How to Post Jobs

AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums, Certified Related Facilities, Commercial Members, and Conservation Partners may post free unlimited online job listings as a member benefit. Non-members can purchase job listings. How to post a job

Career Center

Interested in a career in AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums? Learn more about types of zoo and aquarium jobs and relevant education programs in our career center.

Georgia Aquarium

Senior Trainer - Pinnipeds

Position Title:                Senior Trainer - Pinnipeds
Department:                  Zoological Operations
Classification:               Non-Exempt
Direct Report:               Associate Curator - Pinnipeds


I. Position Summary

Under the direction of section supervisors, this position plays leadership role in the execution and management of animal training, care, handling, and performance of pinnipeds utilized for Georgia Aquarium’s pinniped show and other programs as applicable.  Primary objectives and responsibilities are to assist the management team with the development and implementation of daily shows, guest interaction programs, environmental enrichment programs, and staff development.  Participates in daily show performances and animal sessions to facilitate public programming with pinnipeds.  Executes daily routine operations in accordance with section’s standard operating procedures.  Mentors junior staff in their respective job responsibilities.

II. Responsibilities

  1. Assists the management team in overseeing all aspects of daily care and behavioral conditioning of pinnipeds.
  2. Under direction of section supervisors, coordinates the execution of daily and long-term animal training goals, including enrichment, new learning, show quality, and staff development.
  3. Assists section supervisors with the development and implementation of dynamic animal training projects and programs that serve to enhance animal care, animal management, guest experience, and Aquarium public relations.
  4. Ensures the daily health, care and welfare of the pinniped collection.
  5. Trains pinniped collection in accordance with Georgia Aquarium's animal training protocols.  Actively participates in the progression of animal training goals and standards. Develops behavior to facilitate show performances, public programs, animal management and care. 
  6. Mentors junior staff on animal training, show performance, animal care, environmental enrichment, animal handling and general aquarium operations.  Oversees and facilitates the developmental goals of volunteers, interns, Apprentice Trainers, Assistant Trainers and Trainers.
  7. Executes daily pinniped show performances.  Maintains a superior level of showmanship while performing primary/key roles in daily shows. 
  8. Interacts with guests and crew members in a positive and professional manner.
  9. Facilitates and maintains comprehensive pinniped environmental enrichment program.  Mentors junior staff on the development of novel environmental enrichment devices and activities.
  10. Coordinates with management to orchestrate the casting of trainer/animal roles for daily shows, guest interaction programs, and other special events and programs as appropriate.
  11. Performs the execution of complex behaviors as integral part of Georgia Aquarium’s pinniped show. 
  12. Follows established standard operating procedures for animal care, food preparation, and clean up, including proper maintenance and sterilization of equipment. Assists in maintaining the highest standards in area cleanliness, diet preparation, record keeping, and animal observations. 
  13. Ensures pinniped facilities are maintained in compliance with industry and government standards in the areas of: cleanliness/sanitation, diet preparation, record keeping and general maintenance.
  14. Assists management team in coordination of animal handling for medical care and transport.
  15. Assists management and maintenance of records management systems for animal inventory, care, training, and enrichment.
  16. Inputs data and information into records management systems for animal inventory, care, training, and enrichment.
  17. Executes underwater maintenance and cleaning of habitats.
  18. Maintains SCUBA certification. Functions as a diver, dive tender, standby diver (TSBD), and designated person in charge (DPIC) during underwater activities carried out by Georgia Aquarium.
  19. Follows dive safety guidelines established by the dive safety officer.
  20. Fosters good relations with visitors, volunteers, community leaders, contractors, and fellow staff members by promoting positive attitudes, good will, cooperation, and providing high standards of service.
  21. Complies with all Georgia Aquarium policies, procedures, and programs.
  22. As needed, interact on behalf of the Georgia Aquarium with guests, media, general public, etc.
  23. To perform other duties as workload necessitates, regardless of time of day or location.

III. Qualifications

  1. Four-year degree in biology or related field; equivalent relevant experience may be considered in lieu of a four year degree at the discretion GAI.
  2. Minimum four years of aquatic animal husbandry and training working with marine mammals, experience in an AZA/AMMPA accredited institution, or equivalent, with a proven track record of team oriented and professional performance.
  3. Extensive background in animal training.
  4. Experience in show performance and public programs preferred.
  5. Working knowledge of life support operation and water quality control for maintaining marine mammals.
  6. Strong team skills.
  7. Strong oral and written communication skills.
  8. Valid State of Georgia driver’s license, or the ability to obtain one.
  9. Valid passport, or the ability to obtain one.
  10. Proficiency with Personal Computer (P.C.) hardware and contemporary software including Microsoft Office Products.
  11. SCUBA certification.
  12. Ability to pass departmental swim test, which includes, but is not limited to minimum requirements for treading water, breath holding, free diving and endurance.

IV. Physical Demands & Work Environment

The physical demands and work environment described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. While performing the duties of this job, the employee is occasionally required to stand; walk; sit; use hands to finger, handle, or feel objects, tools or controls; reach with hands and arms; climb stairs; balance; stoop, kneel, crouch or crawl; talk or hear; taste or smell. The employee must occasionally lift and/or move up to 50 pounds 100 feet. Specific vision abilities required by the job include close vision, distance vision, color and peripheral vision, depth perception, and the ability to adjust focus. While performing the duties of this job, the employee is exposed to weather conditions prevalent at the time. Elements of the position require employees to wear a wet suit for extended periods throughout the day.  This position requires direct contact with raw seafood.  The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate. An employee must also have the ability to travel by car, boat and air as needed, physically use SCUBA equipment, conduct field work in the collection and research of animals, and maintain daily contact with a living collection of plants and animals.
Georgia Aquarium is an EOE and a Drug-Free Workplace. 
All interested candidates are encouraged to visit the Georgia Aquarium website at and reference position posting SRTRA01666 - Senior Trainer, Pinnipeds.

How to Apply

All interested candidates are encouraged to visit the Georgia Aquarium website at and reference position posting SRTRA01666 - Senior Trainer, Pinnipeds.

Georgia Aquarium
225 Baker Street NW
Atlanta, GA 30313

Visit our website

Find a Zoo or Aquarium Donate to AZA Contact Us Member Login Search the site