Combine paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, cayenne, dried oregano, dried thyme, celery seed, and salt together in a small bowl. Set aside.
Gently dab tilapia with a paper towel to remove some of the moisture.
Heat a large skillet over medium heat for 5 minutes
Once hot, add in a tablespoon of oil, turn to coat the pan, and immediately add in 2 of the tilapia filets.
Cook on one side for about 2-3 minutes. Flip, add in a another half tablespoon of oil, and cook for another 2 minutes, or until the fish is cooked through.
The tilapia will be opaque and can be flaked with a fork. The outside will be VERY dark.
Remove tilapia from the pan, squeeze lemon juice generously over cooked fillets.
Repeat with remaining tilapia and serve!
I always buy frozen tilapia in bulk. I then defrost only what I need for dinner that night. This rub recipe is for 1 pound of tilapia, but if you don't want to make a pound of tilapia, make what you like, and save leftover rub in an airtight container in your fridge!