need certain skills, such as the ability to hike long distances over sometimes rugged terrain to collect water samples.

Biological technicians work in many research areas. They may assist medical researchers by helping to develop new medicines and treatments used to prevent, treat, or cure diseases.

Biological technicians working in a microbiological context, sometimes referred to as laboratory assistants, typically study living microbes and perform techniques specific to microbiology, such as growing cultures in petri dishes or staining specimens to aid in their identification.

Technicians working in biotechnology apply the knowledge and techniques they have gained from basic research to product development.  

Biological technicians also may work in private industry and assist in the study of a wide range of topics concerning mining and industrial production. They may test samples in environmental impact studies, or monitor production processes to help ensure that products are not contaminated.

Biological technicians working for the U.S. Department of Agriculture or other government agencies may perform biological testing to support agricultural research and wildlife and resource management goals.

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How To Become A Fishery Observer

Biological technicians typically need a bachelor’s degree in biology or a closely related field. It is important for prospective biological technicians to gain laboratory experience while they are in school.

Education

Biological technicians typically need a bachelor’s degree in biology or a closely related field. Most colleges and universities offer bachelor’s degree programs in the biological sciences.

Biological science programs usually include courses in general biology, as well as in specific subfields such as ecology, microbiology, and physiology. In addition to taking courses in biology, students must study chemistry, mathematics, and physics. Computer science courses are helpful for learning how to model and simulate biological processes and for learning how to operate some laboratory equipment. 

Laboratory experience is important for prospective biological technicians, so students should take biology courses that emphasize laboratory work.

Important Qualities

Analytical skills. Biological technicians need to conduct scientific experiments and analyses with accuracy and precision.

Communication skills. Biological technicians must understand and follow the instructions of their managing scientists. They also need to be able to communicate their processes and findings clearly in written reports.

Critical-thinking skills. Biological technicians draw conclusions from experimental results through sound reasoning and judgment.

Observational skills. Biological technicians must constantly monitor their experiments. They need to keep a complete, accurate record of their work, including the conditions under which the experiment was carried out, the procedures they followed, and the results they obtained.

Technical skills. Biological technicians need to set up and operate sophisticated equipment and instruments. They also may need to adjust equipment to ensure that experiments are conducted properly.

Other Experience

Prospective biological technicians should have laboratory experience. In addition to coursework, students may gain laboratory experience during summer internships with prospective employers, such as pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturers, or in university laboratories.

Advancement

Biological technicians may advance to scientist positions, such as microbiologist, after a few years of experience working as a technician or after earning a master’s degree or Ph.D. Gaining more experience and higher levels of education often allows biological technicians to move into positions such as natural sciences managers or postsecondary teachers.

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Top Skills for A Fishery Observer

  1. Vessel Maintenance
  2. Nmfs
  3. Safety Inspections
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Collected data on commercial fishing vessels in Alaska and reported directly to the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS).
  • Perform safety inspections of commercial reef fish and shrimp vessels, as well as collect information of gear performance and characteristics.
  • Identify various marine mammals, gathering samples during incidental takes and reports to National Ocean and Atmospheric Association (NOAA).
  • Motivated observers to collect higher quality data and biological samples by demonstrating proper techniques and applications while at sea.
  • Collect data on incidental takes, resuscitate sea turtles, and identify whale, dolphin, seal and sea bird species.

Fishery Observer Demographics

Gender

Male

57.9%

Female

32.8%

Unknown

9.3%
Ethnicity

White

65.3%

Hispanic or Latino

14.7%

Black or African American

8.9%

Asian

5.6%

Unknown

5.4%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

75.0%

Portuguese

6.3%

Irish

6.3%

Burmese

6.3%

French

6.3%
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Fishery Observer Education

Schools

Coastal Carolina University

11.5%

University of New England

7.7%

University of California - Santa Cruz

7.7%

University of New Hampshire

7.7%

Oregon State University

6.7%

Humboldt State University

5.8%

College of Charleston

5.8%

Texas A&M University

5.8%

University of Maine

4.8%

Florida Institute of Technology-Melbourne

3.8%

Roger Williams University

3.8%

University of Oregon

3.8%

Auburn University

3.8%

University of North Carolina at Wilmington

3.8%

Unity College

2.9%

University of Alabama

2.9%

University of Central Florida

2.9%

University of West Florida

2.9%

University of Massachusetts - Dartmouth

2.9%

Pennsylvania State University

2.9%
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Majors

Ecology, Population Biology, And Epidemiology

31.6%

Biology

27.2%

Environmental Science

11.6%

Marine Sciences

9.2%

Zoology

3.4%

Wildlife Management

2.4%

Natural Resources Management

1.7%

Fishing And Fisheries Sciences And Management

1.7%

Geography

1.7%

Geology

1.4%

General Education, Specific Areas

1.4%

Business

1.0%

Education

1.0%

Liberal Arts

0.7%

Forestry

0.7%

Statistics

0.7%

Anthropology

0.7%

Medical Assisting Services

0.7%

Law

0.7%

Animal Science

0.7%
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Degrees

Bachelors

65.6%

Masters

19.0%

Other

7.7%

Doctorate

2.8%

Associate

2.5%

Certificate

1.8%

License

0.3%

Diploma

0.3%
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