Aquarium Science Certificate

If you have already earned a Bachelor’s degree or higher in a Life Sciences discipline (Biology, Marine Biology, etc.) and are interested in training for a rewarding career working with fish and invertebrates, the one-of-a-kind OCCC Aquarium Science Certificate could be for you! This path offers students with science degrees a chance to earn the knowledge and technical skills to get jobs working in aquariums, fish hatcheries, ornamental fish aquaculture, medical research and other fields in less than a year.

The AQS Certificate curriculum map allows qualified students to focus on the AQS Program’s core curriculum and take an accelerated path to a new career. In addition to the technical instruction they receive in the classroom, AQS Certificate students also gain hands-on learning and experience working with animals and aquatic life support systems in the program’s Teaching Aquarium. Each term, students are assigned to a new system, where they work with a variety of aquatic animals and learn how to properly maintain and optimize a wide range of different life support components.

Working under the direction of the professional aquarists working as mentors with AQS students, our students train to work in a public aquarium or other aquatic animal facility and gain invaluable skills, such as:

  • Animal health management
  • Animal nutrition and portion control
  • Effective feeding strategies
  • Animal training
  • Water chemistry testing and analysis
  • Proactive life support maintenance and troubleshooting
  • Animal food culture and fortification
  • Hospital/Quarantine and other biosecurity protocols
  • Other essential technical skills to help our students train for a career working with fish and other aquatic animals
An Aquarium College Experience Like No Other

If you are finishing your college degree or have earned a qualifying degree and are looking to take your life in a new direction and have always been fascinated by aquatic animals, the Aquarium Science Certificate is the fast track to a rewarding career. The AQS program’s reputation nationally and internationally and the quality of technical instruction we provide to our students allow graduates a significant competitive edge when applying for jobs right after they complete their Certificate.

Learning Outcomes

Aquarium Science Certificate

Role Description

Students admitted into the one-year certificate program will receive a Certificate of Completion in Aquarium Science after successfully completing the Aquarium Science curriculum and internship requirement.View the one year certificate curriculum map for the program. (Or, jump to information about the two-year AAS Degree in Aquarium Science.) Applicants for the one-year certificate program must have completed a Bachelor’s degree or higher in Life Sciences or related field of study.
Learning Outcomes

1. Effectively communicate, verbally and in writing, scientific concepts, research findings and ideas to professionals and the general public.

2. Maintain, analyze, diagnose and repair aquarium life support systems and their components.

3. Perform basic water quality analysis using standard testing equipment.

4. Maintain healthy animals through proper set-up, monitoring and accepted animal husbandry practices

5. Identify physically compromised animals and abnormal animal behaviors

6. Work within a group to conceptualize, plan, construct and manage environments that promote healthy of fishes and invertebrates.

7. Apply fundamental knowledge and skills in science, mathematics, and communications for success in a professional or academic setting.

Students admitted into the one-year certificate program will receive a Certificate of Completion in Aquarium Science after successfully completing the core curriculum and full composition of aquarium science courses. Click on the link below to view the one year certificate curriculum map for the program. Applicants for the one year certificate program must have completed a Bachelors degree or higher in Life Sciences or related field of study.


Oregon Coast Community College is committed to providing equal opportunities for students with disabilities throughout the College community. Students with documented disabilities are entitled to reasonable accommodations under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. Our philosophy is to maximize your independence and self-reliance, providing a variety of support options to assist you in achieving your educational and/or vocational objectives. To receive services, you must submit documentation of your disabling condition(s) to the Vice President of Student Affairs. To initiate support services, please call 541-867-8511 or email for assistance. Students are responsible for requesting, in a timely manner, accommodation and documenting the nature and extent of their disability.

Equal Opportunity & Non-Discrimination

The College prohibits unlawful discrimination based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex, marital status, disability, veteran status, age, sexual orientation, or any other status protected by federal, state, or local law in any area, activity or operation of the College. The College also prohibits retaliation against an individual for engaging in activity protected under this policy, and interfering with rights or privileges granted under anti-discrimination laws. In addition, the College complies with applicable provisions of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (as amended), related Executive Orders 11246 and 11375, Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (as amended), Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (“USERRA’), and all local and state civil rights laws. Under this policy, equal opportunity for employment, admission, and participation in the College’s programs, services, and activities will be extended to all persons, and the College will promote equal opportunity and treatment through application of this policy and other College efforts designed for that purpose.

Persons having questions about equal opportunity and nondiscrimination should contact either: 
Vice President of Student Affairs
Joy Gutknecht, Human Resources Director

Questions can also be mailed to their attention at:
400 SE College Way
Newport, OR  97366