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Aquariums often are nonprofit institutions, limiting the earnings ability in this job somewhat. In general, aquarists make between $24,960 and $45,760 a year, according to a May 2017 Glassdoor estimate, which indicated that salaries averaged $29,120. Senior aquarists can make $55,000 or more per year, and aquarist supervisors or managers may command higher earnings. The closest job to aquarist reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics is nonfarm animal caretaker; the median annual salary for this position in May 2018 was $29,290. The lowest paid 10 percent earned less thanĀ $20,270 and the top 10 percent earned more than $55,760. Aquariums do offer fairly extensive benefits, however, including health insurance, 401(k) plans, continuing education opportunities, tuition reimbursement, and reciprocal benefits with many other cultural institutions.

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