Career Development

What Does a Hatchery Technician Do?

Find out what a hatchery technician does, how to get this job, and what it takes to succeed as a hatchery technician.

Hatchery technicians are responsible for the day-to-day operations of a hatchery. They’re tasked with ensuring that all fish and other aquatic animals in their care are healthy, well fed, and free from disease or parasites.

Hatchery technicians may also be responsible for managing the hatchery’s finances. This includes tracking inventory levels, ordering supplies, and making sure that bills are paid on time.

Hatchery Technician Job Duties

Hatchery technicians have a wide range of responsibilities, which can include:

  • Sorting eggs based on quality and removing any eggs with defects
  • Observing and monitoring incubation equipment to ensure that temperatures remain within a safe range
  • Monitoring egg quality and performing minor maintenance tasks on incubation equipment such as changing water or adjusting humidity levels
  • Cleaning and maintaining the facility’s equipment, including incubators and hatcheries
  • Feeding chicks and collecting eggs from nesting boxes to be weighed and checked for cracks
  • Handling chicks that have been abandoned by their mothers or are otherwise unable to survive on their own
  • Observing the development of chicks through photos or video recordings to identify any issues with their health or development
  • Separating chicks from their parents in order to provide them with proper care
  • Collecting data about egg production rates and hatching results to help improve breeding practices

Hatchery Technician Salary & Outlook

Hatchery technician salaries vary depending on their level of education and experience, the company size and geographic location. They may also earn additional compensation in the form of overtime.

  • Median Annual Salary: $41,500 ($19.95/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $142,000 ($68.27/hour)

The employment of hatchery technicians is expected to grow slower than average over the next decade.

The need to maintain and improve fish populations will continue to drive demand for hatchery technicians. However, automation and improvements in hatchery technology may limit the number of new jobs created.

Hatchery Technician Job Requirements

Hatchery technicians typically need to have the following qualifications:

Education: Most hatchery technicians have at least a high school diploma or GED. Some employers prefer to hire technicians with an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in biology, animal science or a related field. Courses in these programs include genetics, reproductive physiology, animal nutrition and microbiology.

Training & Experience: Most employers require a minimum of six months of training in a fish hatchery or related industry before hiring a technician. This training can be part of an internship or a cooperative program with a local college. Training often includes learning about the following:

Fish biology and life cycles Fish health and disease prevention Fish breeding and spawning Fish rearing and feeding Fish handling and transport Fish processing and packaging Fish marketing and sales Fish legislation and regulations Fish hatchery equipment and maintenance Fish hatchery management and organization The training may also include learning about the following: The role of a fish hatchery technician The organization of a fish hatchery The role of a fish hatchery technician The role of a fish hatchery manager The role of a fish hatchery supervisor The role of a fish hatchery owner The role of a fish hatchery technician The role of a fish hatchery assistant The role of a fish hatchery laborer The role of a fish hatchery cleaner The role of a fish hatchery clerk The role of a fish hatchery driver The role of a fish hatchery cleaner The role of a fish hatchery supervisor The role of a fish hatchery manager The role of a fish hat

Certifications & Licenses: Some employers may require hatchery technicians to pass industry-specific certification to show their general understanding of the field.

Hatchery Technician Skills

Hatchery technicians need the following skills in order to be successful:

Mechanical skills: A basic understanding of mechanical processes and how machines work can be beneficial in a hatchery technician position. This can help you troubleshoot and repair equipment, which can help you complete your job duties and keep the hatchery running smoothly.

Technical knowledge: A basic understanding of the biology and chemistry of animal development is necessary for hatchery technicians. They need to know how to properly care for the eggs and the animals to ensure the health of the animals and the quality of the eggs. They also need to understand the different stages of animal development to identify any potential problems.

Attention to detail: The ability to pay attention to detail is an important skill for hatchery technicians. This is because they often work with sensitive equipment and materials that can be damaged by human error. For example, if a technician is working with a machine that produces eggs, they may need to notice if the machine is producing the correct number of eggs or if the eggs are of the correct size. This is because if the machine is producing too many or too few eggs or if the eggs are too large or too small, the machine may need to be adjusted.

Communication skills: Communication skills are necessary for hatchery technicians to have, as they often work in teams and communicate with other employees. They also communicate with customers and suppliers, so it’s important for them to be able to speak clearly and concisely.

Problem-solving skills: A hatchery technician’s job is to maintain the health of the hatchery’s fish and ensure the production of healthy eggs. This requires a variety of tasks, including maintaining the temperature of the water, cleaning the tanks and ensuring the fish are fed properly. A hatchery technician must be able to identify potential problems and find solutions to them.

Hatchery Technician Work Environment

Hatchery technicians work in fish hatcheries, which are usually located in rural areas near streams, lakes, or oceans. They may work in greenhouses or in outdoor ponds. Most hatcheries are open year-round, but the busiest times are during the spring and summer when fish are spawning and hatching. Hatchery technicians typically work a 40-hour week, but they may work overtime during these busy times. The work can be physically demanding, and hatchery technicians must be able to lift 50-pound sacks of fish food and work in cold water. They also must be able to follow safety procedures to protect themselves and the fish from harmful chemicals.

Hatchery Technician Trends

Here are three trends influencing how hatchery technicians work. Hatchery technicians will need to stay up-to-date on these developments to keep their skills relevant and maintain a competitive advantage in the workplace.

The Need for More Automation

As the poultry industry becomes more automated, hatchery technicians will need to learn how to operate these machines.

This trend is already being seen in the industry, as more and more hatcheries are moving towards automation. In order to keep up with the competition, hatchery technicians will need to be able to operate these machines and ensure that they are working properly.

The Importance of Quality Control

As the poultry industry grows, so does the demand for quality control. This means that hatchery technicians will need to have a strong understanding of quality control procedures in order to ensure that all eggs meet the standards set by their company.

In addition to ensuring that all eggs meet the standards set by their company, hatchery technicians will also need to be familiar with other quality control procedures, such as testing for bacteria and viruses. As the poultry industry continues to grow, the demand for quality control will only increase.

More Focus on Animal Welfare

As society becomes more concerned about animal welfare, hatchery technicians will need to focus on providing better care for the chickens that they hatch.

This includes providing adequate space and nutrition for the chickens, as well as ensuring that they are kept comfortable and safe. In addition, hatchery technicians will need to be aware of any new regulations or laws that are passed regarding animal welfare, as this could have a significant impact on their business.

How to Become a Hatchery Technician

A hatchery technician career can be a great way to get started in the fish farming industry. As a hatchery technician, you’ll be responsible for caring for and breeding fish eggs until they are ready to hatch. This includes monitoring water quality, feeding the fish, and performing regular health checks.

To become a hatchery technician, you’ll need to have a strong understanding of biology and chemistry. You should also be able to work with delicate equipment and handle small animals safely.

Advancement Prospects

Hatchery technicians may advance to positions such as supervisor or manager. With experience, they may become research scientists or consultants. Some hatchery technicians open their own businesses.

Hatchery Technician Job Description Example

At [CompanyX], we produce top-of-the-line poultry products that are distributed to grocery stores and restaurants nationwide. We’re looking for a hatchery technician to join our team and help us maintain our high standards of quality. The ideal candidate will have experience working in a hatchery or poultry farm, and will be responsible for tasks such as cleaning and disinfecting the hatchery, setting up incubators, and transferring eggs. He or she will also be responsible for monitoring the health of the chicks and keeping accurate records.

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Operate and maintain all hatchery equipment in a safe and efficient manner
  • Monitor and record water quality parameters on a daily basis, adjusting as necessary to maintain optimal conditions for egg incubation and larval rearing
  • Perform regular maintenance on all hatchery equipment, including but not limited to: filters, aerators, pumps, and UV sterilizers
  • Manage the day-to-day feeding of larvae, ensuring that proper amounts of food are provided at the correct intervals
  • Keep detailed records of all hatchery activities, including spawnings, feedings, water changes, and any other notable events
  • Assist in the preparation of Spawning Media and hatching solutions according to established protocols
  • Collect eggs from adult fish for incubation, using gentle handling techniques to minimize stress and damage
  • Sort newly hatched larvae by size and species, then transfer them to the appropriate rearing tanks
  • Clean and disinfect all hatchery tanks and equipment on a regular basis, following established protocols
  • Monitor larval growth and development, reporting any abnormalities to the Hatchery Manager
  • Help to rear juvenile fish to adulthood, then release them into designated waters
  • Participate in public outreach and education programs about hatcheries and fish conservation

Required Skills and Qualifications

  • High school diploma or equivalent
  • 1-2 years experience in a hatchery or related environment
  • Basic math skills
  • Ability to lift 50 pounds
  • Familiarity with MS Office Suite
  • Strong attention to detail

Preferred Skills and Qualifications

  • Associate’s degree in aquaculture, biology, or related field
  • 3-5 years experience in a hatchery or related environment
  • Experience with fish breeding and genetics
  • Experience with larval rearing
  • Advanced math skills


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