The release and occurrence of antibiotics in the aquatic environment has generated increased attention in the past few decades. The residual antibiotic in wastewater is important in the selection for antimicrobial resistance among microorganisms and the possibility of forming toxic derivatives. This review presents an assessment of the advancement in methods for extraction of antibiotics with solid phase extraction and liquid–liquid extraction methods applied in different aquatic environmental media. These advanced methods do enhance specificity, and also exhibit high accuracy and recovery. The aim of this review is to assess the pros and cons of the methods of extraction towards identification of quinolones and sulphonamides as examples of relevant antibiotics in wastewater. The challenges associated with the improvements are also examined with a view of providing potential perspectives for better extraction and identification protocols in the near future. From the context of this review, magnetic molecular imprinted polymer is superior over the remaining extraction methods (with the availability of commercial templates and monomers), is based on less cumbersome extraction procedures, uses less solvent and has the advantage of its reusable magnetic phase.